Public Release: 

7 great achievements in child health research celebrated at Pediatric Academic Societies

American Academy of Pediatrics

SAN DIEGO - Pediatric research discoveries over the past 40 years haveled to prevention and treatment strategies that have saved millions of lives worldwide. Seven of the greatest research achievements will be presented on Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting at the San Diego Convention Center.

"Today, we often take these research discoveries for granted," said presenter Tina Cheng, MD, MPH, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Research. "Because of research and science in these seven areas, American children are healthier and safer today and will grow up to be healthier adults."

The research achievements include:

    1. Preventing diseases, such as rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), with life-saving immunizations.

    2. Saving premature babies by helping them breathe.

    3. Reducing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with the Back to Sleep campaign, which urged parents and caregivers to put babies to sleep on their backs.

    4. Curing acute lymphocytic leukemia, a common childhood cancer.

    5. Preventing HIV transmission from mother to baby.

    6. Increasing life expectancy for children with chronic diseases such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.

    7. Saving lives with car seats and seat belts.

These seven achievements will be highlighted in a short video that will debut during the opening plenary session of the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, kicking off a campaign by the AAP to promote child health research. The video and campaign information is available online at Journalists who would like interviews with the families featured in the video, or physicians who have worked in these fields of research, should contact PAS Media Relations.

There are many vaccines that have saved millions of lives, said Dr. Cheng, professor of pediatrics and public health, and chair of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

"An example is the Hib vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae, a dangerous bacteria," she said. "When I was an intern not thatmany years ago, the hospital ward had plenty of kids with serious infections like meningitis from Haemophilus influenzae. Today, because of the Hib vaccine, current doctors in training, my interns, have never seen a case."

Another example of a life-saving intervention is putting babies to sleep on their backs instead of their stomachs. This discovery has decreasedthe SIDS rate by one half,said Dr. Cheng,who also is vice chair, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and division chief, General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"We have come a long way," Dr. Cheng said. "But we also have further to go in understanding how to prevent and cure disease. There is a need for new knowledge, new vaccines and new therapies to maintain health and cure disease. It requires continued research."

Dr. Cheng will present "Great Achievements in Pediatric Research" from at 2:05-2:30 p.m. PT Sunday, April 26, during the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) plenary.

The AAP plenary also includes the following sessions:

  • "Adverse Childhood Experiences, Literacy and Kindergarten Problems," presented by Manuel Jimenez, MD, FAAP, from 12:35-12:50 p.m.

  • "Viewing as Little as 1 Hour of Television Daily Is Associated with Higher Weight Status in Kindergartners: The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study," presented by Mark DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR, from 12:50-1:05 p.m.

  • "Code Switching in English Language Learners from Low-Income Spanish-speaking Homes May Be a Strength Rather Than a Risk," presented by Adriana Weisleder, PhD, from 1:05-1:20 p.m.

  • "Association Between State Laws Governing School Nutrition and Physical Activity and Subsequent Child Weight Status," presented by Deepak Palakshappa, MD, FAAP, from 1:20-1:35 p.m.

  • AAP Presidential Address, presented by Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP, from 1:35-2:05 p.m.

  • "Provider Delivery of the 5 AsTobacco Intervention to Youth," presented by Julie Gorzkowski, MSW, from 2:30-2:45 p.m.

  • "ADHD Diagnosis and Stimulant Medication Use in Preschoolers Before and After Publication of the 2011 Practice Guideline," presented by Alexander Fiks, MD, FAAP, from 2:45-3 p.m.

  • "Patient and Physician Facing Computer Decision Support Dramatically Increases Routine Autism Screening," presented by Stephen Downs, MD, MS, FAAP, from 3-3:15 p.m.


The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) are four individual pediatric organizations that co-sponsor the PAS Annual Meeting - the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Members of these organizations are pediatricians and other health care providers who are practicing in the research, academic and clinical arenas. The four sponsoring organizations are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy within pediatrics, and all share a common mission of fostering the health and well-being of children worldwide.For more information, visit Follow news of the PAS meeting on Twitter at @PASmeeting and Facebook at Use hashtag #PASMEETING.

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