The Marcus Foundation renews support for 15 physician researchers
The Marcus Foundation has announced a new $5 million gift to the Department of Pediatrics in Emory University School of Medicine to renew support for 15 pediatric physician/researchers in the Marcus Society in Pediatrics. The Society was launched in 2005, and elevated in 2012 with a $5 million gift from The Marcus Foundation. It serves as an “intellectual home” for the Marcus Professors, who practice medicine at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and conduct research in laboratories at Emory School of Medicine.
“Support for the Marcus Society has helped Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recruit and retain exceptional physician/researchers, allowing us to identify serious pediatric diseases earlier, improve treatment, care for many more patients than ever before, and enhance quality of life and overall health outcomes for children,” says Lucky Jain, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Emory + Children’s Pediatric Institute.
On Oct. 3, 2018, the Marcus Society celebrated its members at the seventh annual Marcus Professor Lecture and Cellular Therapies Symposium at the Health Sciences Research Building. Visiting lecturer Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, Jerome Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures at Duke University, spoke on “Extending Cord Blood to Regenerative Therapies.”
Marcus Professors and their specialties include the following:
- Larry Anderson, MD: infectious diseases
- David Carlton, MD, neonatology
- Hughes Evans, MD, PhD: general pediatrics; vice chair for education
- Larry Greenbaum, MD, PhD: nephrology
- Veda Johnson, MD: general academics and pediatrics
- Lisa Kobrynski, MD: immunology
- Sookyong Koh, MD, PhD: neurology
- Subra Kugathasan, MD: gastroenterology
- William Mahle, MD: cardiology
- Nael McCarty, PhD: cystic fibrosis
- Andrew Muir, MD: endocrinology
- Sampath Prahalad, MD: rheumatology
- Andi Shane, MD, MPH, MSc: Hospital epidemiology, infection control
- Harold K. Simon, MD: emergency medicine, faculty development
- Arlene Stecenko, MD: pulmonology, allergy/immunology, cystic fibrosis, sleep
The Marcus Foundation’s generosity has helped the Department of Pediatrics grow to become a leader in research, patient care and teaching. When the Marcus Society was created in 2005, the Emory Department of Pediatrics was ranked #27 in National Institutes of Health funding, and today is ranked #5. Thus far in fiscal year 2018, investigators at Emory and Children’s had 88 active NIH grants totaling $14.4 million. In addition to attracting research funding, Marcus Professors have served as magnets for attracting innovative research teams that are working to improve the health of children.
On Sept. 1, Emory and Children’s launched the Emory + Children’s Pediatric Institute, further strengthening their partnership in research, teaching and patient care and their commitment to link science to clinical practice.
The Marcus Professors have been instrumental in numerous pediatric advances, including the following examples:
- The Atlanta Cystic Fibrosis Research and Development Program – one of only 11 in the nation – includes 58 investigators from Emory, Children’s Healthcare, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia collaborating through a $6.1 million NIH grant.
- An obesity camp at Camp Twin Lakes has raised awareness and changed behavior of participants and their parents.
- A single emergency contact has been established for every child with diabetes in metro Atlanta, greatly improving continuity of care.
- As part of the NIH-sponsored Neonatal Research Network, a large Emory clinical study aims to reduce the frequency of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a challenging chronic lung disease in premature babies.
- A new national quality improvement initiative is focused on antibiotic stewardship, with review and implementation of best practices including sharing data to optimize prescribing of antibiotics in neonatal intensive care in Atlanta and nationwide.
- The state of Georgia now requires newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency.
- The Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative is a network of 84 birthing centers in Georgia sharing best practices and raising quality standards statewide, including expansion of congenital heart disease screening and hepatitis B vaccination.
- A network of 38 school-based health centers has led to improved child health throughout the state.