A P u b L Ic AT I o n o f T he R e s ea Rc h I ns T I T u T e aT n aT I o nwI d e c hI l dRe n’s ho sp I Tal
A Day in the Life of
The ReseARch InsTITuTe
A crescent moon appears
above Research Building II
as dawn breaks on a beautiful
Ohio Tuesday morning.
fALL / WI nTeR 2008
research is dedicated to the
mission of informing and inspiring
Twenty-four hours from now, Nationwide Children’s Hospital readers by highlighting scientific
will not be the same hospital it is at this moment. Knowledge performance at The Research Institute
will grow. Possibilities will emerge. Enthusiasm will escalate. at nationwide children’s hospital.
Lives will be changed through discovery. This publication is produced
biannually by the Marketing and
Public Relations Department at
As the research engine of Nationwide Children’s, The Research
nationwide children’s hospital.
Institute is a key contributor to this daily transformation. Each
day begins with a sense of excitement and mission. Innovative
experiments are conceived and carried out by our research teams,
data are collected and careful analyses are conducted. Data are
collaboratively shared among faculty, staff and students. We
strive for exciting conclusions, but sometimes more questions
arise than answers. We persevere, stubbornly emboldened by the
l e a d e Rs hI p
potential that scientific inquiry will lead to better health for The Research Institute at
nationwide children’s hospital
children and their families. The beat goes on.
John a. Barnard, Md
In this issue of reSearch, we provide you with snapshots of a
reSearch lauren o. Bakaletz, phd
Vice President, Basic Sciences Research
“typical Tuesday” in a day in the life of The Research Institute.
Kelly Kelleher, Md, Mph
Through this photographic timeline, we hope you will appreciate Vice President, Health Services Research
william e. smoyer, Md
the heart and soul of one of the top pediatric research centers in Vice President, Clinical and Translational Research
the United States. Grant Morrow III, Md
daniel R. Mann
Vice President, Research Administration
Katherine s. Milem
Vice President, Research Business Services
John Barnard, MD Writer and editor
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Art Directors
Professor of Pediatrics Tanya Burgess Bender
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Manager, Research communications
contact us at
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 1
FocusInG on FIRsT-RaTe FacIlITIes
Phil Bowers helps Mary Connell from
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pour
off excess liquid nitrogen from shipping
containers holding tissue samples that are
being sent to Boston.
As facilities manager at The Research
Institute, Bowers begins his work day
at 6 a.m. and spends his early hours
walking through and “waking up” the
research buildings. Bowers checks for alarms,
notes equipment problems and performs
safety checks. By the time he completes his
rounds he will have covered every floor in
the 300,000 square feet of research space,
trekking through more than 90 labs.
2 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
This Tuesday is like every other weekday in the Biopathology
Center. Staff members receive between 20 and 40 FedEx
packages containing pediatric and adult cancer samples
from hospitals all across North America. After the samples
are unpacked, they are entered into a detailed, secure
database. Tissue samples are prepared for digital microscopy
and shared with other national experts using a virtual
microscope. Some samples are carefully catalogued for storage
in a liquid nitrogen freezer, while others undergo clinical
testing to help make vital cancer treatment decisions.
The Biopathology Center is funded by the National Cancer
Institute and serves as the data repository for cancer samples
from more than 500 hospitals. Specimens from this Center are
used for cancer research in institutions worldwide. Because of
the Biopathology Center, The Research Institute at Nationwide
Children’s Hospital receives more grant funds from the
Children’s Oncology Group than any other national program.
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 3
FRoM BedsIde To Bench and BacK aGaIn
Dr. W. Joshua Frazier is both a researcher in the Center for Perinatal Research and a critical care clinician at Nationwide
Children’s. Shown here in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, (top), Dr. Frazier facilitates patient rounds and discusses clinical
cases with colleagues.
Under the mentorship of Dr. Yusen Liu, Dr. Frazier is studying septic shock, a condition he has seen affect many of his critical
care patients. Using mouse models of sepsis and septic shock, Dr. Frazier measures markers and pathways of inflammation with
hopes of identifying key molecular interactions that will lead to improved treatment of critically ill children.
4 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
MIndInG The MedIa
Dr. Lara McKenzie, a faculty member in the Center for Injury Research and Policy, prepares for an interview with ABC’s Good
Morning America regarding her diving injury research. Later this same week, Dr. McKenzie would provide interviews to additional
media outlets including USA Today and U.S.News & World Report.
Collectively, the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s garners millions of media impressions annually.
10:16 a.M. 10:35 a.M.
execuTIve exchanGe calIBRaTInG a cRITIcal coRe ResouRce
President of The Research Institute Dr. John Barnard, Dave Dunaway calibrates a flow cytometer, a highly sophisti-
(right), meets with Nationwide Children’s Chief Operating cated instrument used for identifying and sorting cells. Dave
Officer Rick Miller and other hospital administrators during places colored beads in the flow cytometer to mimic cells and
a facilities meeting. Dr. Barnard regularly meets with evaluates the accuracy of the machine’s four lasers by studying
hospital administration to discuss activities at The Research color graphs produced on his computer monitor.
Institute, including details regarding Research Building III,
The Flow Cytometry Core is one of 13 Shared Research Services
soon to break ground.
at The Research Institute. Scientists are charged a users fee,
creating a cost efficient way to keep state-of-the-art technology
available to all the scientists at The Research Institute.
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 5
10:45 a.M. 11:00 a.M.
FacIlITaTInG FInance and FundInG assIsTInG The assIsTanTs
Director of Sponsored Projects, Aaron Ufferman, Roy Goudy of Research Information Services helps Administrative
works at his desk. Behind him appears a monthly list Assistant Char Cameron sign onto a training program used to
of upcoming grant applications for faculty under his update faculty biographical sketches on The Research Institute’s
purview. The Finance and Sponsored Projects Internet site. The Research Institute’s overhead provides
Department supports grant and contract funding outstanding administrative and information technology
from the start of a search for funding through the support for its scientists.
closeout of a project.
11:15 a.M. noon
cRoss-caMpus collaBoRaTIon shuTTlInG BeTween sITes
Ohio State University residents, Drs. John Novak and W. In 2007, Nationwide Children’s began a shuttle
David Arnold, prepare to meet with Dr. Zarife Sahenk in service to The Ohio State University Medical Center.
the Center for Gene Therapy, to review muscle biopsies. An average of 80 students, faculty and staff members
Like most research faculty members, Dr. Sahenk works ride the shuttle each day. The shuttle service is one of
closely with colleagues at The Ohio State University many services and programs designed to enhance
Medical Center and serves as a professor in the OSU interaction between the campuses.
College of Medicine.
6 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
Dr. Kurt Albertine of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, presents his research on bronchopulmonary dysplasia at a
seminar in the Research Building II amphitheater. The Research Institute holds such seminars twice a week, featuring visiting
scientists from all over the world.
Research associates Adam Nation and Michele
Patak discuss plans for a research project exploring
the relationship between safety practices and
impulsivity, a collaborative effort between the Center
for Biobehavioral Health and the Center for Injury
Research and Policy. Adam and Michele work under
the supervision of Dr. Lara McKenzie, a safety expert,
and Dr. Brady Reynolds, a psychologist with expertise
in impulsive behavior. The project is funded by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At The
Research Institute, collaboration between research
centers is commonplace.
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 7
a sTudenT’s schedule
Chelsea Bolyard injects a drug into cultured cancer cells to test an alternative gene therapy treatment for ovarian cancer. As a
third-year graduate student at The Ohio State University and a member of the Center for Gene Therapy, Chelsea divides her time
between Dr. Jeff Bartlett’s lab at Nationwide Children’s and classes on the main OSU campus. Annually, more than fifty graduate
students from OSU receive training at The Research Institute.
8 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
12-year-old Caroline Brendsel begins
a study visit with Clinical Research
Coordinator Kassi Speakman in the
Clinical Studies Center. Caroline has
been participating in a research
trial for hereditary angiodema, a
rare genetic disorder that causes
intermittent severe tissue swelling,
sometimes in vital areas of the body.
As part of the trial, the test medication
is delivered via a central venous line.
Although the initial portion of
the phase III clinical trial is complete,
Caroline receives the medication under
an open label protocol. Caroline and
her mother faithfully make the
100-mile round trip from south of
Lancaster, Ohio to Nationwide
Children’s two to three times a week
as they have done for three years.
Hundreds of other children visit the
Clinical Studies Center annually as
participants in dozens of local and
national clinical research trials.
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scRuTInIzInG huMan ReseaRch sTudIes
Members of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Nationwide Children’s meet twice a month on Tuesday afternoon. This 19-member
board provides critical oversight of all research involving human subjects at Nationwide Children’s and its affiliated institutions. The IRB
has the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction. This function is
federally-mandated and regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration. The
Nationwide Children’s IRB was among the first of such committees in the United States to be fully electronic.
a pReMIeR pRoGRaM
FoR oTITIs MedIa
Laura Novotny, senior
research associate in the
laboratory of Dr. Lauren
Bakaletz, checks a bacterial
culture to make sure it is
sufficient for her experi-
ment, which will test how
well vaccine candidates
block bacterial adherence.
As part of the Center for
the team led by Dr.
Bakaletz is an international
leader in understanding
immune mechanisms in
the middle ear. The group
is working on a promis-
ing vaccine to prevent
ear infections in children,
one of the most common
10 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
Postdoctoral fellow Mandar Joshi in
the Center for Cardiovascular and
Pulmonary Research processes human
and animal cardiac tissue samples by
“sealing” them in paraffin wax and
placing them in cassettes for use in later
research. Clinical cardiac tissue samples
are obtained through partnerships with
The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s
and The Ohio State University.
As an international employee, Dr. Joshi
is on a visa from India. International
employees on visas account for about 10
percent of The Research Institute’s total
employees and come from 24 countries.
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 11
leadInG MusculaR dYsTRophY ReseaRch
Research Assistant Danielle Tucker prepares a muscle biopsy extracted from the left deltoid of a patient with limb-girdle muscular
dystrophy being evaluated at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Close To HomeSM Center in Westerville, Ohio.
After the sample is frozen and stained, researchers will examine it to determine whether or not the patient could be a candidate
for gene therapy trials to treat limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2D.
The Mendell Lab is part of the Center for Gene Therapy and is an international leader in muscular dystrophy research. Dr. Jerry
Mendell’s group initiated the first U.S. human gene therapy trial directed at Duchenne muscular dystrophy in children and the
first national muscular newborn screening study.
unITInG scIence and TechnoloGY
Dr. Richard Ransom, principal investigator in the Center
for Clinical and Translational Research, inspects an image
of a specialized kidney cell known as a podocyte.
Using the graphics editing program Adobe® Photoshop®,
Dr. Ransom is able to stack images of the same cell using
different fluorescence filters. This allows him to superim-
pose images for comparison, in this case, images labeling
the actin filaments that make up the cell’s “skeleton”
(shown in green), and the heat shock proteins (shown in
red) that are expressed when cells are exposed to stress.
Dr. Ransom uses this method to determine whether actin
filaments and heat shock proteins are found in the same
structures in the cell, since the areas where they co-localize
are yellow in the superimposed image. This examination is
a first step in studies aimed at treating nephrotic syndrome,
one of the leading reasons for kidney disease in children.
12 | The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital
ReseaRch aFTeR daRK
As darkness falls, Postdoctoral Fellow Benoit Callendret continues his work. At The Research Institute, scientific discovery often
continues late into the evening.
This evening, Dr. Callendret uses the flow cytometer to evaluate a liver biopsy that arrived at 8:30 a.m. He is quantifying the
frequency of hepatitis C virus-specific T cells in order to develop a baseline for an upcoming study. The study aims to assess
whether or not identified hepatitis C virus-specific T cells are functional in the context of chronic infection. This research will
be the first of its kind to be performed directly in vivo.
Dr. Callendret is part of Dr. Chris Walker’s team in the Center for Vaccines and Immunity. Dr. Walker is an international leader
in hepatitis C virus research.
The ReseaRch InsTITuTe at nationwide children’s hospital | 13
pa I d
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