Research

Mitchell B. Cohen, MD

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This has been an exciting year for Children’s of Alabama and the UAB Department of Pediatrics. Our research report details our accomplishments by division.   

In the Department of Pediatrics, we seek to discover new knowledge to improve the health of the children of Alabama, the region, and the world. The clinical advances and research discoveries we describe here have a direct impact on children’s lives. That impact will be our legacy. We present in this report evidence of this impact as measured by major research accomplishments, grants, publications, and awards. In FY 2016, the Department of Pediatrics faculty had over 230 publications, research funding from the NIH of $17.5 million (placing us 12th among all Departments of Pediatrics in the United States), and total research funding of $29.8 million. This represents the third straight year of rising in the research rankings of Departments of Pediatrics.

In addition to these accomplishments, our focus on safety and quality is always paramount. This year, we reduced the number of serious safety events at Children’s of Alabama by 78%. For the 8th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Children’s pediatric specialty services among the top 50 in the nation. Eight (8) specialties were ranked: Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Pulmonology and Urology. Expanding our reach in Developmental Pediatrics, the Civitan-Sparks Clinics joined the Department with clinics including Child Development, Behavioral Assessment, Psychoeducational, Medical Autism, and Sparks Pediatrics. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Orthopedics at Children’s worked together to standardize care for adolescent spinal fusion patients resulting in shorter hospital stays and cost savings of more than $800,000. This won a Pediatric Quality Award from the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).

We aim to build on these successes and expand the size and, importantly, the impact of this research in the coming years. We anticipate growth not only in our core areas of significant accomplishment – virology, therapeutic drug development, cancer, and rheumatology outcomes – but also in newer areas where the recruitment of talented young researchers will ensure continued and expanded success. Toward this end, the UAB Department of Pediatrics established the Pediatric Research Office (PRO), which became fully functional this year. The PRO, led by David Kimberlin, MD, seeks to dramatically assist pediatric investigators in the design, conduct, and analysis of research. This in turn allows our physician scientists to focus on the science of the research while relying on the highly skilled PRO staff to assist with the regulatory, biostatistical, data management, and other components key to the successful conduct of pediatric investigation. In the last year, the PRO has assisted with more than 248 projects. This year, we will open a new Children’s Hospital Research Unit (CHRU) at Children’s of Alabama to serve as space to see subjects involved in clinical and translational research. And we will invest in people and programs to fuel new discoveries; we are supporting the careers of pediatric investigators who will discover new knowledge and help us change the outcome for the children of Alabama. 
 
Children’s is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, clinical, research, and residency programs. Together Children’s of Alabama and the UAB Department of Pediatrics will continue to build the world class programs that will improve the future for the children of Alabama, the Southeast, and the world.

Mitchell B. Cohen, MD
Katharine Reynolds Ireland Professor
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Physician in Chief, Children’s of Alabama



Download the 2016 Department of Pediatrics
Research Annual Report
Mike K. Chen, MD

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This has been an exciting and productive year for Children’s of Alabama and the Pediatric Surgical subspecialties. This research report details these accomplishments by division. Significant contributions have been made by our faculty toward the improvement of care in children with surgical disease whether this is through research, teaching, national leadership positions, or contributions to global health. Our faculty have successfully obtained over $1.5 million in research funding and have produced many important peer-reviewed publications.

The research projects and publications described below have a significant impact on how we care for our pediatric patients and these efforts from each division should be commended. We hope to continue to build on the successes of this research in an effort to improve the clinical care for our patients.

Mike K. Chen, MD
Farley Endowed Chair
Professor of Surgery
Surgeon-in-Chief, Children’s of Alabama
Director, Division of Pediatric Surgery
Department of Surgery
UAB School of Medicine



Download the 2016 Department of Pediatric
Surgery Research Annual Report