October 25th, 2011 – UC San Diego’s Department of Pediatrics and Rady Children’s Hospital proudly hosted the third annual Pediatric Translational Research Symposium on Advanced Genomics and Personalized Medicine. Held at the Acute Care Pavilion at Rady Children’s Hospital, the Symposium was well-attended, with over 100 faculty, researchers, clinicians, and fellows from the Salk Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, UC San Diego, and Rady Children’s Hospital.
“We are hosting this Symposium at Rady Children’s Hospital to highlight the resources being developed here for pediatric clinical research, and to recognize that the ultimate beneficiaries are children,” shares Albert La Spada, MD, PhD, Vice-Chair of Faculty Development in Pediatrics at UC San Diego, Division Chief of Genetics, and Chairman of the symposium organizing committee.
Dr. Gabriel Haddad, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego, and Physician-in-Chief and Chief Scientific Officer at Rady Children’s Hospital, set the tone of the day, motivating the diverse audience of physicians, basic scientists, housestaff, graduate and post-graduate students, and members of the healthcare and academic communities, to learn, connect, and collaborate with each other. Following Dr. Haddad’s opening remarks was Dr. Jonathan Seidman, Professor of Cardiovascular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, who presented the keynote address on “Inherited Cardiomyopathies in Children and Mice.”
Among the ten speakers who presented, were thought leaders Dr. Cinnamon Bloss from the Scripps Research Institute, and Dr. Ramesh Rao, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego. They spoke on personal genomics and the role of information technology in the future of health. Dr. Seema Aceves, a pediatrician at UC San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, shared her research on translational medicine in eosinophilic esophagitis (a new allergic disease), and Dr. Joel Linden, from the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, shared his translational research on sickle cell disease.
The afternoon featured Dr. Jonathan Sebat, Chief of the Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics and Neuropsychiatric Diseases, and Dr. Alysson Muotri from UC San Diego’s Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. They both spoke on new insights into the genetics and modeling of autism spectrum and related neuropschiatric disorders.
The closing keynote lecture was given by Dr. Nico Katsanis, Director of the Center for Human Disease Modeling and professor of cell biology at Duke University. His talk was on modeling the pediatric morbid genome.
Throughout the day, over 100 members of the Department of Pediatrics, including graduate students, post-docs, research scientists, and faculty, presented their work in almost 45 posters. Both students and faculty alike shared their work with attendees from the Salk Institute, Sanford-Burnham Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, and other departments at UC San Diego/Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
“It is our hope that this symposium inspires our faculty to continue to pursue important translational research,” shares Dr. La Spada, “while stimulating fruitful collaboration on some of the most pressing health problems facing our patients.”
Written by: Shivani Singh,M.S., Sr. Web Writer, Dept. of Pediatrics, UC San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego