New This Week
New UBC research reveals a safe path to overcoming food allergies for older children and others who can’t risk consuming allergens orally to build up their resistance.
It’s called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), and it involves placing smaller amounts of food allergens under the tongue.
A study conducted by UBC clinical professor and pediatric allergist Dr. Edmond Chan and his team at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute found SLIT to be as safe and effective for high-risk older children and adolescents as oral immunotherapy is for preschoolers.
“Our work confirms the safety and effectiveness of SLIT for older children and adolescents with multiple food allergies at higher risk of severe reaction,” said Dr. Chan. “These are patients for whom oral immunotherapy would typically be denied because it’s felt to be too risky, so this could be the best approach for that population.” MORE
Cross-posted with permission.
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Dr. Loucks and her team are the recipients of a Canadian Cancer Society 2023 Challenge Grant (CHA-24) for their project, “Better pain management for children with cancer.”
This project will analyze genetic patterns that may influence how children with cancer respond to pain medication. DNA from samples donated by children with cancer and their families will be compared to the data of children who did and did not experience painful side effects from their cancer treatments.
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Did you know that in babies, the right combo of gut bacteria might stave off later allergies, so scientists are testing “cocktails” of helpful microbes as therapy?
In infancy the gut microbiomes of children who later develop allergies or asthma look different from those of children who don’t go on to have allergies. “Children who are at the highest risk are missing important health-promoting bacteria in that first year of life,” says Stuart Turvey, a pediatric immunologist at the University of British Columbia and British Columbia Children’s Hospital.
In a study of more than 1,100 children published in 2023, Turvey and his colleagues found that children who had these microbiome disruptions at age one were more likely to be diagnosed with eczema, food allergies, allergic rhinitis or asthma at age five. “Not every kid gets all four [diagnoses], but often the kids who had two or more had a more pronounced microbiome imbalance signature,” he says.
Another type of bacteria that has a positive effect on humans is Bifidobacterium infantis, which eats sugars in breast milk and is more abundant in some children who are breastfed. B. infantis was once common in people’s guts but is much less so now in Western countries. “Only 16 percent of Canadian kids have this, and rates are lower in the U.S.,” Turvey says. Among youngsters who had to have antibiotics in infancy, the presence of B. infantis protected them against developing asthma by age five, Turvey’s studies have shown.
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Congratulations to Dr. Christine Voss, and her co-investigators Drs. Erica V Bennett, UBC School of Kinesiology, Kevin Harris and Trent Smith, Dept of Pediatrics!
They received a CIHR New Investigator Grant for their project entitled, “Physical activity and the clinical management of chronic diseases in children.”
Their project, “Drawing Attention to an Invisible Injury: Increasing Awareness and Reducing the Burden of Concussion among Workers and Workplaces in British Columbia,” looks at the potential long term impacts of concussion, particularly if not managed properly.
Congratulations to Dr. Jen Mooney, members of the Adolescent Health and Medicine Fellowship Program, BCCH and the Surrey Wraparound Program (WRAP).
Their project, “The WRAP Youth Clinic: Expanding our Current Community Partnership to Meet the Identified Needs of an Underserved Population” was awarded funding from the UBC Partnership Recognition and Exploration (PRE) Fund.
“The WRAP clinic has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my fellowship. This is a collaborative clinic with the Surrey Wraparound Program that provides Adolescent Medicine care to marginalized youth. The PRE Grant allowed us to engage as a team and learn from each other, improve our current clinic, and begin to build a vision for our future.” – Dr. Jen Mooney MD, FRCPC
Dr. Mooney is a second-year Fellow in Adolescent Health and Medicine and she collaborated on this educational training partnership with The Surrey Wraparound Program (WRAP), which is a partnership between the Surrey School District, RCMP and the City of Surrey to fill a gap in adolescent health care in Surrey.
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It is with great pleasure that we announce that Dr. Michelle Demos, Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics has been appointed as the Interim Head for the Division of Neurology effective June 1st, 2023.
Dr. Demos is a Pediatric Neurologist and Neurogeneticist who has been with the department since 2007. In her new position, she brings a wealth of leadership experience stemming from her various roles as the Clinical Genomics Director for the Division of Neurology, and as an active member of the T6 Quality Care Committee, the Biobank Committee, the Pediatric Neurology Residency Training Committee, and the Medical Genetics Residency Training Committee.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mary Connolly for leading the Division of Neurology from 2004 to June 2023.
Under her leadership, Dr. Connolly helped to grow the core team to eighteen neurologists, two PhD imaging scientists and a research team of six research assistants and a director of research.
Effective Jan 1, 2024, Dr. Thiviya Selvanathan joined the division as a pediatric neurologist with additional subspecialty training in Neonatal Neurology. She completed her residency and fellowship training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Lastly, we would like to thank Dr. Paul Webb, who will be covering for Dr. Jonny Smith until July and Dr. Djurdja Djordjevic will locum for Dr. Shafina Sachedina until the end of the year.
Congratulations to Drs. Tim Oberlander, Matt Carwana, Katelyn Boerner and Gregor Reid. Their projects were funded in the CIHR 2023 Fall Competition!
Principal Investigators: Charissa Patricelli (Family Practice); Timothy Oberlander (Pediatrics)
UBC Faculty of Medicine Co-Applicants: Vilte Barakauskas (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) Katelynn Boerner and Matthew Carwana (Pediatrics)
Project Grant – PA: Research in First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis Health
Principal Investigator: Gregor Reid (Pediatrics)
Project Grant – Priority Announcement: Early Detection/Cancer Prevention
Staff and faculty will compete against each other and other UBC teams in this engaging challenge that promotes regular fitness in social settings.
Congratulations to Drs. Jaime Guzman, David Cabral, Kristin Houghton, Kimberly Morishita, Lori Tucker, Stuart Turvey and the Canadian Alliance of Pediatric Rheumatology Investigators (CAPRI). Their study, “A decade of progress in juvenile idiopathic arthritis treatments and outcomes in Canada: results from ReACCh-Out and the CAPRI registry” was included in the Top 10 Research Advances of 2023 by The Arthritis Society of Canada. MORE
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