The Department aims to promote and develop innovative research in relation to the health needs and priorities of Irish children. Paediatrics is an area of medicine renowned for its multidisciplinary approach to patient care and research, and we value interactivity with colleagues and allied health professionals. Our individual research interests are woven together in many ways. For example, at present we are combining our expertise regarding quality of life issues and the impact of health interventions on health and social and economic outcomes with allergic disorders, neurocognitive outcomes of prematurity, epilepsy, diabetes and other common disorders of childhood.
Current Research Projects
The recent involvement by the Department in the BASELINE birth cohort studywhich has been funded by the Children’s Research Centre, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin will involve the establishment of a cohort of Irish children for long term follow up to identify the determinants of health outcomes. The study will look at effects of poor growth in the womb, the incidence and prevalence of food allergy and eczema in early childhood and the incidence and effect of maternal and infant vitamin D status on health and growth.
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The BIHIVE study is a HRB funded study examining predictive biomarkers in newborn brain injury. Neonatal HIE is a relatively common condition, which can result in long-term problems for the baby. This study aims to identify blood biomarkers that can quantify the injury at birth. It is based in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork. The BIHIVE study recruitment will take place over 2 sites, the Cork University Maternity Hospital and The Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
The research strategy and interests of academic staff are listed below. More on current research projects in the department together with staff profiles and publications can be found here.
The Epidemiology of Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis; Immunomodulation of allergic diseases in childhood; The establishment of the National prevalence of Food Allergy in Ireland through the establishment of a birth cohort; Evaluation of medical interventions on the quality of life of food allergic individuals is an evolving area.
Injury Prevention in Children; National Neonatal Resuscitation Programme (established in Ireland by Professor Ryan); Collaboration with Teagasc on Probiotics with view to development of multi-centred trial of probiotics in preventing necrotising enterocolitis.
Collaboration with Neonatal Brain Research Group on role of EEG in predicting outcomes in neonates with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. Collaboration with partners Omdurman Maternity Hospital to improve systems and reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Omdurman Maternity Hospital.
Research strategy aims to improve neurological outcome in newborn babies with seizures and other neurological conditions by: Improving seizure diagnosis and treatment by promoting the use of EEG monitoring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Using EEG to accurately predict outcome in newborn babies with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy; Developing an automated seizure detection algorithm using EEG and other physiological signal analysis; Developing a fetal EEG monitoring device to identify early, babies who are developing neurological injury; Development of a web-based remote monitoring tool for EEG and other diagnostic medical investigations.
Establishment of the first Irish birth cohort and first neonatal biobank as part of the BASELINE project - This birth cohort will gather detailed information from 3000 Irish children as they grow and develop over several decades, with a large biobank of stored umbilical cord blood; Study of Neonatal Brain Injury and in particular newborn babies with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
The Epidemiology of Anaphylaxis - Prospective study of the Incidence of Anaphylaxis in Irish Children; National management programme for anaphylaxis based on the increasing burden on paediatric allergy services in the past decade; Immunotherapy of food allergies in childhood.