Children's Center for Neurosciences Research Awards Funding for New Studies

Emory+Children's Pediatric Research Center provides grants to innovate pediatric neuroscience care

ATLANTA (May 2012) – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced today that the Emory+Children’s Pediatric Research Center, a partnership between Children’s  and Emory University,  awarded funding for upcoming clinical research under the new Children's Center for Neurosciences Research. Focusing on innovating care for neurosciences patients, the center collaborates with lead academic and medical institutions to discover preventative, diagnostic and wellness strategies for children with serious medical illnesses or challenges.   The studies range from the use of brain imaging for return to play following a concussion to a genetic study of spastic paraplegia.

"It is a privilege for our neurosciences research center to provide support for these studies," said Ton de Grauw, M.D., Chief of Neurosciences at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurology in the Department of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. "Through these research initiatives, we are taking strides to advance medicine and improve the quality of treatment for patients with neurological conditions."

The following selected studies will be conducted through collaborative efforts that will lead to sustainable multi-investigator research programs, new grants, and important new discoveries related to our pediatric mission in producing innovative advances in child health research: 

  • Targeting the PI3K Signaling Cascade: A Therapeutic Approach to Fragile X Syndrome:  A study to examine how a specific molecular complex may function as a promising therapeutic strategy for Fragile X and other forms of autism. Gary J. Bassell, Ph.D., Emory University; Christina Gross, Ph.D., Emory University; Shannon Gourley, Ph.D., Emory University
  • Defining the Role of BAI1 Deficiency in Medulloblastoma Tumorigenesis (Cancer): A study examining the function of BAI1, which is known to inhibit blood vessel formation, in brain tumor formation, and the efficacy of strategies to augment its expression as novel treatments for medulloblastoma, the most common aggressive brain tumor of children. Robert Castellino, M.D., Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s and Emory University; Erwin G. Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University
  • Sports Related Concussion: A Comparison of Advanced Neuroimaging and Neurocognitive Factors Predicting Return to Play Decisions: A study that analyzes both cognitive and physiological factors to predict the outcome of concussions and help identify the safest time for athletes to return to playing sports.  Thomas Burns, Psy.D., ABPP/CN, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Laura Hayes, M.D., Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Richard Jones, Ph.D., Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University; Tricia King, Ph.D., Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology; Binjian Sun, Ph.D., Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Molecular and Genetic Analysis of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias: A study to investigate the relationship between genes affected in hereditary spastic paraplegia, a devastating genetic disease. Victor Faundez, M.D., Ph.D., Emory University; Elizabeth R. Wright, Ph.D., Emory University; Nicolas S. Krawiecki, M.D., Emory University
  • A Cellular Developmental Approach to Treating Adolescent-onset Depression: A study to examine the impact of stress on the adolescent prefrontal cortex and the therapeutic properties of pharmacologic agents that may be used for adolescents, who are more vulnerable than adults to treatment-resistant depression.  Shannon Gourley, Ph.D., Emory University; Kerry Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., Emory University

Research efforts will be conducted under the Children's Center for Neurosciences Research. This center is part of the Emory+Children’s Pediatric Research Center led by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University, including partnerships with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse School of Medicine. With the leadership of Paul Spearman, MD, Children’s Chief Research Officer and vice chair for research in the Emory University Department of Pediatrics, 13 key priority centers have been identified. These are the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center; Children’s Center for Immunology and Vaccines; Children’s Center for Transplant Immunology and Immune Therapeutics; Children’s Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation; Children’s Center for Cystic Fibrosis; Children’s Center for Developmental Lung Biology; Children’s Center for Cardiovascular Biology; Children’s Center for Drug Discovery; Marcus Autism Center; Children’s Center for Neurosciences; Children’s Center for Nanomedicine; Children’s Center for Outcomes Research and Public Health; and Children’s Center for Clinical and Translational research.

Visit to learn more about Children's Neurosciences research efforts.

For more information:
General Contact
Children's PR Team 

Chrissie Gallentine
Senior Public Relations Coordinator 

About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit for more information.

Tags: General News, Neurosciences
Published: Tuesday, May 01, 2012