The Foundation recognizes that development of clinician researchers is extremely important to the field of child neurology. A junior faculty member who has developed clinical research skills, and has a plan for further development of that research or has basic science research skills related to child neurology, and who has a plan to translate the new knowledge into clinical care for children with neurologic diseases is eligible for this award. Candidates for the award are asked to submit brief letters of intent which will be scored by members of the CNF Scientific Award Committee. The committee that reviews the applications includes child neurologists who are also successful scientists, including several who have been recipients of CNF awards. In addition to scientific criteria such as the soundness of the hypothesis, feasibility, and relevance to clinical pediatric neurological disorders, reviewers look for evidence that the award will have a major career impact.
The Shields Award is supported by the Winokur Family Foundation.
Acting Assistant Professor
Seattle Children’s Hospital/Seattle Children’s Research Institute
One in a thousand newborn infants is diagnosed with hydrocephalus before they even leave the hospital, which can leave their families blindsided. My research proposal seeks to address basic questions about hydrocephalus in children: why it happens, how best to treat it, and what it means for a child’s future. There are three parts to my project: First, I will use MRI-based techniques to explore the relationship between the shape of a child’s brain and the way that cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow within and around it. Second, I will collect detailed clinical information about how children with different types of hydrocephalus develop physically and cognitively, and how they respond to various types of surgery. Finally, I will use these results to guide genomic investigations of the factors that give rise to different types of hydrocephalus, and to differences in clinical outcome. The goal of my work is a deeper understanding of why hydrocephalus develops, a better grasp of its clinical implications, and a new sense of how to tailor treatment to each individual child.