Completed Projects

Basic Science Studies

Funder – Gilead

Title – A protective role of miR-212-5p in pulmonary hypertension

Goals –  To investigate the role of miR-212 in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and the transfer of miR-212 from endothelium to smooth muscle cells.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a devastating disease that results in a progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance, right ventricular failure, and ultimately death of patients. The endothelial and smooth muscle cells (EC and SMC) are two key cell types in the pulmonary vasculature. Crosstalk, like paracrine effects, between these two cell types plays an important role in maintaining the normal conditions of the vasculature and the pathogenesis of PH. However, the role of extracellular vesicle transfer between the two cell types and the exact mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of PH are not well understood.

We found that under hypoxia, pulmonary artery EC (PAEC) release extracellular vesicles, specifically microvesicles (MV), that induce PASMC proliferation in vitro and PH in vivo, compared to that of normoxic PAEC. As we found that hypoxia exposure did not alter the number of PAECreleased MV, we reason that hypoxia exposure alters the cargo in PAEC-released MV and thereby their function to regulate PASMC proliferation and pathogenesis of PH. MicroRNAs (miRNAs, miRs) are small single-stranded non-coding RNAs and many of them have been identified to play important roles in disease development, including PH. Using miRNA deep sequencing analysis we found that, hypoxia exposure altered the miRNA cargo in PAEC-released MV: miR-210-3p level was increased, a miRNA that is known to stimulate SMC proliferation and induce PH. Meanwhile, hypoxia also induced a number of other miRNAs that inhibited SMC proliferation, principal among them being a novel miRNA, miR-212-5p, that had the highest inhibitory effect on SMC proliferation. Our data also showed that the endothelium and/or ECderived MV are critical for the induction of miR-212-5p in SMC in hypoxia as there was no induction of miRNA-212-5p in isolated SMC in hypoxia. Taking together, we hypothesize that EC-derived MV promote development of PH and vascular remodeling during hypoxia due to the presence of miRNA-210-3p but they may also provide a break against continued progression of the disease via anti-proliferative miRNAs, specifically miRNA-212-5p.

Funder – American Lung Association

Title – Role of PDLIM5 in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Hypertension

Date of Archival – 3/1/2019

Funder – Acetylon Pharmaceuticals Inc

Title – Effective HUDEP Inhibitors on HbF

Date of Archival – 1/3/2019

Funder – NIH: NHLBI

Title – Role of MicroRNA-17-92 and PDLIM5 Signaling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension


This project aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the microRNA-17~92/PDLIM5 signaling-mediated pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell phenotype change and its functional impact in the genesis of pulmonary hypertension. We are continuing to investigate the role of PDLIM5 in the metabolic shift and to carry out a PDLIM5-targeted drug development process for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

Clinical & Pharmaceutical Studies

Title – A Retrospective Analysis of Extubation Profiles in Very Low Birth Weight Infants and Correlation with Neonatal Morbidities

Title – A Retrospective chart review to assess risk factors leading to hospital re-admissions for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

Title – A Retrospective Study of Correlation of Pre-natal and Post-natal Risk Factors and Outcomes in Late Preterm Infants

Title – Medical Neglect in T1DM. What are the criteria?

Title  – ANSWER Registry (Concluded in 2017)

    • Description – An Observational Study Assessing Treatment Outcomes and Safety for Children and Adults who are Prescribed Norditropin.

Title – Carbohydrates Recognition and Counting Ability in Pediatric Resident before and after Nutritional Education Intervention (Completed: November, 2016)

Title – Relationship between performances on 2 nutrition based questionnaires and Diabetes control, diabetes education and length of diagnosis (Completed: February, 2019)

Title – Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study

  • Sponsor – University of South Florida (Prime sponsor: NIH)
  • Description –
  • The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet is an international diabetes trial network of cooperative clinical research groups to create a stable, high quality infrastructure needed for the conduct of effective and efficient clinical trials in diabetes.

Title – MMSAP T Adeniyi -Life Beyond Sickle Cell Disease Post-Transplant (Concluded in 2016)

  • Sponsor – American Society of Hematology

Title – An Open-Label Study to Evaluate the Safety And Pharmacokinetics Of Pf-06412528 in Children 7-17 Years for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Pain B4541006 ( Concluded in 2019)  Link to Clinical 

  • Sponsor – Pfizer Inc.

Title –  An Open-label, Multicenter Study for the Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Efficacy of Buprenorphine Transdermal System (BTDS) in Children From 7 to 16 Years of Age, Inclusive, Who Require Continuous Opioid Analgesia for (Concluded in 2016) Link to Clinical

  • Sponsor – Purdue Pharma LP

Title –  Evaluation of Purified Poloxamer 188 in Vaso-Occlusive Crisis of Sickle Cell Disease (EPIC) (Concluded in 2016) Link to Clinical

  • Sponsor – Mast Therapeutics

Title –  Multicenter, Open-label, Randomized, Pharmacokinetic (PK) and Pharmacodynamic (PD) Dose-Ranging Phase II Study of Ticagrelor Followed by a Single-Blind, Randomized, Parallel-Group, Placebo-Controlled (Concluded in 2017)

  • Sponsor – Icon Clinical Research Inc. 

Title – Three Month Prospective Open Label Study of Therapy With Fragmin (Dalteparin Sodium Injection) in Children With or Without Malignancies and Venous Thromboembolism- Pfister Protocol# A6301094 (Concluded as of 2019) Link to Clinical 

  • Sponsor – Inventiv

Title – Arginine Therapy for the Treatment of Pain in Children with Sickle Cell Disease (Concluded in 2016) Link to Clinical

  • Sponsor – Emory University 

Title – The Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative for Children with Cancer, Cycle 2

  • Sponsor – Coleman Foundation

Dr. Choi is no longer at UIC. 

Title –  Evaluation of Atopy as a Pre-Existing Risk Factor for Hypersensitivity to Asparaginase in Patients with Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Sponsor – Harvard School of Public Health (Prime sponsor: NIH NICHD)

Title – Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) Data and Operations Center (DOC): Smart


The Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study is a longitudinal cohort study investigating the long-term effects of HIV infection and ARV (antiretroviral) medications in children and young adults who were born with HIV or born exposed to HIV. The study follows newborns, young children, adolescents, and young adults.

Clinical and Community Research and Programs

Title – Work related stress and patient safety in UIC hospital NICU

Date of Archival  – 3/1/2019

Title – Inter-professional Study of Oral Health in Primary Care: Common Risk Factor Study (Concluded in 2015)

  • Sponsor – American Academy of Pediatrics

Title – The Revision of a Pediatric Joint Fellowship Curriculum

Date of Archival  – 3/1/2019

Title – Parent and Guardian Knowledge of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation as a Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease

  • Sponsor – Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Title – BEATS Chicago Edition- Hip-Hop Music Therapy for Kids with Sickle Cell Disease

  • Sponsor –  Joy in Childhood Foundation

Title – PINPOINT: Gaming technology to engage adolescent sickle cell patients in precision pain management

  • Sponsor – Hilton Publishing
  • Title – 

Funder – UCLA

Title – Healthy Minds, Healthy Children, Healthy Chicago (H3)

Date of Archival – 1/4/2019

Title –  Refusal of intramuscular vitamin K prophylaxis in newborns

Date of Archival – 11/2/2018

Title – Pulmonary Hypertension increases length of NICU stay, mortality and social worker use

Date of Archival – 1/3/2019

Title – Developing a Tool to Evaluate Patient-Provider Communication & Patient Satisfaction in Adult Asthma Management

Date of Archival – 2/12/2018

Title – Connecting Early Childhood Education and Medical Homes

Date of Archival – 3/1/2019

Title – African American Parent Management of Children with ADHD Focus Group Study

Date of Archival – 12/17/2017

Funder – NIH: NIDHC
Title – Promoting Early Child Development in Primary Care in Low Income Families

Date of Archival – 3/1/2019

  • Project – Dreamfields 50 States/ 50 Plates 2013 Health Initiative Individual Award
    • Sponsor – M&P Food Communications
  • Project – Diabetes Care in Schools: An Educational Program for School Nurses and Delegated Care Aids
    • Sponsor – Medtronic Inc.

Title – Opportunity Costs of Sickle Cell Disease

Date of Archival – 7/29/2018

Funder – NIH

Title – Primary Care Internet-based Depression Prevention For Adolescents (Catch-It)

Date of Arrival – 9/19/2015

Funder – American Academy of Pediatrics

Title – Early Childhood Education and Medical Homes

Title – Strengthening Parent-Physician Communication Study

Title – Family-Physician Communication Study

Funder – Rush Univ Medical Ctr (Prime sponsor: AHRQ)

Title –  Parent Training in Pediatric Primary Care: A Self Directed Tablet Based Approach


Title – Reducing Excessive Variation in Infant Sepsis Evaluations

Title – Pediatrics Milestones Assessment Collaborative

Partner Programs

Funder – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp

Title – A Randomized, Controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Ranibizumab Compared with Laser Therapy for the Treatment of Infants Born Prematurely with Retinopathy of Prematurity

Date of Archival – 8/31/2018

Funder – Univ of Pittsburgh

Title – A Phase IIb Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Multi-Center Study Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Riociguat in Patients with SCD (STERIO-SCD)

Date of Archival – 9/30/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Lewis Hu

Funder – Incyte

Title – A Phase 1 Open-Label, Dose-Escalation Study to Evaluate Safety, Pharmacokinetic and Biological Activity of INCB059872 in Subjects with Sickle Cell Disease

Funder – inVentiv

Title –  A Phase 1B, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of PF-04447943, Co-Aministered with and Wwithout Hydroxyurea

Date of Archival – 3/4/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Lewis Hu

Title –Comprehensive sickle cell clinical care program – FY18

Date of Archival – 6/30/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Lewis Hu

Funder – Chicago Community Trust

Title – Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN)

Date of Archival – 8/31/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Funder – NIH

Title –  Vascular- Targeted Genomic and Genetic Strategies for Acute Chest Syndrome.

Date of Archival – 1/31/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Zhang

Funder – NIH

Title – Acquisition of Hyperpolarized Gas System for Lung MR Imaging

Date of Archival – 1/31/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Sekhar Reddy

Title – Chicago Community Trust – PCORNET obesity observational study

Date of Archival – 1/31/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Funder – NIH: NCI

Title – Environmental Attributes and Weight Control: Study of Over 1.3 Million Veterans

Date of Archival – 6/30/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Title –Comparative effectiveness of fit and strong vs fit and strong plus

Date of Archival – 2/28/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Title – Chicago Community Trust – Bariatrics

Date of Archival – 1/31/2018

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Title – Bring care to patients: a patient-centered nedical home for kidney disease

Date of Archival – 11/30/2017

UIC Faculty – Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Funder – Global Blood Therapeutics

Title – A Phase 3 Double Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled Multi Center Study of GBT440 Administered Orally to Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

Funder – Global Blood Therapeutics

Title – A Phase 2A open Label, Multiple Dose Study Evaluate the Pharmacokinetics, Safety, Tolerability and Exploratory Treatment of GBT440 in Adolescents with SCD- Part B

Funder – Global Blood Therapeutics

Title – A Phase 2A Open Label, Single Dose Study to Evaluate the Pharmacokinetics, Safety, tolerability and Exploratory Treatment of GBT440 in Adolescents with SCD- Part A