Pediatric Research

The Foundation’s mission focuses on infants and young children. Accordingly, priority is given to projects that improve the nutrition, care and development of infants and young children from 0-3 years of age.

The Foundation is particularly interested in fresh approaches to solving common, everyday problems or emerging issues within our defined focus area. Projects should focus on issues faced by care providers that, when implemented, will improve the health, nutrition and/or developmental outcomes for infants and young children. The board is particularly looking for practical solutions that can be easily and rapidly implemented on a broad scale with a predictable time frame to clinical application.

The Foundation is looking for projects that will result in ‘new’ information, treatments or tools that will result in a change in practice. The board rarely funds projects that are focused on sharing current information with parents or caregivers (parent or provider educational programs).

Major Focus Areas

Pediatric Health

Pediatric Nutrition

Environmental Hazards (Nutrient Competitors)

Pediatric Health

Promoting health and preventing or treating disease is the primary focus of this target area. Of particular interest are applied research projects focused on reducing the incidence of serious neonatal and early childhood illnesses, or improving cognitive, social and emotional aspects of development.

Project Focus Areas

Recent projects include:

Mark Geil, PhD

Kennesaw State University
$314,513 over 3 years toward a quantitative understanding of infant crawling development

Seth Goldstein, MD, MPhil

Lurie Children’s Hospital

$330,019 over 3 years for study of noninvasive identification of neonatal ischemia using broadband optical Spectroscopy

Sriram Ramgopal, MD

Lurie Children’s Hospital

$341,990 over 3 years for study focused on epidemiology, biomarkers and risk stratification of young infants presenting to the emergency department with hypothermia

Andrew Stacey, MD

University of Washington

$350,000 over 3 years for study focused on rapid neonatal genetic diagnosis of retinoblastoma

Pediatric Nutrition

These programs respond to a long-time interest of the Foundation in assuring adequate nutrition for infants and young children. Projects include applied research that evaluates the provision of specific nutrients and their related outcomes in infants and young children.

Project Focus Areas

Recent projects include:

Jonathan Levin, MD

Boston Children’s Hospital
$349, 885 over 3 years to study postpyloric versus gastric feedings to improve pulmonary outcomes in high-risk preterm infants

Katja Gist, DO

Children’s Hospital Medical Center

$350,000 over 3 years for study on nutrition during new dialysis techniques

Rebecca Hill, PhD, DNP, FNP-C

MGH Institute of Health Professions

$30,000 over 2 years for study exploring maternal and infant feeding symptoms for mothers breastfeeding infants with tongue-tie

Lindsay Ellsworth, MD

University of Michigan

$349,788 over 3 years for study of breastmilk and body composition with development of the gut microbiome

Environmental Hazards (Nutrient Competitors)

The Foundation is interested in projects that evaluate the effects of environmental hazards on infants and young children. Applied research projects that document the impact of, or ameliorate effects of, environmental hazards on the growth and development of infants and young children are the focus of this area of interest.

Note that the Foundation does not restrict this area to the ‘natural environment’ but considers exposures within the infant’s or toddler’s environment, whether manmade or natural. These exposures may be caused by hazards within the NICU environment (noise, light, medical equipment, etc.), the home environment (carpeting, plastics, etc.), or exposures from breastmilk caused by parental behavior (marijuana, drugs, etc.).

Project Focus Areas

Recent projects include:

Roberto Garofalo, MD

University of Texas Medical Branch
$342,069 for a study of anti-COVID antibodies in human milk

Vivian Valcarce, MD

University of Florida

$20,000 for a study of human milk antibody response after maternal COVID vaccination

Angelica Meinhofer, MA, PhD

Weill Cornell Medical College

$250,000 over 2 years to study mortality, morbidity, and healthcare utilization among newborns with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome