Research Program

The PGY-3 year includes 8 weeks of research time that will serve as a starting point for a project that is to be completed by graduation. The division chief, program directors, Director of Clinical Research, and program faculty are available to help guide residents in their selections of mentors and projects. Opportunities for clinical research within the Division of Child Neurology include projects in epilepsy, headache, inflammatory nervous symptom disease, metabolism, neuro-genetics, neuroimaging, neuromuscular disorders, childhood stroke, and basic science, as well as projects from other affiliated departments.

The Research Program includes a seminar series designed to teach fundamental approaches for basic and clinical research, and to provide a venue for the residents to present and discuss the findings of their projects. Residents are encouraged to prepare their projects for presentation at national meetings and for publication. 

Neurology Research Studies

Learn more about the researchers in the Division of Child Neurology and our clinical studies

Faculty Clinical Research

Epilepsy

  • Expanded access study on the effect of pharmaceutical grade Cannabidiol (CBD) in children with intractable epilepsy (Sogawa)
  • Neural plasticity and recovery of visual functions in patients with hemispherectomy (Patterson)
  • Regional Approaches to Improve Access to Services for Children with Epilepsy (Asato)
  • Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial (Sogawa)
  • Prospective observational study of epileptic encephalopathy (Sogawa)
  • A study on the impact of early genetic testing in infantile onset epilepsy (Sogawa)
  • Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium (PERC). (Sogawa, Patterson, Rajan)

Neuro-Muscular

  • A Phase 1 Trial to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of a Single Dose of SRP-5051 in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Amenable to Exon 51 Skipping Treatment. (Abdel-Hamid)
  • An Open-Label Extension Study for Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Who Participated in Studies of SRP-5051 (Abdel-Hamid)
  • An Open-Label, Safety Study for Previously Treated Ataluren (PTC124) Patients with Nonsense Mutation Dystrophinopathy (Abdel-Hamid)
  • An Open-Label, Multi-Center, 48-Week Study with a Concurrent Untreated Control Arm to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Eteplirsen in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Abdel-Hamid)
  • A 48-Week, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Center Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of SRP-4045 and SRP-4053 in Patients with DMD (Abdel-Hamid)

Neuro-Genetics

  • Neurogenetics Program Patient Registry: Clinical and Genetic Diagnosis, Natural History Study, Translational Research and Biorepository (Rajan)
  • Functional characterization of GEMIN5 - Establishing an gene discovery pipeline from variants of unknown significance on next generation sequencing (Rajan, Pandey)

Neuro-Development

  • Effects of AFQ056 on Language Learning in Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) (Filipink)
  • Fragile X Clinical and Research Consortium (FXCRC) Registry (FORWARD)
  • LEND: The UCLID CENTER at the University of Pittsburgh-LEND Training Outcomes Study (Asato)

Neuro-Immunology

  • Acute Demyelinating Disorders of Childhood (ADEM) (Alper)
  • Acute brain stem clinical and radiological syndromes in children (Thakkar)
  • Neuropsychological outcomes in immune mediated brain disorders (Thakkar)

Stroke and Headache

  • Regional Coordinating Stroke Center of Stroke Trials Network (NINDS) (Cummings)

Faculty Basic Science Research

  • Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of FUS-related neurodegeneration (Pandey)
  • Molecular Basis of FUS/TLS-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Pandey)
  • Molecular library screen for suppressors of FUS proteinopathy (Pandey)
  • A Drosophila model to investigate the role of FUS in ALS (Pandey)
  • Role of RAN peptides in polyQ-independent toxicity in a new C. elegans model for Huntington’s disease (Lamitina)
  • Characterization of modifiers of C9orf72-associated dipeptide toxicity in a new C. elegans model (Lamitina)
  • Functional neurologic consequences of in utero cannabinoid exposure (Franks)
  • Viral immunotherapy to eradicate subclinical brain metastases (Bergman)

Academic Resources

The academic community in Pittsburgh provides a large and diverse faculty, graduate training programs, and resources to support you in your professional development. The Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology are highly ranked NIH-funded academic departments in the United States.

Recent Resident Research Publications

Laura Kirkpatrick, Amy Collins, Yoshimi Sogawa, Mehret Birru Talabi, Elizabeth Harrison, Traci M. Kazmerski. Sexual and reproductive healthcare for adolescent and young adult women with epilepsy: A qualitative study of pediatric neurologists and epileptologists. Epilepsy & Behavior. Volume 104, ISSN 1525-5050.

Laura Kirkpatrick, Yoshimi Sogawa, Catalina Cleves. Acute Dystonic Reactions in Children Treated for Headache with Prochlorperazine or Metoclopramide. Pediatric Neurology. 2020.

Seese RR, Le AA, Wang K, Cox CD, Lynch G, Gall CM.A TrkB agonist and ampakine rescue synaptic plasticity and multiple forms of memory in a mouse model of intellectual disability. Neurobiol Dis. 2020 Feb. PMID: 31494285.

Seese RR. Working Memory Impairments in Cerebellar Disorders of Childhood. Pediatr Neurol. 2020 Jun;107:16-23. PMID: 32276741.

Seese RR, Glaser D, Furtado A, Thakkar K, Torok KS. Unilateral Neuroimaging Findings in Pediatric Craniofacial Scleroderma: Parry-Romberg Syndrome and En Coup de Sabre. J Child Neurol. 2020. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32527172.

Seese RR, Guillen D, Gaesser JM, Abdel-Hamid HZ. Clinical Reasoning: A 14-year-old with acute weakness, paresthesias, and headache. Neurology. 2020 Jul Online ahead of print. PMID: 32727839.

Obeid R, Sogawa Y, Naik M, Goldstein A, Gropman A, Asato M. A Newborn With Hyperlactatemia and Epileptic Encephalopathy. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2018. Jul;26:104-107. PubMed PMID: 29961496.

Yamamoto E, Ginsberg M, Rensel M, Moodley M. “Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis: A Single Center Study”. Journal of Child Neurology, 2018; 33(1), 98-105. PMID: 29246096.

Ginsberg MR, McCarty AJ, Lacomis D, Abdel-Hamid HZ. “Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a novel deep intronic DMD mutation”. Muscle and Nerve, 2018; Epub ahead of print. PMID: 29346715.

Welch WP, Sitwat B, Sogawa Y. Use of Vagus Nerve Stimulator on Children With Primary Generalized Epilepsy. J Child Neurol. 2018 Jun;33(7):449-452. PubMed PMID: 29651891.

Gedela S, Sitwat B, Welch WP, Krafty RT, Sogawa Y. The effect of vagus nerve stimulator in controlling status epilepticus in children. Seizure. 2018. Feb;55:66-69. PubMed PMID:29414137.

Ortolani, E. K., Safier,R. ,Mitchell, E. B. and Cleves‐Bayon, C. (2018), Non‐Syndromic Craniosynostosis Mimicking Primary Pseudotumor Cerebri Syndrome. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.

Valentine V, Sogawa Y, Rajan D, Ortiz D. A case of de novo NAA10 mutation presenting with eyelid myoclonia (AKA Jeavons syndrome). Seizure. 2018Aug;60:120-122.doi: 0.1016/j.seizure.2018.06.008.Epub2018 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 29957440.

Cobb-Pitstick KM, Munjal N, Safier R, Cummings DD, Zuccoli G. Time Course of Cerebral Perfusion Changes in Children with Migraine with Aura Mimicking Stroke. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2018 Sep;39(9):1751-1755. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A5693. Epub 2018 Jun 14. PubMed PMID: 29903927.