February 2020 Department of Pediatrcs NewsletterDepartment of Pediatrics Feb 13, 2020
Dear Faculty and Friends,
Welcome to the February edition of the Department of Pediatrics Newsletter. Here you will find a sampling of all the amazing activity happening within the Department of Pediatrics and at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Thanks to all our talented faculty, trainees, and staff who make this the best Pediatrics Department in the country!
Research Targets Early Diabetic Kidney Disease
Petter Bjornstad, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Endocrinology) has been awarded a new grant from the Kidney Precision Medicine Project for his project titled, “Tissue based integrative biology of early diabetic kidney disease in youth-onset type 2 diabetes.” The Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) is an ambitious, multi-year project funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) with the purpose of understanding and finding new ways to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI).
Type 2 diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder that results in insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction, the development of diabetic kidney disease, and reduced life expectancy. Compared to adult-onset type 2 diabetes, youth with type 2 diabetes have a more aggressive phenotype, with a greater degree of insulin resistance, more rapid β-cell failure, and higher prevalence of diabetic kidney disease. Bariatric surgery provides marked improvement in insulin resistance, β-cell function, and central adiposity. Further, preliminary data suggests that bariatric surgery also results in significant improvement in markers of diabetic kidney disease, beyond what can be achieved with current medical interventions. However, the mechanisms whereby bariatric surgery attenuates diabetic kidney disease remain unclear.
Dr. Bjornstad’s project aims to comprehensively detail metabolic, energetic and molecular derangements driving early diabetic kidney disease in youth-onset type 2 diabetes, and the impact of bariatric surgery compared to standard medical therapy on these pathophysiological processes.
Forester Secures Research Career Development Funding
Craig Forester, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Section of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation), who joined the Department last August, has received a Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08-DK119561) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Dr. Forester’s K-award titled, “Profiling Translational Control of Gene Expression and Nascent Proteomic Responses in Erythropoietic Progression and Ribosomopathies,” is focused on the determinants of RNA sequence and structure guiding recognition of the translational machinery to define hematopoietic differentiation. Erythropoiesis is a fundamental biological process that is constantly responding to signals instructing new genes to be translated into proteins crucial for production of mature red blood cells. A powerful, yet poorly understood mechanism cells use to control gene expression exists at the protein synthesis machinery known as the ribosome.
Dr. Forester’s project aims to understand how genes required for erythropoiesis are directed to the ribosome for production of specific proteins, and how this process is deregulated in patients with ribosomal mutations lead to profound anemia.
Dr. Forester is also a recipient of an ASH Scholar award from the American Society of Hematology. ASH Scholar awards are designed to support hematologists who have chosen a career in research by providing $200,000 over two years toward achieving status as an independent investigator.
Congratulations to Dr. Forester on these awards!
Faculty Publications Top 1,300 for 2019
Utilizing the Colorado PROFILES search engine tool, 1,319 peer reviewed publications were identified by Department of Pediatrics faculty in calendar year 2019, toping last year’s total of 1,210.
This tremendous volume of scholarly output from our faculty and their research teams is a measure of our commitment to scientific finding and discovery.
Our publication record enhances our academic reputation that is key to program rankings such as U.S. News & World Report. Our faculty were published in a wide range of journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Pediatrics, the Lancet, and multiple sub-specialty journals.
Congratulations to all of those with 2019 publications and for your contributions to the field of pediatrics.
5280 Top Doctors 2020
As noted in Dean Reilly’s recent weekly School of Medicine message, the voting for 5280 magazine’s 2020 Top Doctors list has opened.
Between now and March 13, physicians in the seven metro-area counties (Denver, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Adams, Douglas, and Jefferson) are eligible to vote in the magazine’s poll. The poll is one of the highest-profile rankings of Denver-area physicians, and Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Colorado faculty physicians are frequently named to the list.
The magazine has conducted the poll for more than two decades, asking physicians whom they would trust to treat themselves and their loved ones.
I would encourage all faculty physicians to take the time to cast a ballot. All that is required is your name, email address, and license number.
Faculty Meeting Reboot
In response to waning attendance at Departmental faculty meetings, the Department has solicited feedback on the desired structure, format and content of these meetings.
Based on that input and the work of Dr. Andy Sirotnak and the Faculty Affairs team, the Department will be launching a redesigned “Faculty Forum” that will start in March.
On Friday, February 28 from noon – 1 p.m. in the CHCO Mt. Harvard Conference Center. Department leadership will present on the new meeting format that will strive to engage and support faculty in meaningful ways.
Please take a moment to attend this event and subsequent Faculty Forums.
Faculty Interest Group Update
The Instructor, Junior, and PhD Faculty Interest Groups are hosting a seminar titled “Developing Your Teaching Skills and Strategies” on Thursday, March 5 from noon - 1:30 p.m. in the CHCO Mt. Columbia Conference Center.
The event will cover topics including “developing and evaluating curriculum/training programs,” “managing resident teaching evaluations and documenting teaching for promotion/review,” and “precepting in a clinical setting and how to improve the educational experience.” Lunch will be provided, and attendance is encouraged for all 0.5+ FTE faculty.
Please RSVP by February 26.
As always, for these and other exciting Department of Pediatrics news stories, please visit our Pediatrics News web page.
Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics | University of Colorado School of Medicine
Pediatrician-in-Chief | Children’s Hospital Colorado