The Division of General Pediatrics is committed to improving the health of children and helping them reach their full potential. We are leaders in lifelong learning, generating new knowledge, and training the next generation of child health researchers. We conduct research in many important contexts, including pregnancy and the developing fetus, sociocultural factors that impact child health, health care delivery, and precision pediatrics.
Listening to and engaging with our patients and community inform our efforts as we collaborate to conduct the highest-quality, leading-edge clinical translational research. We will disseminate our findings to advance practice and policy to improve children's health in local, regional, and national populations.
Adverse Childhood Experiences grant
The Division of General Pediatrics has been awarded a grant through The State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services. It is designed to improve the brain health of young children by addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
ACEs are stressful or traumatic experiences that occur during childhood. There is a strong association between ACEs and many health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, obesity, depression, smoking, illicit drug use, and violence.
The goal of the one-year project is to affect policy and practice related to ACEs screening and intervention in pediatric primary care.
Dr. Seth Scholer, Division of General Pediatrics, is the principal investigator of the project.
Collaboration for Vaccination Education and Research
The Division of General Pediatrics has been awarded an independent grant from the Pfizer Foundation to develop and implement a Collaboration for Vaccination Education and Research (CoVER) that will increase pediatric and family medicine residents' knowledge and competency for communicating with patients and patients' families about vaccination. The purpose of this project is to decrease the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases and decrease gaps in vaccine coverage.
Leveraging big data for small patients
Dr. Sara Van Driest, Division of General Pediatrics, has a five-year Burroughs Welcome Fund Innovation in Regulatory Science Award to better understand children’s response to medications.
This project has two aims. The first to use the Vanderbilt BioBank, BioVU, to determine if the same genetic variations that affect drug response in adults are also important in children. The second aim is to use electronic medical records data to search for late effects of medication exposures in infancy. Both aims will be pursued with close communication with the FDA to enable incorporation of the findings into regulatory changes for pediatric patients.
Volunteer Advocacy Program-Transition grant
The Division of General Pediatrics had been awarded a grant through the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of the project is to test a new 12-week program designed to train parents of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) how to more effectively advocate for adult disability services on behalf of their children.
The transition to adulthood is difficult for many individuals with ASD and their families. Employment is difficult to obtain and maintain. Improvements in autism symptoms and problem behaviors tends to slow or even stop after youth leave high school. The transition from school-based to adult disability services is a significant contributor to these difficulties. The adult disability service system is underfunded, complicated, and difficult to maneuver. Guidance for parents on which services might be most helpful for their children and how to access those services is generally unavailable.
The goal of this three-year project is to develop and test a parent-training that provides families with comprehensive information about adult disability services and how to most effectively advocate for those services on behalf of their children with ASD. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate that participating in the parent training improves service access, and ultimately functional outcomes (employment, community integration) during the transition to adulthood for youth with ASD.
Dr. Julie Lounds Taylor, Division of General Pediatrics, is the principal investigator of the project.
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