Kentucky Pediatric Research Institute
Taylor of Berea is interested in research and how it can help kids who have gastroenterology problems as she does.
The newly created Kentucky Pediatric Research Institute targets the eradication of childhood diseases by leveraging the strengths of the University of Kentucky and our medical specialists. The new Institute will eventually have six research cores, all requiring endowments and chairs. Each chair endowment costs $2 million. Interest income from endowed chairs provides annual funding in perpetuity to support the work of outstanding teachers, researchers and physicians. Some research-related endowed chair gifts have been matched dollar-for-dollar by The Commonwealth of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund (RCTF). Please consider joining us in our efforts to eradicate childhood diseases through financial support of the Kentucky Pediatric Research Institute.
Kentucky Pediatric Research Institute Cores
Diabetes and Obesity
Several statistics for diabetes are daunting for Kentuckians:
- The risk of death for a person with diabetes is about twice that of a person the same age without the disease.
- The incidence of adult-type diabetes in children in Kentucky has increased in recent years.
- Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in Kentucky.
- Health care costs related to diabetes annually exceed two billion dollars in our state.
The Barnstable-Brown endowed chair in the Kentucky Pediatric Research Institute led directly to a nationally renowned basic research program. The Diabetes Research Core annually brings in research funding from the National Institutes of Health that is more than five-fold the original endowment.
Researchers in molecular pediatrics work to diagnose childhood diseases at the genetic level. Researchers are able to use the information about the genetic cause to develop treatments. The potential exists for prevention or cure of currently untreatable diseases.
Blair of Winchester and Rachel of Versailles understand the need for research and the importance of finding cures for pediatric diseases.
Pediatric Health Policy
An effective children's hospital must focus as much on the prevention of illness and injury as on the treatment of sick and injured children. Scholarship in health policy decisions and coordination with government and private funding sources is needed to maximize the benefit for the health and safety of children.
Pediatric Inflammatory Biology
Inflammation caused or made worse by an over-exuberant response of the white cells is central to many devastating pediatric problems including arthritis, allergies, nephritis (kidney inflammation), gastroenteritis (intestinal inflammation), hepatitis (liver inflammation), carditis (heart inflammation) and allergic forms of pneumonia. Laboratory and clinical research to improve our understanding of white cells are keys to the prevention and treatment of these and other pediatric disorders.
Taylor served as Kentucky's representative on the Champions Across America tour for Children's Miracle Network. She and her family encourage and inspire others to support children's hospitals.
Pediatric Clinical Research
The effort to improve the quality of care for children requires both a careful recording of outcomes and an honest questioning of the treatment approaches currently assumed to be the best. Data from population and clinical studies of Kentucky children will help us understand why the rates for the youth of Kentucky are disproportionately high in childhood obesity, youth smoking, drug-sampling behaviors, low immunization rates and accident-prone behaviors. Other less apparent factors may put the children of Kentucky at risk for early death, disease or disability. These factors will not be identified without research.
Approximately 150 Kentucky kids are diagnosed with cancer each year. Kentucky children have a greater proportion of new solid malignancy cancer cases than anywhere else in the United States. Our Children's Cancer Center is one of the larger and more successful treatment centers in the United States. Our physicians work closely with the National Institutes of Health and the national Children's Oncology Group to develop new treatments.
Other Pediatric Priority Programs
Adolescent medicine, autism care and research, youth suicide prevention, developmental disorders and care for children with chronic disabilities are among the other highly valued programs at the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Children's Hospital. Optimal service to the community is constrained by limited financial resources. Development of new programs for patient care and research programs will require additional sources of support.