People in Charlottesville had a chance to see what new advances doctors at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital have been working on all year long.
Around 35 presenters, including one with a particular interest in the Charlottesville area, put their research on display Thursday to introduce people to some of this year's new advancements that may become tomorrow's medicine.
Assistant pediatrics professor Amy Brown has undertaken a study of the Southwood and Westhaven neighborhoods in Charlottesville.
"It was really about getting out in the neighborhood, and trying to understand what the community's perceptions of their unmet child health needs were,” Brown said.
Brown says some of the findings were surprising. For example, she says, “in Southwood we actually saw a very high prevalence of poor dental hygiene.”
Another researcher, assistant pediatrics professor Julia Wisniewski, studied treatments for children with peanut allergies, looking for a permanent solution.
"Children were able to tolerate at least some amount of peanut on a regular basis whereas before the trial they would not have been able to eat any peanut,” Wisniewski said.
Pediatrics Chair James Nataro says this kind of research is what contributes to making their overall care exceptional.
"We've made dramatic strides improving the quality of care for children with cancer, for premature infants, and many other serious childhood diseases, and the way we do that is by introducing an element of research into the care that we provide every day,” Nataro said.
Brown says the best part of her research is applying it to actual solutions in her community. She says next week they’ll go to one neighborhood for a large-scale intervention about dental health.
Nataro says, in addition to introducing the public to this research, the symposium allows professors to share ideas and gain insight into their colleagues’ work.