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Department of Pediatrics : Research : Inside the DCRI

The DCRI investigators at MUSC are dedicating their lives to understanding children's diseases and to helping our children lead lives that are as closest to normal as possible by developing innovative, effective and safe treatments. Below is a description of the research projects currently being conducted in the Darby Children's Research Institute.

Second Floor
Pediatric Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes
Research focus: Obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

Childhood Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases
Program directors: Richard Silver, MD, Stephen Tomlinson, PhD, and Gary Gilkeson, MD
Research focus: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus and other disease manifestations having immune medicated mechanisms of pathogenesis similar to lupus.

Osteoclast Biology and Bone Disease
Program director: Sakamuri Reddy, PhD
Research focus: Healthy bone development, prevention of bone disease and new treatments for bone disease. Osteoclast team.

Renal Biology
Program director: P. Darwin Bell, PhD

Third Floor
Antenatal and Early Childhood Nutrition
Program directors: Bruce W. Hollis, PhD and Carol Wagner, MD
Research focus: Antenatal and neonatal nutrition and disease.

Pediatric Pulmonary Biology
Program director: John E. Baatz, PhD
Research focus: Developmental pulmonary biology, cystic fibrosis, lung injury and inflammation, lung toxicity and disease indigenous to South Carolina and to Southeastern coastal regions.

Proteomics Center
Program director: Daniel Knapp, PhD
Program goals: To promote and facilitate application of proteomic analysis to research at MUSC, to provide research training in proteomics methodologies, and to advance the technologies for proteomic analysis

Clemson University - MUSC Bioengineering Program
Program director: Richard Swaja, PhD
Research focus: The development of new equipment needed to perform cutting-edge biomedical research.

Fourth Floor
Pediatric Neuropsychiatry
Program director: Peter Kalivas, PhD
Research goals: To explore how aberrations in brain development can cause disorders such as addiction, depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and conduct disorder.

Developmental Neuroscience
Program director: Prakash Kara, PhD
Research focus: Special aspects of brain development, repair and regeneration.

Genetic Basis of Developmental Disabilities
Program director: G. Shashidhar Pai, MD
Research goals: To identify genetic predispositions and the pathophysiology of small, well-defined group of related disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and related genetic syndromes.

Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
Program director: Jacqueline Kraveka, MD
Research goals: To provide insights into the molecular pathogenesis of the aberrant cellular development and stem differentiation in common pediatric cancers such as leukemia, brain tumors and neuroblastoma, and in pediatric sickle cell anemia.

Drug Disposition and Pharmacogenetics
Program director: C. Lindsay DeVane, PharmD
Research goals: To better understand the roles of drug disposition and pharmacogenetics in the response to drugs in order to improve outcomes of drug treatment. By co-locating this program with molecular genetics, developmental neuroscience, pediatric neuropsychiatry, and cancer programs, there are opportunities for synergies in research that would examine drug effects in brain disorders and in cancer.

Fifth Floor
Developmental Neurological Disorders
Program director: Inderjit Singh, PhD
Research focus: Normal brain development, neurodegenerative disorders and translational research for neuroprotective and neuroregenerative therapeutics. the program will focus on the major causes of developmental disabilities, including the disease mechanisms of birth defect disorders, perinatal insults, cerebral palsy and inherited disorders. As part of this program, researchers will examine the functional roles of sphingolipids in the development of childhood diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, childhood cancers, vascular diseases and diabetes.

Sixth Floor
Pediatric Cardiogenomic Biology & Cardiovascular Developmental Biology
Program directors: Roger Markwald, PhD, and J. Phillip Saul, MD
Program goals: Identifying the genetic causes of congenital heart disease and the impact of the genome on cardiac phenotype; better understanding abnormal coronary vascular development; exploring potential approaches for in vivo repair of heart defects in children; and engineering tissue replacements for structurally defective newborn hearts or diseased adult cardiac structures. In addition, bioengineers from the Clemson University/MUSC bioengineering program will work alongside cardiovascular researchers to develop novel devices and approaches to treat congenital heart disease.