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Pediatric Surgery Research

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 and Surgeon-in-Chief Christine Finck, MD, research in her 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. Current research projects include:

Human Patient Specific Stem Cells

  • Isolation and reprogramming of human fibroblasts using a excisable reprogramming lentiviral cassette
  • Differentiation of human iPSC and Embryonic Stem (ES) cells to distal airway type cells using small molecules and growth factors
  • Isolation and characterization of amniotic fluid stem cells from discarded amniocentesis samples
  • Reprogramming and differentiation of human amniotic fluid stem cells into distal airway type cells

Generation of Decellularized Lung Scaffolds

  • Rapid production of decellularized matrix using pressure-based or flow-based perfusion through the vasculature
  • Evaluation of protein content following the decellularization process
  • Production of a sterile matrix that can be further reseeded and cultured in vitro

Recellularization of Decellularized Lung Scaffolds

  • Optimizing the number of cells needed to appropriately reseed a lung scaffold
  • Use of patient-specific stem cells to repopulate the airways of lung scaffolds
  • Use of patient specific stem cells and endothelial cells to repopulate the vasculature of lung scaffolds
  • Implantation of reseeded scaffolds in vivo to assess feasibility and physiologic function

Brendan Campbell, MD, MPH

Research led by Brendan 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:

  • Connecticut injury surveillance system
  • Identifying risk factors for ATV injury among children: A multi-state study
  • Can nurse education in the post-partum period reduce car seat misuse among newborns?
  • 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
  • Correlates of drug driving among college students
  • Drowning deaths in Connecticut: Epidemiology and prevention
  • Cell phone use while driving among hospital employees
  • Fall prevention knowledge, attitude, and practice among municipal health department and senior
    center directors
  • Characteristics, motivations, and retention levels of lay coaches for a fall prevention program for
    older adults
  • Referring emergency department patients and visitors to a community based mature driver
    safety program
  • Investigating pediatrician beliefs and practices in youth suicide prevention
  • Connecticut’s gun buyback program: Are we hitting our mark?
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