• In the News

  • 2015

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    InTheNews-Mersha-160x200Tesfaye Mersha, PhD was awarded with the inaugural Diversity & Health Disparities grant. The Diversity & Health Disparities Research Award is a two-year grant that provides research funds for faculty members all over Cincinnati Children’s.

    Faculty recipients of this award are underrepresented minorities and/or have a strong commitment to health disparities research. The award is a component of the Office of Faculty Development’s diversity strategic plan. The Diversity & Health Disparities Research Award's long-term objective is to promote the career development of underrepresented faculty to enhance the health disparities research effort at Cincinnati Children’s.

    Director Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD was interviewed by foxnews.com regarding the release of the study findings discussed in the publication titled Vanin-1 expression and methylation discriminate pediatrics asthma corticosteroid treatment response published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study sought to identify biomarkers of corticosteroid treatment response in children with asthma & evaluate the utility and mechanistic basis of these biomarkers. Researchers in the Khurana Hershey Lab have identified a biological basis for poor corticosteroid treatment response that can be used to distinguish a subgroup of asthmatic children who respond poorly to systemic corticosteroid treatment. Read more at foxnews.com.

    During a press conference held in Columbus, Ohio on March 27, 2012, Gov. Kasich announced that the state would provide $2 million in funding to two separate research projects. From the $2 million provided, $1 million of this funding went towards childhood asthma research. On April 9, 2015, Gov. Kasich pledged an additional $1 million for a second round of collaborative research. Read more on the story in the Journal-News.

    News-Khurana-Hershey-200 Asthma-patient-1-250

    On February 11th, 2015 as part of the CVS commitment to helping the community lead a tobacco-free life, CVS Health presented the Cincinnati Children’s Smoking Cessation Clinic with a $50,000 donation.  The CVS Health grant was given to the Smoking Cessation Clinic with the intent to support an Assistant Fund that will make it possible for uninsured patients and underinsured patients to receive services offered by the clinic.   A portion of the grant will also be used for outreach efforts through Cradle Cincinnati to reach more at-risk families.


    Melinda Butsch Kovacic, PhD, MPH an associate professor in the Division of Asthma Research was presented with the Service Achievement Award by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her passion for improving children’s health extends far beyond the walls of the research building.  Dr. Bustch Kovacic serves as a leader of CoreChange’s Child Health Advocacy Group and the Findlay Street Center, where she initiated a youth-oriented leadership project she calls “Coaching on Achieving Community Health”.  Her laboratory work quantifies the environment’s impact on chronic disease in children, but her most important discovery is that face-to-face research provides the most reliable data.

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    inthenews-mahabeeCradle Cincinnati is a collective partnership of health and civic leaders in Hamilton County that invest in changing three things about the community: 1.) preventing prematurity by increasing the amount of time between each woman’s pregnancies, 2.) reducing tobacco use & other substance abuse in pregnancy, 3.) promoting safe sleep for babies.  Cradle Cincinnati recently posted a blog on January 26, 2015 promoting the new Smoking Cessation Clinic.  This clinic is one of the first of its kind is led by faculty member Dr. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens opened in late 2014.  The need for the establishment of a Smoking Cessation Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s came about after a substantial and programmatic line of research was conducted by researchers in the Division of Asthma Research. Click here to read the blog post. 

  • 2014

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    Research Horizons is published quarterly by The Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. The publication explores the highlights of research happenings within the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. Several of the division faculty were featured in the fall 2014 Research Horizons publication titled The Fight Against Asthma: Tackling Genetics, The Environment and Human Nature. Click here to read the electronic version of the publication


    On July 23, 2014 faculty members of the Division of Asthma Research attended the Civic Leadership Luncheon Award Ceremony honoring Buffie Rixey of Kindervelt. Award-winners of the Civic Leadership Award were recognized for civic involvement in arts, health services, children’s causes, environmental groups, animal rights and / or general advocacy within the community.


    Dr. Gurjit K Khurana Hershey was recently elected to serve as a Fellow of the University of Cincinnati Graduate School.  Each year newly elected Fellows are elected by current Fellows and then are appointed for life by the Board of Trustees.  The Fellows of the Graduate School is an organization that recognizes distinguished researchers and scholars from throughout the University of Cincinnati.  Fellows are generally among the most experienced and accomplished graduate-student mentors at the University.  Along with having an important role in graduate education and research, the Fellows are also called upon to provide regular feedback on new initiatives and to review research proposals at all levels of the University.  

  • 2013

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    Dr. Gurjit K Khurana Hershey was nominated and elected this winter to serve as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).  The ASCI established in 1908, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies.  The society currently consists of over 3,000 physician- scientists.  Each year there is a limit of only 80 new members which have to be both nominated and elected.  Within Cincinnati Children’s there is currently only 7 other physician-scientist that belong to this society. This is a distinguished accomplishment for both Dr. Khurana Hershey and the Division of Asthma Research.


    On October 17, 2013 Melinda Butsch Kovacic, MPH, PhD, Faculty and Sara Stigler, Clinical Research Coordinator III  both received awards at this year’s Community Awards Dinner.  

    The awards were presented to them by the CCTST (Center for Clinical & Translational Science and Training).  CCTST was established in 2005 as a collaborative for research resource and academic home for clinical and translational scientist & programs.  Melinda received the CCTST Academic Community Research Partnership Award and Sara received the CCTST Community Student Award for exemplified outstanding work and involvement with the CCTST Community Engagement Core. 

    Melinda Butsch Kovacic with Dr. Lori Crosby - Director of Training for the CCTST Community Engagement Core


    Sara Stigler with Dr. Lori Crosby - Director of Training for the CCTST Community Engagement Core

    Dr. Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Asthma Research was presented with the Educational Achievement Award by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Khurana Hershey’s work in training physician scientist displays an important part of the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center graduate education mission.  She also, has assumed leadership as the Director of the MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program) at the University of Cincinnati.  With her leadership, direction and expertise she was able to re-establish the funding for the MSTP Program through a grant submitted to the NIH (National Institute of Health).

    On September 26, 2013 an article was published titled: “Cincinnati Researchers:  Diesel Fumes contribute to Asthma Risk”.  In the article Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Director of Division of Asthma Research, Dr. Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD speaks on how the exposure to diesel exhaust from traffic pollutions can increase the severity of Asthma in Children and the current research being conducted.  Click on the links view the full article in the Cincinnati Children’s BlogCincinnati Business Courier, or Medical Xpress.


    Diesel Exposure in the Lung

  • 2012

  • News Segment on Inner City Asthma Research

    Watch this News Segment regarding how research at Cincinnati Children’s is helping to shed light on the growing problem of inner city children with Asthma.

  • Research Assistant awarded “Safety Star”


    Senior Research Assistant Mark Ericksen was awarded a Safety Star award by the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation’s Laboratory Safety Group.  Mark showed exemplary initiative of ensuring that the Asthma Research Division stayed current within the safety guidelines issued by Cincinnati Children's.