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 an independent, non-profit, 390-bed pediatric health system, providing over half a million patient encounters each year for children from across the country. Children’s Mercy is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in all ten specialties. We have received Magnet® recognition five times for excellence in nursing services. In affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, our faculty of nearly 800 pediatric specialists and researchers is actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and educating the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. The Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) integrates research and clinical care with nationally recognized expertise in genomic medicine, precision therapeutics, population health, health care innovation and emerging infections. In 2021 the CMRI moved into a nine-story, 375,000-square-foot space emphasizing a translational approach to research in which clinicians and researchers work together to accelerate the pace of discovery that enhances care.