A Healthier Wisconsin

Pediatric Lung Research Program

Identifying causes of pediatric lung disease to identify new therapies and outreach strategies for Wisconsin children

Full Project Name:Pediatric Lung Research Program to Optimize the Respiratory Health of Children in WisconsinPrincipal Investigator:G. Ganesh Konduri, MD, PediatricsCo-Investigator:Joanne Lagatta, MD, Pediatrics; Amy Pan, PhD, PedatricsAward Amount:$1,500,000
Award Date
Project Duration:60 months

Project Description Narrative:

Lung disease is the most common reason for infants and children to require medical care, including intensive care support at birth, as well as medical care in early childhood. The leading causes of neonatal repiratory failure are persistence of pulmonary hypertension and premature birth leading to bronchopulmonary dysplasia. These illnesses affect 10,000 newborn infants in Wisconsin every year.

In addition, lung injury or disease can impose lifelong breathing difficulty, hospital visits, and neurodevelopmental delays. Over 200,000 Wisconsin children and adults under age 40 are affected by conditions of neonatal lung disease. Improving the respiratory health of Wisconsin children requires further investigation on its causes and contributing factors in order to develop new therapies that may decrease complications of these diseases.

Through this award, investigators will aim to identify causes of pediatric lung disease to inform future therapies and outreach strategies that will improve the respiratory health of Wisconsin children.

Project Updates:

  • Discovered that a major enzyme system which maintains the energy balance in cells lining the blood vessels in the lung has decreased function when the lungs are underdeveloped, which may have an impact on diminished capacity to support the infant's oxygen needs
  • Conducted studies in preclinical models using a medication currently used for a different purpose in adults that was found to stimulate the function of the enzyme system to determine the blood levels of the medication after a single dose, metabolism of the drug, and its elimination from the body, in advance a future clinical trial Conducted stakeholder interviews which validated the importance of continuity in parent preparation to support their ability to respond to their child's respiratory health needs, real-world difficulties in getting access to clinic appointments, and limited time in the primary care setting to address the infant's complex needs
  • Developed novel tools for virtual communication with underserved families

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