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Discovering the Source
Long ago, early explorers searched for the sources of the world’s great rivers, often through great adversity. “Discovering the source” became a life’s work for some of these explorer-discovers. In this year’s Annual Report, we focus on our research that strives to “discover the sources” of disorders and diseases. We showcase our exploration of the underlying mechanisms and fundamental processes occurring during the earliest stages of development that later adversely impact children’s and adults’ health. We highlight this work of discovery because understanding such mechanisms is essential to developing the early interventions or therapies that will prevent or obviate adverse outcomes and alter the developmental origins of pediatric and adult disease.
Biology books say life begins when sperm meets egg. Yet so many things can go wrong during the early stages of development, it is a wonder any of us make it to birth. S.K. Dey, PhD, Director of the Division of Reproductive Sciences, delves into a crucial stage of pregnancy – blastocyst implantation. What he is learning already reveals possible ways to prevent premature birth.
Our faces are windows to who we are. So when a face does not develop as it should, it can shatter a life. A recently expanded research team at Cincinnati Children’s, led by Rulang Jiang, PhD, searches for ways to prevent deformities by studying the complex molecular pathways that guide how the face forms during fetal development.
Fear and how we respond to it is a crucial aspect of human behavior. Kenneth Campbell, PhD, a researcher in the Division of Developmental Biology, studies how formation of the amygdala influences our self-control. His work could shed light on conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress to OCD and Tourette syndrome.
How do you prevent setting a body up for a heart attack later in life? Elaine Urbina, MD, Director of Preventive Cardiology in the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, uses advanced vascular imaging in at-risk children to reveal arterial stiffness at surprisingly young ages. Early detection can reduce potentially fatal cardiac risks later in life.
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