Division Data Summary
Research and Training Details
|Number of Faculty||7|
|Number of Joint Appointment Faculty||1|
|Number of Research Fellows||3|
|Number of Research Students||1|
|Number of Support Personnel||17|
|Direct Annual Grant Support||$3,123,602|
|Peer Reviewed Publications||23|
Clinical Activities and Training
|Number of Clinical Staff||1|
|Number of Other Students||5|
Row 1: H Ji, G Khurana Hershey
Row 2: M Butsch Kovacic, W Chen, J Biagini Myers, U Sivaprasad, T Mersha
Our Division played a leading role in launching the new Pyrosequencing Core Laboratory for Genomic and Epigenomic Research. This core lab, directed by Hong Ji, PhD, facilitates the study of epigenetic regulation mechanisms underlying normal development and disease pathogenesis. Equipped with a Qiagen PyroMark Q96 system, the core detects and quantifies genetic variation via DNA methylation by pyrosequencing. The core has begun working with several researchers at Cincinnati Children’s and UC. It also helps faculty write grant proposals, two of which have been funded so far.
Inner City Asthma Consortium
Cincinnati Children’s is one of 10 research centers to join the Inner City Asthma Consortium, the nation’s largest effort to study asthma in the inner city. Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, is principal investigator for the Cincinnati site. So far, Cincinnati Children's has been involved in three studies; examining a decrease in fall asthma exacerbations, understanding easy vs. difficult-to-treat asthma, and studying immunotherapy against exposure to German cockroach, the most common species infesting apartments and other urban buildings.
Cooperative Research Grant
Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, also is principal investigator of an NIH-funded Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center (AADCRC), which focuses on characterizing epithelial genes in allergic diseases. Hershey also serves on the AADCRC steering committee. Epithelial cell genes play a central role in allergic disorders. The Center’s work will provide a basis for developing new therapies aimed at epithelial surfaces in the lung (asthma), on skin (atopic dermatitis), or in the gut (food allergy or eosinophilic esophagitis).
- Hong Ji, Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey. Genetic and Epigenetic Influence on the Response to Environmental Particulate Matter.J Allergy Clin Immunol. 129(1):33-41. Jan 2012.
The significance of this review is to summarize recent findings on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of responses to ambient air pollutants, specifically respirable particulate matter, and their association with the development of allergic disorders. Understanding these epigenetic biomarkers and how they integrate with genetic influences to translate the biologic effect of particulate exposure is critical to developing novel preventative and therapeutic strategies for allergic disorders.
- Jocelyn M Biagini Myers, Gurjit K Khurana Hershey, Prodipto Pal, Ranjan Deka, Jeffrey Burkle, Linda S. Levin, David I. Bernstein, Manuel Villareal, James E. Lockey, Tiina Reponen, Joey Gareri, Angelika Lubetsky, Gideon Koren, Grace K. LeMasters. Asking the Right Questions to Ascertain Early Childhood Secondhand Smoke Exposures? J Pediatr. 160(6):1050-1. Epub 2012 Apr 10. Jun 2012.
- Secondhand smoke is associated with a myriad of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, it is essential for clinicians to ask precise questions about exposures, particularly for children. We present 4 questions that incorporate several locations of exposure and provide a more comprehensive account of children's smoke exposures than maternal smoking alone.
Melinda Butsch Kovacic, Jocelyn Biagini Myers, Ning Wang, Lisa Martin, Mark Lindsey, Mark Erickson, Hua He, Tia Patterson, Tesfaye Mersha, Jayanta Gupta, Umasundari Sivaprasad, Aaron Gibson, Anna Tsoras, Donglei Hu, Celeste Eng, Rocio Chapela, Jose Rodriguez-Santa, William Rodriguez-Cintron, Pedro Avila, Kenneth Beckman, Max Seibold, Chris Gignoux, Salma Musaad, Weiguo Chen, Esteban Burchard, Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey. A novel unbiased approach identifies the KIF3A gene as an epithelial biomarker of childhood asthma. PLoS One ;6(8):e23714. Epub Aug 30 2011.
Our study demonstrates that KIF3A, a member of the kinesin superfamily of microtubule associated motors that are important in the transport of protein complexes within cilia, is a novel candidate gene for childhood asthma. Polymorphisms in KIF3A may in part be responsible for poor mucus and/or allergen clearance from the airways. Furthermore, our study provides a promising framework for the identification and evaluation of novel candidate susceptibility genes.
- Population structure analysis using rare and common functional variants. BMC Proc. 2011; 5 Suppl 9:S8., , , , , .
- Hexamethylene diisocyanate asthma is associated with genetic polymorphisms of CD14, IL-13, and IL-4 receptor alpha. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011; 128:418-20., , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Asking the right questions to ascertain early childhood secondhand smoke exposures. J Pediatr. 2012; 160:1050-1., , , , , , , , , , , , .
- The Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository: A Novel Framework for Childhood Asthma and Allergy Research. Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2012; 25:104-113., , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Detection of associations with rare and common SNPs for quantitative traits: a nonparametric Bayes-based approach. BMC Proc. 2011; 5 Suppl 9:S10., , , , , .
- Comparison of measures of marker informativeness for ancestry and admixture mapping. BMC Genomics. 2011; 12:622., , , , , , , , , , .
- Genetic variation in small proline rich protein 2B as a predictor for asthma among children with eczema. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012; 108:145-50., , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Individualized risk for statin-induced myopathy: current knowledge, emerging challenges and potential solutions. Pharmacogenomics. 2012; 13:579-94., , .
- Genetic and epigenetic influence on the response to environmental particulate matter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012; 129:33-41., .
- Validating childhood symptoms with physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012; 108:228-31., , , , , , , .
- 2012) Cytokines and Markers of Immune Response to HPV Infection. Recent Advances in Immunology to Target Cancer, Inflammation and Infections. Rijeka, Croatia, InTech. 3-22. , . (
- Identification of KIF3A as a novel candidate gene for childhood asthma using RNA expression and population allelic frequencies differences. PLoS One. 2011; 6:e23714., , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Rapamycin decreases airway remodeling and hyperreactivity in a transgenic model of noninflammatory lung disease. J Appl Physiol. 2011; 111:1760-7., , , , , , , , .
- Functional variant in the autophagy-related 5 gene promotor is associated with childhood asthma. PLoS One. 2012; 7:e33454., , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Chronic allergic inflammation causes vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension in BMPR2 hypomorph and wild-type mice. PLoS One. 2012; 7:e32468., , , , .
- Rapamycin attenuates airway hyperreactivity, goblet cells, and IgE in experimental allergic asthma. J Immunol. 2011; 187:5756-63., , , , .
- Impaired immune function in children with Fanconi anaemia. Br J Haematol. 2011; 154:234-40., , , , , , , , , , .
- High environmental relative moldiness index during infancy as a predictor of asthma at 7 years of age. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011; 107:120-6., , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Downregulation of glutathione S-transferase pi in asthma contributes to enhanced oxidative stress. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011; 128:539-48., , , , , , , , , , .
- Genetic Contributions to the Development of Obesity. Textbook of Obesity: Biological, Psychological and Culture Influences. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.; 2012:95-107., , , , .
- Immunodeficiency: a problem with the faucet or the drain?. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011; 107:547-9., , , .
- Trefoil factor 2 rapidly induces interleukin 33 to promote type 2 immunity during allergic asthma and hookworm infection. J Exp Med. 2012; 209:607-22., , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
- Family- and population-based designs identify different rare causal variants. BMC Proc. 2011; 5 Suppl 9:S36., , , , , .
Faculty, Staff, and Trainees
- Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, Professor
- Leadership Division Director; Kindervelt Endowed Chair; Director, Physician Scientist Training Program
- Research Interests Elucidating the mechanisms of allergic inflammation and asthma. The research centers on identifying genes important in asthma and allergy.
- Jocelyn Biagini Myers, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Research Interests Role of genetics in secondhand smoke-related pediatric asthma.
- Melinda Butsch Kovacic, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Leadership Secretary/Treasurer, CCHMC Women's Faculty Association
- Research Interests Using classical and molecular epidemiological approaches to evaluate environmental, infectious, genetic, and socioeconomic causes of chronic disease with current focuses on asthma and Fanconi anemia.
- Weiguo Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Research Interests Mechanisms underlying airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and remodeling of allergic asthma.
- Hong Ji, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Leadership Director, Pyrosequencing Core
- Research Interests Epigenetic plasticity of development and disease; asthma epigenetics; genome-wide and locus specific DNA methylation analysis; epigenetic regulation of gene expression
- Tesfaye Mersha, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Research Interests Integrating and using genomics, statistical genetics, biological profiling and pathway methods to elucidate the genetic architecture of complex diseases of public significance, including asthma.
- Umasundari Sivaprasad, PhD, Assistant Professor
- Research Interests Allergic inflammation; atopic dermatitis; asthma; development of anti-inflammatory therapies
- Eric Brandt, PhD, PGY12, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France
- Lili Ding, PhD, PY2, University of Cincinnati
- Hyun-Bae Jie, PhD, PGY10, Harvard Medical School
- Rachael Mintz-Cole, BS, PL-5, University of Cincinnati
- Zonghua Zhang, MD, PGY2, Vanderbilt University
- Chang Xiao , MD, PhD, PY1, University of Cincinnati
- Allergy/Immunology; ; ; Immunobiology; Human Genetics; Pathology » Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, Pablo Abonia, MD, Simon Hogan, PhD, Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, DeBroski Herbert, PhD, Lisa Martin, PhD, and Keith Stringer, MD
- Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center funded by the NIH.
- Pulmonary Medicine » Carolyn Kercsmar, MD
- The Division of Asthma Research partners with the Pulmonary Asthma Center to form the CCHMC Asthma Program to improve the health of children with asthma by integrating the evidence-based clinical care with innovative research that will lead to personalized asthma therapy for children living in the Greater Cincinnati area. Drs. Gurjit Khurana Hershey and Carolyn Kercsmar participate in an NIH-funded study entitled "Inner City Asthma Consortium" aimed at preventing asthma in inner-city children.
- Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology » Tim Le Cras, PhD
- Impact of Early Life Diesel Exposure on Immune Pattering and Lung Structure/Function grant.
- Pulmonary Medicine; Hospital Medicine; Adherence Psychology; General and Community Pediatrics; Emergency Medicine; ; Biomedical Informatics » Carolyn Kercsmar, MD, Jeffrey Simmons, MD, Dennis Drotar, PhD, Rob Kahn, MD, Richard Ruddy, MD, Rick Strait, MD, and Bruce Aronow, PhD
- Asthma Nasal Epithelial Study: A collaborative study determining the molecular heterogeneity of the gene expression profile in response to the treatment of acute asthma exacerbations in hospitalized children with asthma.
- Hematology/Oncology » Susanne Wells, PhD
- HPV Replication and Transformation in FA Squamous Cell Carcinomas; HPV Prevalence Studies in Fanconi Anemia Population.
Grants, Contracts, and Industry Agreements
|Grant and Contract Awards||Annual Direct|
|Molecular Epidemiology in Children's Environmental Health Training Program|
|T32 ES 10957||07/01/09-03/31/12||$51,681|
Butsch Kovacic, M
|Fanconi Anemia as a Model for Susceptibility to Human Papillomavirus Infection|
|R01 HL 108102||07/01/11-06/30/16||$265,183|
|Oxidative Inactivation of ß2-Agonists by Endogenous Peroxidases in the Asthmatic Airway|
|Epithelial Genes in Allergic Inflammation|
|U19 AI 070235||09/01/11-08/30/16||$999,999|
|Impact of ADRB2 Polymorphisms on Treatment Response in Children with Acute Asthma Exacerbations|
|Inner City Asthma Consortium|
|Role of IL-13 Receptors in Atopic Dermatitis|
|R01 AR 054490||09/01/07-07/31/12||$257,970|
Hershey, G / LeCras, T
|Impact of Early Life Diesel Exposure on Immune Patterning and Lung Structure/Function|
|R01 HL 097135||09/01/09-07/31/14||$356,772|
|Admixture Mapping in African American Asthmatic Children|
|K01 HL 103165||07/14/10-05/31/15||$118,974|
|Regulation of Foxp3 Expression by DNA Methylation in Mold-Induced Asthma|
|F30 HL 103087||07/01/10-06/30/14||$33,742|
|Current Year Direct||$3,123,602|
|Funded Collaborative Efforts|
Butsch Kovacic, M
|Community-Based Asthma Intervention Program|