Children’s Discovery Institute awards $3.1 million in pediatric research grants

Scientists researching pediatric lung disease, childhood cancer, malaria and short bowel syndrome will share $3.1 million in new grants from the Children's Discovery Institute (CDI).

Barani Raman

The CDI grants, announced earlier this year, will fund 10 research initiatives at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Launched in 2006, CDI encourages unique collaborations among scientists at the School of Medicine, the university’s Danforth Campus and Children’s Hospital. Institute-funded projects constitute “discovery research” — preliminary studies that may point scientists down a path that eventually could yield new treatments.

“These 10 projects illustrate the CDI’s emphasis on giving investigators the opportunity to pursue bold questions in pediatric disease by building creative collaborations and daring to think outside the box,” said Mary Dinauer, MD, PhD, the CDI’s scientific director, the Fred M. Saigh Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research at Children's Hospital, and professor of pediatrics and of pathology and immunology at the School of Medicine.
The recipients of the grants are:

Audrey Odom, MD, PhD, a CDI faculty scholar and an assistant professor of pediatrics and of molecular microbiology, and Barani Raman, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. The two will research malaria, a parasitic disease that claims the lives of more than 1 million children each year. The new grant will enable them and their collaborators to develop and validate the use of a noninvasive device that detects malaria biomarkers in exhaled breath. Development of an inexpensive diagnostic tool will improve care of infected children and conserve antimalarial medications for children most in need.