• Current Projects

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    Beena Kamath-Rayne is a neonatologist who has been working in global health since her fellowship, when she became involved with the Helping Babies Breathe global curriculum for neonatal resuscitation. She is currently a Master Trainer and Mentor for Helping Babies Breathe, and serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Breathe Planning Group. Through this affiliation, she also serves as a mentor for the Survive and Thrive Global Development Alliance, and has been involved in several studies of the educational and clinical outcomes of Helping Babies Breathe training around the world. She is a Contributing Editor for the Essential Care of Small Babies module, which is another curriculum under the Helping Babies Survive umbrella.

    She also served as a neonatal consultant on MANDATE (Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technology), a mathematical model which serves to help public health officials and clinicians determine which interventions may best save lives in low-resource settings.

    Sean Moore’s long-term goal is to understand and reverse the vicious cycle of undernutrition and infection among children in developing countries. Ongoing research efforts include:

    • A Phase III clinical trial (IMAGINE, clinicaltrials.gov Identifier # NCT01832636) designed to answer the following questions: 1) What is the lowest dose of oral Alanyl-Glutamine (Ala-Gln) supplementation that improves intestinal barrier function, intestinal inflammation, and nutritional status in Brazilian children at risk of underweight, wasting, or stunting, and 2) What are the mechanisms by which Ala-Gln exerts these benefits?
    • Development of wild type and transgenic mouse models of tropical/environmental enteropathy as an experimental platform to identify effective strategies to improve children’s linear growth and vaccine responses in developing countries.
    • Intestinal stem cell culture models to identify network dynamics of biological rhythms and intestinal epithelial responses to undernutrition and infection. 

    Since July 2013, Russell E. Ware, MD, PhD, and his team have launched three international sickle cell disease initiatives to promote the diagnosis, care and treatment of children with sickle cell who live in sub-Saharan Africa, an area hardest hit by the disease.

    • Uganda Sickle Surveillance Study (US3): Working with the Ministry of Health, we have begun a prospective surveillance study to create a SCD prevalence map of Uganda.  We have trained personnel at the Central Public Health Laboratories to perform testing on dried blood spots collected across the country; the team now analyzes 2,000 samples per week, toward a goal of 100,000 samples by early 2015. 
    • Realizing Effectiveness Across Continents with Hydroxyurea (REACH): The study should provide definitive data regarding the risks and benefits of hydroxyurea in sub-Saharan Africa, including optimal dosing and monitoring schedules.
    • Novel use Of Hydroxyurea in an African Region with Malaria (NOHARM):  We have started a research study in Uganda (Kampala) to test the effects of hydroxyurea in SCD, but focusing primarily on the incidence of severe malaria.
  • Recognition for Immunization Research

    Global Health Team Wins Bruce Squires Award

    Mark Steinhoff, MD, director of the Global Health Center at Cincinnati Children’s, and his international team of seven coauthors have been recognized for advancing the case for influenza immunization during pregnancy.

    The group published an article, titled “Neonatal outcomes after influenza immunization during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial,” in CMAJ, a journal of the Canadian Medical Association (CMAJ 2012;184:645-53).

    In recognition of their work, they recently received the Bruce Squires Award. This award is given annually to the author(s) of the research paper published in the journal that is most relevant to the practice of medicine and most likely to impact it in a positive way.

    The study, conducted in Bangladesh, offers the first evidence that maternal immunization during pregnancy is associated with fewer babies born who are small for their gestational age and an increase of the average birth weight by 200 grams.

    “That was a completely new finding,” says Steinhoff.  “The vaccine clearly showed a difference in birth weight, indicating that maternal immunization benefited the fetus.”

    All of the women in the study were in their third trimester, when fetal growth is at its peak. If the mother becomes ill and is unable to eat, it can make a big difference, says Steinhoff.

    Subsequent studies conducted by other researchers in the United States and Canada have showed similar results.

  • Influenza Vaccine in Pregnancy

    The positive effects of influenza vaccination in pregnancy are not widely known by policy makers. Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s and elsewhere provide a summary with recommendations for policy and needed research.
    > See comment in The Lancet. (Click box in top right corner, The Lancet Full-Text Article.)