Clinical and translational research includes studies that apply the findings of basic research to specific medical issues. This can include the development and testing of new medicines, treatments, procedures and medical devices.
Treatments for Children with Cerebral Palsy or Stroke
Principal Investigator: Dr. Paola Pergami
Child neurologist Paola Pergami, MD, PhD, recently joined WVU after training at the NIH, the University of Milan, and Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. Her research and clinical interests include stroke and spasticity and methods to improve recovery after lesions to the brain. She has developed a multidisciplinary clinic, in collaboration with neurosurgery and physical therapy, to treat children with spasticity resulting from cerebral palsy and stroke. This clinic offers various treatment options including medications, Botox injection, serial casting and recommendation for baclofen pump insertion.
Dr. Pergami is part of an international network of child neurologists who are working to better understand mechanisms of stroke in children and evaluate possible treatments as they become available. She is currently participating to multicenter studies to evaluate how seizures affect the long term outcome in children with stroke, and to eveluate safety of using tPA in children.
In addition to clinical research, Dr. Pergami is conducting laboratory studies as well. Her focus is on using noninvasive magnetic brain stimulation to study reorganization that follows early childhood injury. The goal is understanding how the brain's ability to adapt to injury, known to neuroscientists as “plasticity,” can lead to recovery of function. It is hoped that this knowledge will help in the development of new treatment strategies for children with neurological disorders.
Mountain State Cystic Fibrosis Center
Medical Director: Dr. Kathryn Moffett
The Mountain State CF Center, based at WVU’s main campus (with an affiliated center on the Charleston campus), cares for 100 patients from West Virginia and surrounding parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. The center coordinates the work of pediatric and adult physicians with the respiratory and physical therapists, dieticians, and social workers required to provide comprehensive care for the CF patient.
The CF Center maintains an active research program with the goal of making the most advanced treatments, including clinical trials, available to CF patients in the region. Recent research has centered on epidemiologic studies of CF and studies of twins and siblings with the disease.
The Pediatric Clinical Research Center
Medical Director: Dr. Mark Polak
The Pediatric Clinical Research Center (PCRC) provides clinical investigators with the services and expertise necessary to conduct clinical trials and expand the growing body of biomedical knowledge. In particular, the center provides research infrastructure, including logistic and personnel support, and offers a wide range of administrative and budgetary services.
Clinical trials are conducted at the WVU Children’s Hospital and Physician Office Center Pediatric Clinics.
The PCRC can efficiently organize, coordinate, and execute complex clinical research protocols through the infrastructure of this large institution. PCRC faculty and staff represent a comprehensive range of specializations providing excellent patient care as well as timely delivery of valid and reliable data. WVU provides primary care services to a large and stable population of rural patients, in addition to secondary and tertiary care. Our patient population makes possible a high degree of follow-up care and study completion rates that many other clinical trials facilities cannot offer.