17:57 PM

Sampath Awarded $2.6 Million NIH Grant to Study NEC

Venkatesh Sampath, MBBS, Medical Director of the Donald Thibeault Lung and Immunology Laboratories within the Neonatology Division, Children's Mercy Kansas City, was recently awarded a $2.6 million NIH grant to study the genetic basis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.

NEC is a devastating intestinal disease in premature infants for which no predictive bio-markers or specific therapies exist. Studies from the Donald Thibeault Laboratory suggest that genetic defects in SIGIRR (Single Immunoglobulin Interleukin-1 Related Receptor) can trigger abnormal activation of the intestinal immune system by bacteria resulting in NEC. This grant will allow the team to perform genetic studies and animal experiments to understand how SIGIRR mutations increase risk of NEC in premature infants and test various specific therapies that can prevent disease.

Lab members Sheng Xia, Heather Menden, Wei Yu, Sherry Mabry along with Anne Holmes and Alain Cuna, MD, contributed to the success of this project. Work in Dr. Sampath’s Lab is supported by Departmental/Divisional support, foundation grants and NIH.

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Children’s Mercy Kansas City is ranked as one of “America's Best Children's Hospitals” in nine specialties rated by U.S. News & World Report and has received MagnetTM recognition for excellence in nursing services five consecutive times. With 386 licensed beds and a medical staff of more than 750 pediatric subspecialists, we care for children from all 50 states and from around the world. In addition, our leadership in pediatric genomic medicine and individualized pediatric therapeutics is driving research and innovation in neonatology, nephrology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, heart, cancer and other subspecialties to transform outcomes for children. Children’s Mercy also is nationally recognized for innovation in psychosocial care and creating a family-centered environment focused on the unique needs of hospitalized children and their families. Our love for children powers everything we do, inspiring our research, innovations and our everyday care. Because love has no limits. And with it, neither do we.