Project Title

Pediatric Oncology Rehabilitation Research

Date Awarded

Fall 10-20-2018

Department/School

Physical Therapy

Project Description

Laura Gilchrist, Profess of Physical Therapy, was awarded $586,803 by the Wasie Foundation to support student and faculty collaborative research in the area of pediatric oncology rehabilitation. Today over 90% of children diagnosed with cancer are cured, but cure can come at a cost. Many survivors of childhood cancer suffer from obesity and other long-term health consequences due to their treatment. Dr. Laura Gilchrist and her colleagues have found that 85% of children treated for non-central nervous system cancers develop nerve damage as a result of their treatment. The goal is when a child is treated for cancer, they will not only be cured but also will come out of treatment healthy and able to participate fully in life. To that end, understanding the mechanism for these treatment toxicities, identifying them early in patients, and preventing their lasting impact is critical. The project will include research assistantships which would be ideal for undergraduate students intending to enter a graduate program in healthcare, such as: medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, physician assistant, post-baccalaureate nursing, or public health. The project will serve the dual purpose of furthering this line of research in pediatric oncology and developing new scholars and practitioners with a background in clinically-related research.

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