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Child Neurology - Research

Overview and Faculty Research Interests


Research is an integral part of the Section of Child Neurology and is essential to its mission to advance the care of children and adolescents with neurological disorders now and in the future. Current projects include both clinical and translational neuroscience investigations focused on improving the understanding and treatment of a variety of neurological disorders.

Children's Hospital Colorado in affiliation with the University of Colorado School of Medicine is pioneering research into some of the newest treatments, latest preventions, and most promising cures of childhood diseases. The Anschutz Medical Campus provides opportunities for early-stage and start-up research-oriented biotechnology and will facilitate the use of emerging science to pioneer discoveries benefiting global healthcare. The Section is proud to be a part of this exciting research environment and to perform cutting-edge research to improve treatment opportunities for patients with neurologic disorders.

Dr. Jennifer Armstrong-Wells primary research investigates the mechanisms and risk factors for perinatal ischemic brain injury (stroke and cerebral palsy) by examining of inflammatory and coagulation disturbances in the pregnant woman, the placenta, and the fetus. She additionally leads studies on the mechanisms and outcomes after childhood hemorrhagic stroke.

Dr. Timothy Benke's lab studies the function of synapses, the primary means of communication between neurons in the brain. Results are likely to help prevent the effects of early-life seizures, which can include learning impairment and epilepsy, and will also advance the understanding of the synaptic mechanisms underlying developmental disabilities.

Dr. Timothy Bernard serves as the director of the CHC Pediatric Stroke Program, researching inflammation, coagulation, classification, treatments, and outcomes in childhood-onset arterial ischemic stroke. His research is funded through an NIH/NHLBI K23 award, as well as several international studies. He participates in several multi-center studies in childhood stoke, including the International Pediatric Stroke Study and the Thrombolyisis in Pediatric Stroke Study.

Dr. Richard Boada's research has been focused on the identification of shared genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors that explain the comorbidity between speech, language, reading, and attentional disorders. He is currently involved in a multi-site study of reading and dyslexia in minority populations. He is also involved in studies looking at the cognitive sequelae of childhood stroke and Klinefelter syndrome, as well as the effects of pharmacological intervention for the amelioration of memory deficits in Down Syndrome.

Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal is the Chief and Ponzio Family Chair of Pediatric Neurology at Children's Colorado, Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Co-Director of the Translational Epilepsy Research Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is also the interim Emphasis Area Leader for Neuroscience Research for Children's Hospital Colorado Research Institute. Dr. Brooks-Kayal's research program focuses on the development of new treatments for epilepsy by understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that result in development of epilepsy in order to develop new ways to prevent and treat this disorder. Her lab has identified changes in inhibitory neurotransmission, specifically GABA(A) receptor subunit expression, that may play a critical role in epilepsy development. Most recently, they have identified molecular signaling pathways, including BDNF and the CREB and JaK/STAT pathways, that regulate these receptor changes and shown that modulating these pathways can prevent these changes and inhibit epilepsy development. Learn more about Dr. Brooks-Kayal's Lab.

Dr. Kevin Chapman has a research interest in complex epilepsy and has a special interest in electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES). He is participating in multicenter research on status epilepticus and the utility of EEG in status epilepticus.

Dr. Abigail Collins’ research focuses on a variety of pediatric movement disorders.

Dr. Marco I. González is investigating the molecular bases of epilepsy development or epileptogenesis in order to get new insight into potential therapies that may help to prevent epilepsy before it starts. 

Dr. Carolyn Green is investigating the tools and strategies to facilitate the specialist involvement to support family-centered community-based health care (AKA medical home or medical neighborhood) for children with chronic conditions, which includes excellent communication and care coordination among families, specialists and primary care providers.

Dr. Jennifer Janusz has research interests in the neurocognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning of children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1.

Dr. Sita Kedia centers her research in diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pediatric headache disorders. Her current focus is in behavioral and stress reduction non-pharmaceutical approaches to prevention and treatment of headache. In addition, she is investigating temperament and character traits associated with migraine and other headache types.

Dr. Susan Koh has interests in pediatric epilepsy, especially in pediatric epilepsy surgery, ketogenic diet and vagal nerve stimulation. She is also interested in tuberous sclerosis.

Dr. Pramote Laoprasert is pursuing clinical research related to neuroimaging in patients with epilepsy, including neuroimaging studies and invasive EEG monitoring as pre-surgical workups prior to pediatric epilepsy surgery and as predictors of surgical outcome.

Dr. Paul Levisohn is a principal investigator for clinical epilepsy research supported by internal and extramural funding. He is currently conducting clinical trials investigating childhood absence epilepsy, new antiepileptic drugs for use in children, and health-related quality of life for children with epilepsy and their families.

Dr. Paul Moe has explored and published on clinical child neurology, including spike wave stupor, infantile polymoclonia-opsoclonus syndrome, and encephalitis. During his many years at Children's Colorado, Dr. Moe has written numerous articles and book chapters on pediatric neurology.

Dr. Kristen Park has research interests in epilepsy genetics, participating in the Epilepsy Phenome Genome Projet (EPGP) and the Human Epilepsy Project (HEP). The latter is a prospective multicenter effort to find biomarkers for treatment responsiveness in epilepsy. She is also enrolling patients in several clinical trials for novel anticonvulsants and the pharmacokinetics of medication in children. Dr. Park is also working with the Neurosurgery department to systematically review outcomes and complications of epilepsy surgery at Children’s Colorado.

Dr. Yogendra Raol's research focuses on developing new treatments for neonatal seizures and identifying EEG “biomarkers” that will help predict which at risk children will develop epilepsy.

Dr. Andrew White's research is in the area of epileptogenesis and neuroprotection. He is specifically interested in the area of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury and is experienced with multiple in vivo monitoring systems including radiotelemetry and tethered animal video-EEG systems.

Dr. Greta Wilkening is interested in the cognitive and perceptual consequences of neurologic diseases, or the treatments for such diseases. Specific foci include the long-term consequences of stroke, epilepsy, seizure surgery, and treatment for neoplastic disease.