Launch Symposium

February 11th, 2020
Rangos Research Building Auditorium

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh


The launch symposium overviewed the vision, goals, and funding opportunities of the Institute in addition to featuring exciting collaborative research.  



2:00pm       Welcome reception and registration

2:30pm.      Opening remarks

Terence Dermody, Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh

Overview of i4Kids vision, goals, and funding opportunities

John V. Williams, i4Kids Director and Henry L. Hillman Chair in Pediatric Immunology and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh

Anna Wang-Erickson, i4Kids Associate Director and Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh


Research Talks


3:00pm      Defining the Molecular Fingerprint of Severe Influenza in Children

John Alcorn, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

3:15pm.     Infant mice born to immunized dams develop enhanced Th2-type immunity on secondary RSV exposure

Kerry Empey, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh

3:30pm.     Inactivation of focal adhesion kinase converts acinar cells into functional insulin producing β-like cells

Farzad Esni, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

3:45pm.     Oral epithelial IL-22/STAT3 signaling licenses IL-17-mediated immunity to oral mucosal candidiasis

Sarah Gaffen, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology; Pittsburgh Autoimmunity Center of Excellence in Rheumatology (PACER), University of Pittsburgh

4:00pm.      Break

4:15pm.     Organoid engineering for investigating pulmonary infection and inflammation

Xi (Charlie) Ren, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

4:30pm.      A gut commensal protist protects from virus-mediated inflammatory responses to dietary antigens

Reinhard Hinterleitner, Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh

4:45pm.   Evolution of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faeciumduring colonization and infection in immunocompromised pediatric patients

Daria Van Tyne, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Pittsburgh


5:00pm.    Networking dinner reception

6:00pm.    End