In 2017, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute received its second COBRE Phase 1 award, for $11.5 million, to establish the Center for Translational Pediatric Research (CTPR) (P20GM12129; PD: Tackett). Led by Alan Tackett, Ph.D., the CTPR seeks to investigate how pediatric diseases develop from a systems biology and mechanistic approach, with the ultimate goal of identifying the intersections of disease and development, which will produce targets for therapeutic intervention and the development of new treatments for children. Systems biology is an integrated approach examining all events within cells, tissues, and organisms that lead to a particular outcome. By applying a systems biology approach to the study of pediatric diseases, the CTPR hopes to expand existing knowledge of pediatric disease development and contribute to new therapeutic targets.
CTPR junior investigators are examining the use of DNA-PK(cs) inhibitors as immunosuppression therapy for solid organ transplantation, oncogenic regulation through unique DNA structures in lymphoma, microbiome-derived therapeutic targets for chronic kidney disease, and mechanisms of microRNA-mediated regulation of cellular proliferation in vascular malformations. Three cutting edge core research units—Proteomics, Genomics, and Systems Biology Bioinformatics—provide support to CTPR researchers. The CTPR also partners with the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and UAMS and its Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. The long-term goal of the CTPR is to build an innovative, multi-disciplinary pediatric research center that utilizes cutting-edge systems biology technologies and state-of-the-art translational research to study pediatric diseases.
Contact: Alan Tackett, Ph.D., at AJTackett@uams.edu.