Child Health Research

Goal: to improve child health and well-being through research by:

  • Establishing a network of research collaborations in child health across Signature Programs, School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing
  • Increasing the number of faculty proposing, applying for, and conducting research in child health
  • Establishing a series of structured events that showcase and support child health research
  • Supporting collaborative investigations in child health research by funding pilot projects
  • Increasing the utilization of evidence-based practices in child health programs
  • Establishing a programmatic structure that facilitates achievement of these objectives

Specific Aims

  • Focus and integrate areas of excellence in child health research by:
    • Linking with and promoting the utilization of the UNM HSC Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) resources and expertise;
    • Working closely with the UNM HSC research Strategic Planning Committee, the School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing to determine the feasibility of and resources available for the proposed objectives;
    • Encouraging and supporting faculty, residents, students and professional staff in their efforts to initiate and sustain research in child health;
    • Promoting collaboration across academic departments, Signature Programs and other institutions of higher learning;
    • Assisting investigators to seek both internal and external funding to support child health research;
    • Increasing the number of faculty proposing and/or conducting child health research;
    • Strengthening the existing infrastructure that supports research in child health across the Health Sciences Center;
    • Developing a directory of individuals performing research in child health.
  • Create an environment that proactively encourages and supports critical thinking, as well as integrative and innovative research in child health by:
    • Promoting research mentoring of faculty, residents, students and professional staff;
    • Facilitating high-quality innovative research that embodies state-of-the-art science and is responsive to the needs of children in New Mexico and the nation;
    • Holding structured events showcasing and supporting child health research, thereby increasing awareness of research resources and activities;
    • Supporting the UNM HSC’s commitment of space, time, staff support, and ‘bridge funds’ to promote research success.

Programmatic structure

Leader: The Signature Program in Child Health Research is under the direction of Kristi Watterberg, MD, Professor of Pediatrics. She is responsible for the overall leadership and oversight of the development, organization and administration of the SPCHR. With the support and involvement of the Steering Committee, she works to facilitate interactions between basic, clinical, translational and community researchers specifically as they relate to Child Health; to establish a network of Child Health researchers and other interested parties; to facilitate collaborations with other Signature Research Programs; and to achieve the aims of the Signature Program in Child Health Research.

Steering Committee: This group of individuals from programs throughout the Health Sciences Center meets on a regular basis to guide and direct the development and implementation of the SPCHR activities, to identify assets and needs, to review and fund pilot projects, and to identify issues and future directions for the Program. The steering committee welcomes the participation of interested individuals from all HSC colleges, schools and programs.

Working groups: The SPCHR will join with other interested individuals and collaborative investigators to establish working groups in areas of specific interest, such as neurodevelopment and obesity & diabetes, with the goal of facilitating the development and submission of program level projects and other grant applications.

Funded Pilot Projects since 2008

Kristel Montano, Antonia Way, Vanessa Martin; Title: Rising Rates of Insulin Resistance, Obesity and Asthma in Children: What is the Link and are there Ethnic Based Differences? Mentors: Kathleen Colleran, MD, Hengameh Raissey-Heidarian, Pharm D

Joe Livingston, MD, MPH; Title: Measuring Educational Effectiveness of Video Recording of Simulated Neonatal Resuscitation; Mentor: Renate Savich, MD

Jennifer Rael, MD; Title: Brain Imaging and Developmental Follow-up on Infants Treated with Erythropoietin “BRITE Pilot Study; Mentors: Robin Ohls, MD, John Phillips, MD

Nader P Bishara, MD; Title: Biomarkers as Predictors of Onset and Recovery from Neonatal Sepsis; Mentor: Robin Ohls, MD

Vinit Manuel, MD; Title: Quantitative Measure of Epsilon Globin Gene Expression as a Marker for Fetal Nucleic Acid in Maternal Plasa; Mentor: Robin Ohls, MD

Alexie Bakirev, MD, Title: Characterization of Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM) in Pediatric Population; Mentor: Rafael Medina-Flores, MD

Stephanie Jackson, Title: Improving Follow-up in a Cohort of Teenage Mothers; Mentor: Kristine Tollestrup, Ph.D., MPH

Peggy Maclean, MS, Title: Maternal Perception of Child Vulnerability in Preschoolers Born Preterm; Mentor: Jean Lowe, PhD

Bonnie Young, Title: Acculturation and Risk Factors for Adverse Perinatal Outcomes among Pregnant Immigrants in New Mexico; Mentor Ludmila Bakhireva, Ph.D.

Eileen Stewart, MD, Title: The Effects of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents on Cell Growth and Gene Expression; Mentors Robin Ohls & Suzanne McConaghy

Beverly Gorman, Title: Examing the Relationship between Navajo Parents’ Parenting Style and Child/Adolescent Mental Health and Well-being; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind

Julia Hess, Title Native American Parenting Styles and Child & Adolescent Well-Being; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind

Erica Montague, Title: A Longitudinal Study of Neuroimaging, Neuropsychological Function, and Functional Impairment in Young Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Mentor: Dina Hill

Trans Departmental Collaborative Grant for HSC faculty, Elizabeth Szalay, MD, Title: Vitamin D vs. Placebo in the Treatment of Vague Musculoskeletal Pain.

Robin Ohls MD. Title: Methylation in Regions of Executive Function in Developing Human Brain.

Andrew Rowland, PhD. Title: Longitudinal Study of ADHD.

Jessica Goodkind, PhD. Title: Developing Interventions for American Indian Mental Health.

Leslie Morrison, MD. Title: Modifiers of Disease Severity in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations.

Stuart Winter, MD. Title: Precursor-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL).

Jean Lowe, PhD and Sarah J. Erickson, PhD. Title: Infant/Toddler/Preschooler Mental Health and Development Study.

Amber Messier-Gieri, MD. Title: A novel transgenic mouse to study the role of HIF-1α in neonatal oligodendrogenesis.

Alexis Handal, PhD. Title: Impact of maternal work in the Ecuadorian flower industry on infant development.

Research Apprenticeship Program (piloted, 2008 – 2010, to encourage students, residents and fellows to work as apprentices to an established researcher)

Brandon Baca; Title: Child Social Success in School and Trauma; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D.

Lisabeth Iglesias-Rios; Title: Child Healthy Weight in Albuquerque: Participatory Assessment for Health Policy; Mentors: Celia Iriart, Ph.D., MPH, Tom Scharmen, MA, MPH

Kathryn Vadnais, Title: Refugee Child Mental Health; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D.

Susanne W. Duvall; Title: Cognition and executive function skills in3-4 year old children born very low birth weight; Mentor: Sarah Erickson, Ph.D.

Bonnie Young, MA; Title: Barriers towards Adequate Treatment of Chronic Maternal Disorders during Pregnancy and the effect of Under-treatment on Adverse Neonatal Outcomes; Mentor Ludmila Bakhireva, MD, Ph.D, MPH

Amanda Harris, Title: Adolescent Committed to Improve of Nutrition and Physical Activity; Mentor: Alberta Kong, MD, MPH

Carla Roybal, Title: Health Council Evaluation; Mentors: Victoria Sanchez, Dr. PH and Nina Wallerstein, DPh

Umar Malik, Title: Neurotropic effects of erythopoiesis stimulating agents in the developing human brain; Mentors: Robin Ohls, MD & Suzanne McConaghy

Carolyn Montoya, Title: Adolescents Committed to Improvement of Nutrition and Physical Activity (ACTION); Mentors: Alberta Kong, MD, MPH, Andrew Sussman, Ph.D., Beth Tigges, Ph.D., Marie Lobo, Ph.D.

Michaela Brown, Title: The Relationship of Hope and Enculturation to Psychological Well-being in Resettled African Refugee Children Post Migration; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D.

Maddie Ikeda, Title: Qualitative Research on Iraqi Refugee Children’s Mental Health and Post Resettlement Needs; Mentor Deborah Altschul, Ph.D., &Brian Iskenson , Ph.D.

Mandira Felvebel, Title: What do faces tell you? Social understanding in 7-12 year old children; Mentor Mark Pedrotty, MD

Shannon Kinkead, Title: Acute and Long Term Neurocognitive Impairment Associated with Chemotherapy and Whole Brain Radiotherapy for Children Treated for Leukemia (CCG105 NP); Mentor: Robert Annett, Ph.D.

Hannah Bloom, Title: Educational needs of children with systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma) and their parents; Mentors: Janet Poole, Ph.D, & Cindy Mendelson, Ph.D.

Julissa De La Torre, Title: Predictors of Refugee children’s wellbeing an exploration of age of displacement and age of resettlement; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D.

Danielle Parker, Title: Examining African Refugee Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being Strengths, Needs and Public Policy; Mentor: Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D

Meredith Barr, Title: Attention network training in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; Mentor: P.W. Kodituwakku

Alyssa Dye, Title: Effects of erythropoiesis stimulating agents in the developing human retina; Mentors: Robin Ohls & Suzanne McConaghy

Robin Leinwand, Title: Motor learning and skill acquisition in children with cerebral palsy Phase II: CHAMPS: Child Health Acquiring Motor Performance Skills; Mentors: Pat Burtner, Katherine Sullivan and Shailesh Kantak

Matthew Nelson, Title: Health, Wellness, and Mixed Methods: Examining Refugee Child and Family Dynamics via Quantitative and Qualitative Approache;, Mentors: Jessica Goodkind & Julia Hess

3x5x5 Events since 2008 (3 short presentations at each event, followed by small group discussions to generate new ideas and collaborations across departments, programs and colleges)

Richard Krueger, Pediatrics, “Aggrecan Down-regulates NOTCH Signaling in the Brain: Implications for Human Disease”

Dan Savage, Neurosciences, “Programmatic Research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder“

Andrew Rowland, Family Community Medicine, “Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Progress and Prospects for Building a Research Agenda”

Erika Fernandez, Pediatrics, “Adrenal function in critically ill term newborn infants”

Julie Stevens, Neurosciences, “Looking for a neurophysiological marker of Autism Spectrum Disorders in infants and toddlers”

David Graber, Psychiatry, “Early-Onset Psychosis”

Rob Annett, Pediatrics, “National Children’s Study, UNM HSC and Valencia County Partnership”

Marie Lobo/Patricia Marshik, CON, “Fiscal Burdens & Resource Gaps of Children with Chronic Pulmonary Conditions”

Janet Broody, Oregon Research Institute Center for Family and Adolescent Research, “Challenges and Successes Treating Adolescent Substance use Disorders”

PW Kodituwakku, Pediatrics, “Manual sequencing in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders”

Akshay Sood, Medicine, “Association of Adiposity and Asthma - Advancing the field forward”

Robin Ohls, Pediatrics, “Collaborative Studies of Fetal Development”

Jean Lowe, Pediatrics, “Developmental Outcome Studies of Children Born Preterm: Going Beyond the Bayley Scales”

Hengameh Raissy, Pediatrics, “Pediatric Asthma Studies”

Jessica Goodkind, Pediatrics, “Community-Based Mental Health Research to Promote Social Justice and Children’s Health”

Brandon Baca, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “The Effects of Duration in Refugee Camp on the Coping Skills and Internal Resilience of African Refugee Children”

Pat Burtner, Pediatrics/ OT, “One Hand or Two for the Child with Hmeiplegia?: The Effectiveness of Constraint Induced Movement Therapy”

Ludmila Bakhireva, COP & FCM, “Quality of Intimate Relationships, Paternal Drinking Habits, & Acculturation as Predictors of Maternal Drinking in Pregnancy”

Bonnie N Young, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Disparity in Provider Communication among Pregnant Latinas”

Rex Jung, MRN, “A Convergence of Creativity and Schizophrenia in the Brain”

Jennifer Taylor-Cousar, Medicine, “The Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Network and CF Clinical Research at UNM”

Mark Burge, Medicine, “Hypoglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes”

Beth Tigges, Nursing, “I'm Never Going to Get Pregnant Like Her”: Psychometric Properties of the Social Comparison Motives Scale

Craig Wong, Pediatrics, “The Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Prospective Cohort Study”

Susanne Duvall, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Exploring Executive Function Within Preschoolers Born Preterm and VLBW”

Rebecca Rogers, OB GYN & SOM Surgery, “Alterations in the Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy and the Ensuing Years; What Happens to Pelvic Floor Function after Delivery? (APPLE)”

Lance Chilton, Pediatrics, Young Children’s Health Center, “Keeping Kids in School: Immunization to Prevent Influenza”

Katie Vadnais, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “A Qualitative Exploration of the Effectiveness of Mutual learning and Advocacy in a Mental Health Intervention Model with African Refugee Children and Adolescents”

Alberta Kong, Pediatrics, CTSC Scholar, “School-based Health Center Intervention Study for Behavioral Management of Overweight Adolescents “

Amanda Harris, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Formative Assessment of High Schools in Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes”

Jeanne Dalen, ORI, “Evaluation of a Mindfulness-Based Treatment for Dietary Change”

Theresa Cruz, Prevention Research Center, Pediatrics, “Acculturation and the Risk of Violence among Hispanic/Latino Youth”

Julia Hess, Prevention Research Center, Pediatrics, “Research on Youth and Migration: Implications of Ethnographic Perspectives for Promoting Health and Well-being”

Alexis Handal, Master of Public Health, Family Community Medicine, “Impact of Maternal Occupation in the Ecuadorian Flower Industry on Child Development”

William Garver, Biochemistry Molecular Biology, “The Niemann-Pick C1 Gene is Associated with Weight Gain and the Metabolic Syndrome”

Hannah Bloom, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Educational Needs of Children with Scleroderma and their Parents”

Stuart Winter, Pediatrics Hematology Oncology, “Targeted Therapies Against Lymphocyte Signaling Pathways in Childhood Leukemia”

Richard Campbell, Psych Neuropsychology Pediatrics, “An Investigation of Sports Concussion in UNM Athletes”

Stephanie Jackson, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Improving Follow-up in a Cohort of Teenage Mothers”

Kristi Watterberg, Division of Neonatology, “Progress Through Collaboration: The Story of the Neonatal Research Network”

J. Deane Waldman, Pediatrics, Pathology “Dx and Effective Rx of sick...Healthcare”

Peggy C. MacLean, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Maternal Perception of Child Vulnerability in Preschooler Born Very Low Birth Weight”

H. William Kelly, Pediatrics Administration Division, “The Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP): What Have we Learned Over the Past 17 Years?”

Leslie Morrison, Neurology Child and Pediatrics, “Is Lesion Permeability the Culprit in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations?”

Matthew Nelson, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “A Mixed Method Investigation of Familial Stressors Among Recently Relocated Iraqi Refugee Children in the United States”

Danielle Parker, SPCHR Apprenticeship Awardee, “Examining African Refugee Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being: Strengths, Needs and their Implications for Research and Intervention”

Robert Thomas, MIND Institute, “Adolescent Neurodevelopment and Alcohol”

Sally Davis, PhD, Professor, Department of Peds., C.H.I.L.E.: A RCT for the Prevention of Obesity in Preschool Children

Hengameh Heidarian-Raissy, Pharm D, Pediatric Asthma Research

Amber Messier-Gieri, MD, Fellow, Pediatrics/Neonatology, Neural Stem Cells: A Potental Role in CNS Repair Following Premature Brain Injury

Cosette Wheeler, PhD, Professor, Department of Pathology, HPV Vaccination- Past, Present and Future

Kristi Watterberg, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Adrenal Function and Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes After Extremely Preterm Birth

Andrew Mayer, PhD, MIND Institute, Advanced Neuroimaging Following Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Theresa Cruz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Prevention Research Cntr., Prescription Drug Abuse: A Systems Model

Alberta Kong, MD, Associate Professor, Dept of Peds., ACTION PAC: Adolescents Committed to Improvement of Nutrition and Physical Activity

Craig Wong, MD, Associate Professor of Peds Nephrology, eHealth Initiative for Improving Outcomes for CKD