Pediatric Specialty Research

Department of Pediatrics faculty conduct medical research in a broad spectrum of specialized areas in order to understand the cause, progression and health outcomes of childhood diseases.

Pediatrics specialists in the Division of Adolescent Medicine perform a wide variety of research projects encompassing multiple disciplines. Areas of research include Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and HPV Vaccine, sexually transmitted illnesses, health care access for youth, eating disorders, and long-term effects of illness and recovery on youth. Adolescent medicine investigators have been successful at translating knowledge gleaned from research into improved health care delivery practices and health care policy. Adolescent Medicine faculty direct the IU School of Medicine’s Center for HPV Research, a collaboration of multiple departments.

The Child Development team at IU School of medicine performs a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects.  This team of pediatric specialty researchers is exploring autism spectrum disorders, care coordination for children with special health care needs, factors associated with pediatric vaccination hesitancy, evaluation of CDC training materials, reflective practice and supervision, and factors effecting early childhood development – including trauma, parental incarceration, access to quality day care, and foster care.  Child Development investigators have successfully used knowledge gleaned from research to inform treatment options and health care policy.

Faculty in the Division of Developmental Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine participate in clinical and systems research. Opportunities to collaborate with researchers exist in all departments within the IU School of Medicine. Collaborative research programs include studies in injury prevention, Down syndrome, automotive safety, spina bifida and systems-based research in infant growth and development hubs, early evaluation autism care and care-coordination programs.

Children’s Health Services Research is the research arm of General and Community Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. The group’s primary areas of research are information technology, health policy and advocacy, vulnerable populations, and global pediatrics and HIV, focusing on the diverse issues that affect children, health care and health care providers. Nationally and internationally recognized for research excellence and contributions to policy decisions surrounding children and health care issues, Children’s Health Services Research brings together faculty investigators from multiple pediatric sections and partners with Regenstrief Institute, a leader in informatics research, to positively affect pediatric health outcomes.

The Division of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine includes a talented group of faculty investigators conducting clinical, basic, global and translational research. The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and the Pediatric Translational Research Center at Riley Children’s Hospital provide space and resources for researchers conducting studies in collaborative multi-center clinical trials, neurodevelopmental follow-up and quality improvement endeavors.

The Division of Pediatric Cardiology at IU School of Medicine is associated with the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, where two major areas of research are cardiac developmental biology and cardiovascular genetics. The work of cardiology researchers at IU School of Medicine is focused on understanding why congenital or acquired heart defects occur and how they lead to abnormal heart function. By gaining a thorough understanding of these processes, investigators can develop new therapies to treat and prevent heart disease in children.

Primary areas of research for the Section of Pediatric Critical Care are the relationship between critical care delivery and patient outcomes, quality improvement measures, all issues in ICU care, blood product utilization, pediatric sedation, respiratory failure in the immunocompromised and the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology is engaged in clinical and basic science research in the areas of diabetes, bone disorders, reproductive endocrinology and molecular endocrinology. Diabetes research is one area of focus at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research, where investigators work to understand the biology and molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children.

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at IU School of Medicine participates in research related to inflammatory bowel disease, eosinophilic disorders, gastrointestinal motility, liver disease, celiac disease and nutrition. Faculty investigators participate in clinical trials, large multi-center studies, and evidence-based outcomes research that translate into improved care for pediatric gastrointestinal patients. The group is part of Improve Care Now, a network of clinicians, researchers, parents and patients dedicated to quality improvement and transformational health care for children with inflammatory bowel disease.

The Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is closely aligned with the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, where two major areas of research are hematologic malignancies and stem cell biology and molecular oncology and experimental therapeutics. Faculty are involved in Pilot and Phase 1 clinical trials research with the national corsortium Children’s Oncology Group.

The Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease and Global Health at IU School of Medicine is a national leader in research focused on global pediatric infectious disease. Research explores malaria and HIV, infections that are among the leading causes of death and disability in children worldwide.

Faculty in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at Indiana University School of Medicine participate in clinical, basic science, and translational studies in Indiana and nationwide. The team’s clinical research portfolio includes studies for children with chronic kidney disease, glomerular disease, immunizations in children with kidney transplants or chronic kidney disease, novel therapies for nephrotic syndrome, children with complement disorders, and hypertension. Additionally, faculty investigators in this pediatric specialty area have a robust basic and translational science program that includes leading-edge programs, including personalized medicine genetic approaches for children with urinary tract infections, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract, and urinary stones.

The Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine is engaged in basic, translational and clinical research. Specific areas of focus within the section include allergic diseases, cystic fibrosis, asthma, lung growth, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and sleep disorders and specialized physiologic testing.

Science is advancing rapidly in the field of pediatric rheumatology due to improved understanding of the mechanisms of inflammation and the development of new medications to treat once debilitating or life-threatening diseases. The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology within IU School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics is active in basic, clinical and translational research related to the causes, mechanisms and treatments of childhood rheumatic disease. Patients have the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical trials for new medications. Rheumatology faculty are members of the two major clinical research networks in the field: the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance and the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group—both of which manage large, multi-center studies focused on comparative efficacy and clinical trials.