The Wong Laboratory is dedicated to sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock, syndromes that arise in response to serious infections. Antibiotics, intensive care unit-based support modalities and vaccines have had a tremendous impact on the outcome of these syndromes. Nonetheless, in the United States alone, there are approximately 42,000 cases of pediatric severe sepsis / septic shock per year with a mortality rate of approximately 10 percent. This translates to over 4,000 pediatric deaths per year and countless years of lost productivity due to death at an early age. Clearly, further research is required to improve the outcome of these devastating syndromes.
The laboratory is approaching these syndromes using a “bedside to bench to bedside” approach. Since 1993, the laboratory has been funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to develop and mine a multicenter genomic database of children with severe sepsis and septic shock. The database consists of whole blood-derived RNA, serum, DNA and extensive clinical data. With the collaboration of the Gene Expression Microarray Core and the Division of Biomedical Informatics at Cincinnati Children’s, the laboratory has developed a genome-wide expression database of children with severe sepsis / septic shock. The database has been leveraged for the discovery of candidate stratification biomarkers for severe sepsis / septic shock, gene expression-based subclasses of severe sepsis / septic shock and novel pathways and targets involved in sepsis pathobiology. In collaboration with Basilia Zingarelli, MD, PhD, the Wong Laboratory also conducts basic research using animal models of sepsis as a platform for testing novel hypotheses derived from the expression profiling experiments