For years, Suman Ghosh, M.D., MPA has been researching pediatric brain injury.
He first started analyzing neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a condition where the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen or blood flow for a period of time, during his residency at the University of California, Irvine and Children’s Health of Orange County. When he joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 2014, Ghosh used his expertise to make an impact immediately.
“I found a population of congenital heart disease patients that were surviving but unfortunately were at a higher risk for brain injury,” said Ghosh, a pediatric neurologist at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and clinical assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s division of pediatric neurology. “That wasn’t really being looked at, so that became a natural transition into this realm.”
Ghosh is now researching brain injury through a pilot innovation program that examines biomarkers in neonates and infants with congenital heart disease. Donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital help support Ghosh and his team as they explore further.
“The CMN funding has already helped, not just with allowing me to have the time to do these projects, but also providing us with the resources,” Ghosh explained. “It helps us bring our ideas into fruition.”
Children with congenital heart disease are at a higher risk for brain injury. Currently, physicians can only identify brain injuries after damage has occurred. Ghosh said the goal of his research is to identify biomarkers at the bedside.
“That way we can use preventative measures to help reduce the injury or prevent the injury,” Ghosh said. “Those brain injury markers are meant to help facilitate that identification without having to do risky procedures or move the patient.
“And then with that, we can change acute management or develop novel therapeutics to help prevent that brain injury from occurring.”
The mission of CMN Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is to build awareness and raise funds for our pediatric patients. Ghosh views CMN Hospitals’ funding as serving two purposes – one for innovative research’s sake and another for preparing the next generation of physicians.
“The funding we receive provides junior investigators and young investigators the ability to do these novel projects,” Ghosh said. “They gain that ability to obtain that data, which they crucially need to further their careers and also further the actual project itself.”