UVA Children's celebrates Research Day
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Doctors and scientists came together for Research Day to appreciate all that they’ve accomplished over the last year.
“We are researching forms of therapy like what is called CAR T-cell to fight cancer. Creating special models where we can visualize the cells using fluorescent proteins. As you can see, we can tell which cell is which based on its color,” said Ariel Gomez, the Director of the Child Health Research Center for the University of Virginia Health System.
This new technology, which has taken off in the last year, helps doctors see which cells are good, and which ones they need to get rid of.
This will impact the way doctors can diagnose things like kidney disease and high blood pressure in children.
Mark DeBoer, a pediatric endocrinologist, shared how his research has impacted thousands of children.
“So I work with a research group here at UVA that designed a new algorithm to run an insulin pump that automates insulin delivery for children,” he said.
DeBoer says it started out as a dream 12 years ago. He says through research, the dream has come to life.
“That’s what Research Day is about, is trying to do the unimaginable and come up with ways to improve care,” he said.
Now 10,000 children nationwide use this technology that was developed at UVA.
“We just finished a study looking at how this technology works in children two to five years old. That part is not yet FDA-approved, but because of the study we did, it will become FDA-approved any day now,” he said.
Other researchers are looking at how COVID impacted children with severe asthma, by comparing children who tested positive for COVID to children who never tested positive but all of whom have severe asthma.
“We thought, well, the children who had COVID are going to have more antibodies to it, of course. We didn’t find that. We found that children who never even knew they had COVID have very high antibody titers,” said Dr. Gerald Teague, Professor of Pediatrics at UVA.
To finish this research, doctors need more children without asthma to compare. They hope to have more answers by Research Day next year.