Research

Connecticut Children’s surgical faculty and scientists are actively involved in basic, translational and clinical research programs in pursuit of advanced ways to treat a variety of pediatric conditions. In addition to our faculty-led research laboratories, Connecticut Children’s collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, located at the University of Connecticut Health Center, is pursuing the development of personalized medicine through genomic studies. Some research highlights include:

Carl Nissen, MD

Carl Nissen, MD, focuses his Center for Motion Analysis research efforts on the assessment of pitching biomechanics with the ultimate goal of reducing injuries to the pitching elbow and shoulder. Dr. Nissen and the Elite Sports Medicine team pursue research on the topics of:

  • Incidence, prevention and recovery of athletic injuries, specifically ACL injuries
  • Adolescent shoulder and elbow in overhead sports
  • Incidence, symptoms, and psychological factors influencing recovery of concussion injuries among adolescent athletes

Elite Sports Medicine is also part of the Research in Osteochondritis of the Knee national research initiative that is committed to developing improved methods for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of OCD.

Brendan Campbell, MD, MPH

Research led by Brendon Campbell, MD, MPH, in collaboration with other specialists and researchers from Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, includes the following topics:

  • Identifying risk factors for ATV injury among children: A multi-state study
  • The Mature Driver Safety Study: A randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of a community-based screening and referral initiative using AAA's Roadwise Review
  • Increasing alcohol screening and brief intervention for pediatric trauma patients
  • Fall prevention knowledge, attitude, and practice among municipal health department and senior center directors
  • Investigating pediatrician beliefs and practices in youth suicide prevention

Tulio A. Valdez, MD

Tulio Valdez, MD, research interests include voice and airway disorders, oral squamous cell carcinoma, and the development of biomedical devices.

Research Laboratories

Fernando Ferrer, MD

Under the direction of Fernando Ferrer, MD, the Pediatric Genitourinary Solid Tumor and Renal Research Laboratory at the University of Connecticut Health Center pursues research on novel therapies aimed at solid tumors including Wilms tumor and neuroblastoma, and the prevention of renal injury from obstruction or Ischemia. This work is funded by the National Cancer Institute at the NHI and the Seraph Foundation.

Christine Finck, MD

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center works closely with the University of Connecticut Health Center in researching clinical treatments of pediatric lung disease. Led by principal investigator Christine Finck, MD, research in her NIH-funded lab focuses on pediatric lung disease, specifically hypoplastic or underdeveloped lungs in infants. The goal of the lab is to investigate cell therapy and tissue engineering options for potential clinical treatment.

Linda Shapiro, PhD

Linda Shapiro, PhD, oversees basic urologic research at Connecticut Children’s and is the principal investigator in the Center for Vascular Biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Her focus is on understanding the regulation and function of cell surface peptidases in the endothelium of tumors, cardiovascular disease and renal systems. Dr. Shapiro’s work is funded by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and a Connecticut Innovations grant.