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Recently in Awards Category

Shabani Awarded Silver Medal at PRESS

Shabani.jpgGraduate Research Assistant Estela Shabani participated in the Pediatric Research, Education, and Scholarship Symposium (PRESS).  She gave a 3-minute speed talk (3 slides) and presented a poster titled "High levels of erythropoietin are not associated with neuroprotection in Ugandan children with cerebral malaria".  She was awarded the Silver Medal in the Graduate Student Category.  Congratulations to Estela on this outstanding achievement!

Bangirana Receives CIPHER Award

Dr. Bangirana accepts his award. Photo © International AIDS Society/Marcus Rose/Workers' Photos

We congratulate our colleague in Uganda, Paul Bangirana, who received the CIPHER award at the 7th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June. His project is titled, "Does HIV subtype moderate HAART effect on neurocognitive functioning in children?"

The CIPHER (Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research) award is significant for its aims "in promoting paediatric research, leveraging its role in convening the largest international scientific meetings on HIV/AIDS to address the needs of infants, children and adolescents living with or affected by HIV."  

Gladding Honored with Rising Star Award

Click image to visit CEHD website

Check out the engaging interview given by Sophie Gladding when she was honored this month as a 2013 Rising Star in the College of Education and Human Development. Congratulations, Sophie!

Dare Odumade Receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Fellowship

Oludare A Odumade, PhD (2011- in immunology as part of the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology graduate program), currently pursuing a medical school degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School under the medical scientist training program. 

Congratulations to Dare Odumade, recipient of a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation fellowship. Read on for a description of her work, in her own words.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. Of the 4 Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria, Plasmodium falciparum is the most common and most deadly. 

Transmission of malaria occurs via the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes and is dependent especially on environmental climate, prevention via vector control and antimalarial drugs, and human immunity. 

Even after infection, only partial immunity develops, and this, too, is often lost when individuals leave malaria endemic areas for prolonged periods. While there are attempts to develop vaccines, none are currently approved for use in the general population. 

Research Proposed
My goal is to compare the basic immunological repertoire in developing (specifically Kenya and Uganda) and western countries (i.e. America), as underlying differences can affect an individual response to Plasmodium falciparum infection and subsequent immunity. 

Specifically, I would like to determine the role of antigen-specific lymphocytes in the immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection. The proposal will examine the B cell frequency and phenotypes in individuals from malaria endemic versus non-endemic areas, with and without history of known clinical infection. 

Understanding what aspects differ is key to sound design of studies to protect both children and adults against malaria-related morbidity and mortality. 

Hamre Awarded 2013-14 Fogarty Fellowship

Karen Elaine Stella Hamre, MPH
Current course of study: Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Congratulations to Karen Hamre, who has been awarded a Fogarty fellowship for 2013-14. Learn more about her project and goals, in her own words:

Highland areas (>1,500m above sea level) are targeted for malaria elimination due to their unstable transmission patterns. Unlike in malaria holoendemic regions where partial immunities to malaria are built-up and sustained through years of infectious mosquito bites, populations in highland areas are susceptible to epidemics as their immune responses wane due to the highly seasonal and sporadic nature of transmission.

Dr. Chandy John and his colleagues at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Dr. John Vulule and Dr. George Ayodo, have been conducting research in the highland areas of Kipsamoite and Kapsisiywa in western Kenya for over a decade. 

Through his active and passive surveillance studies, he reported evidence of local malaria transmission interruption from April 2007-March 2008 after the Kenyan Ministry of Health implemented annual indoor residual spraying and switched to first-line artemisinin-combination therapy anti-malarial drugs for treatment of uncomplicated malaria. 

Interrupting local transmission is the first step towards the elimination stage.

During my 11 months in Kisumu, Kenya, as a Fogarty Global Health Scholar, I plan to utilize the rich data Dr. John is collecting on anthropogenic (e.g., roof structure, wall material, bednet usage, numbers in household), demographic (e.g., age, gender), entomologic (e.g., vector density and species), environmental (e.g., rainfall and temperature), and spatial (e.g., global positioning information of households, schools, forests, swamps) factors to study the epidemiology of malaria across time and transmission patterns in the same study population and location.

I intend to contribute to the understanding of the epidemiology of malaria in this highland area by making comparisons of predictors of malaria risk before and after interruption of transmission.

Specifically, I aim to determine where clustering of incidence occurs (i.e., identify 'hot spots' of malaria) after the period of interruption, and evaluate whether these clusters and related predicting ecologic risk factors correlate with those reported during epidemic and non-epidemic months before interruption.

Understanding how malaria interruption may affect several predictors of risk in highland settings will help inform future targeted control and elimination strategies.

For more information on the Fogarty fellowships, visit the Global Peds website

Friesen Receives 2013 UMAA Student Leadership Award

Alexis Friesen

Alexis Friesen, who works in the labs of Drs. Gregory Park and Chandy John, received a 2013 UMAA Student Leadership Award. This award honored Alexis for her exceptional academic achievements, personal character, leadership qualities and contributions to the University of Minnesota. Alexis's work in the labs of Drs. Park and John is on the relationship between severe malaria and HRP2 and TGF-beta. Congratulations, Alexis!

Dana Johnson Honored At NACAC Gala

Pictured L to R: Susan Jacobsen, PT; Maria Kroupina, PhD; Kristi Campbell, program assistant;
Dana Johnson, MD, PhD; Wright Walling, NACAC president; Judith Eckerle, MD; Megan Bresnahan, OTR

Dana Johnson and the International Adoption Clinic were honored November 17 at the North American Council On Adoptable Children (NACAC) ninth annual gala. The honor was given for their "efforts to improve the health of orphaned children throughout the world through excellence in clinical care, research, education and advocacy." 

NACAC, headquartered in St. Paul, MN, raises awareness about the need to adopt children from the foster care system and to provide continuing support to families who adopt children with special needs. Learn more about NACAC

November 17 was National Adoption Day in the U.S., where 104,000 are waiting to be adopted out of the foster care system.

Top Honors To Global Peds Faculty and Resident at AAP SOICH

Tina Slusher, M.D.

Global Pediatrics core faculty, Tina Slusher, received 2012 overall best abstract presentation in international child health at the annual American Academy of Pediatrics Section on International Child Health educational program lats week. Her abstract, "Selectively Filtered Sunlight Phototherapy Is Safe and Efficacious for Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice In Nigeria", concludes that, "With appropriate monitoring, this practical, inexpensive and novel method of using FS-PT offers a safe and efficacious treatment strategy for management of neonatal jaundice in areas of the world where no other treatment is available. Additionally, it promotes mother/child bonding during treatment."

Pediatric Global Health Track participant, Tundun Williams, was awarded 2012 best poster in international child health for her poster: Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency in Nigerian Children.

Winning poster on G6PD deficiency in Nigeria by Tundun Williams, M.D. et al.

Senait Adebo Receives Research Award

We extend a hearty congratulations to Senait Adebo, who was awarded Best Abstract Presented by a Pediatric Resident at the 2012 Pediatric Research, Education and Scholarship Symposium (PRESS) Friday, April 20, 2012. 

Senait Adebo, M.D.

Dr. Adebo's abstract was titled, "Prevalence of Infectious Dsieases Among Adopted Children from Ethiopia". Faculty sponsors were Cindy Howard and Chandy John. Dr. Adebo has been an active member of the Pediatric Global Health Track since the start of her residency in 2009.

Dana Johnson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

A huge congratulations to International Adoption Clinic co-founder, Dana Johnson MD, PhD, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award in New York City on April 12, 2012, by Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS). Dr. Johnson has made a difference in the lives of thousands of orphaned children worldwide through his pioneering efforts to help establish adoption medicine as a field of practice and his legislative advocacy.

Said current IAC director, Dr. Cindy Howard "We are thrilled that Dana and his work have been recognized with this award. He is a tireless advocate for orphans throughout the world, and we share his passion that every child deserves a family."

View the video made by Emerson Hatch, thanking him for saving her life

Dana Johnson with Angelique Hatch, co-founder and president of the non-profit
International Child Advocacy Network (ICAN) and member of the board of directors for JCICS.