Department of Pediatrics Research Initiatives

Indicated below are areas of investigation that are currently active in the Department of Pediatrics, with specific areas of support identified that would enhance each effort. Areas of study are included that both positively impact the care of children in diverse settings, and are consistent with the training mission of the Department and the School of Medicine.

For a complete listing, please refer to the Department's Research Webpage:

Adolescent/Young Adult Program; under the direction of Dr. Pamela Murray, demonstrates that increased emphasis is being placed on identifying behaviors that put young adults at risk. Importantly, identification of intervention strategies that positively impact our youth are a component of this effort.

  • A Fellowship Program
  • Sponsorship of individual risk reduction activities research, or support of personnel therein
  • Establishment of a Sports Medicine Fellowship

Pediatric Oncology; laboratory based investigation of strategies to optimize treatment of pediatric cancer patients, while minimizing detrimental effects of aggressive regimens.

  • Establishment of a postdoctoral fellowship program
  • Support of a graduate student fellowship
  • Funding aimed at optimizing treatment strategies for pediatric cancers, specifically ALL

Cystic Fibrosis; while significant progress has been made in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a hurdle remains insuring access to the most recent treatment approaches for all patients. This important initiative is being directed in the Department of Pediatrics by Dr. Kathy Moffett.

  • Support of research aimed at identifying obstacles that may hinder access to "state of the art" cystic fibrosis care for pediatric patients, with an aim of identifying advocacy strategies that optimize care.

Pediatric Cardiology: cardiovascular health of children has been identified as a critical issue for investigation by many establishments, including the National Institutes of Health. An exciting program,. combining screening of' children in WV with education to encourage appropriate life style changes is being conducted by Dr. William Neal.

  • Establishment of a Nutritional Research Unit with support of a Research Associate

Fetal/Neonatal Research; as the premiere site for pediatric care within and surrounding WV, unique research opportunities are afforded by the abundance of prenatal care offered, as well as that to neonates. Questions that can only be addressed in this setting are investigated by Dr. Polak in the Department of Pediatrics.

  • Support of pharmacokinetic studies focused uniquely during the fetal and neonatal period
  • Support of neonatal outcome studies which explore the medical and neurodevelopmental impact of prematurity and illness

Allergy and Immunology; a unique combination of clinical and basic science research in Allergy and Immunology is also being conducted. 

  • Support for studies aimed at evaluating and managing immune deficiencies as well as investigation of environmental factors and appropriate pharmaceutical treatment of asthma in infants and young children;
  • Enhancement of research efforts to evaluate psychological factors that effect compliance with medications and environmental control measures in children with asthma;
  • Support of laboratory investigation of the role of hormones in early B cells development, and the effects of bone marrow environment on eosinophil development and its consequent impact on allergy and asthma.