Pediatric Surgery Research | NYU Langone Health

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Division of Pediatric Surgery Pediatric Surgery Research

Pediatric Surgery Research

NYU Langone Health’s Division of Pediatric Surgery is committed to conducting research that results in new ideas and techniques for treating childhood diseases. Our current efforts include clinical, basic science, educational, and informatics-based research that investigates clinical care pathways in pediatric surgery, genetic determinants of pediatric surgical disease, modern quality improvement, and practical applications of clinical informatics.

Trainees in NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s General Surgery Residency in Manhattan have the opportunity to engage in our division’s clinical research and informatics projects. Our close ties to premier pediatric surgery research opportunities all across the country allow our residents to further explore all aspects of pediatric surgical research, positioning them well for matching into pediatric surgery fellowships.

Pediatric Surgery Clinical Research

Our division is involved in a large number of diverse clinical research projects, only some of which we outline here. To learn more about any of these initiatives, or to hear more about our extensive catalog of ongoing research endeavors, email

Clinical Informatics Research

Our division has pioneered multiple innovations in clinical informatics, allowing clinicians and researchers to harness the tremendous power of our healthcare data systems to develop fresh insights into how we diagnose and treat surgical conditions.

Members of our division engage in a constantly evolving array of projects using customized informatics solutions developed directly within the division, as well as tools deployed across a federated data warehouse that forms the backbone of NYU Langone’s electronic health record, or EHR. These pioneering efforts include the following:

  • customized web applications to improve capture of surgical complications
  • unique EHR applications to support surgical site infection prevention audits
  • an EHR-triggered real-time mobile application for assessing resident operative skill
  • studying engagement in clinical informatics specialization by surgical disciplines
  • creating a blueprint for a high-reliability organization (HRO) framework within the EHR

The role of informatics in the world of surgical research is growing exponentially, and the Division of Pediatric Surgery has positioned itself to take full advantage of these research opportunities.

Basic Science Research Collaboratives

Leveraging its extensive clinical expertise, the Division of Pediatric Surgery collaborates with basic science research efforts both here at NYU Langone and through multi-institution initiatives.

Our pediatric surgeons have partnered with Aravinda Chakravarti, PhD, director of the Center for Human Genetics and Genomics, to help uncover the genetic determinants of Hirschsprung disease, a debilitating congenital disorder that results in abnormal function of the colon and rectum. The combined clinical expertise of the Division of Pediatric Surgery in the diagnosis and treatment of Hirschsprung disease fuels the basic science efforts that are critical to understanding the highly variable presentations and outcomes seen with this condition.

Following the development of the Pediatric ECMO Program, our division has deepened its focus on the treatment of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a rare birth defect that results in abdominal organs becoming displaced into the chest. Infants diagnosed with CDH can develop life-threatening complications due to abnormal development of the lungs and may require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) if conventional treatment options fail.

Our pediatric surgeons investigate the genetic causes of CDH through participation in the national Diaphragmatic Hernia Research and Exploration; Advancing Molecular Science (DHREAMS) trial. Members of our division helped develop this longstanding multi-institutional study to further understand of the origins of CDH and allow us to continue to improve the care of infants with this challenging condition.

Pediatric Surgical Clinical Care Research

The field of pediatric surgery is rapidly evolving, and members of our division are at the forefront of pursuing new techniques and approaches to a wide range of conditions. This focus on innovation is driven by research efforts that explore safe, high-quality treatment pathways guided by the latest clinical evidence.

Our clinicians are actively engaged in more than two dozen clinical research projects that focus on conditions as common as appendicitis and as complex as esophageal atresia. Our leadership in the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program fuels multiple active studies of prenatal predictors of disease severity in conditions ranging from congenital diaphragmatic hernia to fetal ovarian cysts.

As leaders in pediatric trauma and in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, we have the unique opportunity to investigate the distinctive epidemiology of pediatric trauma as it unfolds in New York City.

Quality and Safety Research

The Division of Pediatric Surgery maintains a relentless commitment to patient quality and safety at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, leading multidisciplinary teams dedicated to minimizing harm and maximizing quality of care. Division faculty were instrumental in the conception and development of the Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care, and collaborate with children’s services leadership to ensure all children who require surgical care at NYU Langone receive the safest and best treatments.

Our division was among the first at NYU Langone to bring high-reliability organization (HRO) principles into daily surgical practice. As an HRO Master Trainer, Jason C. Fisher, MD, is charged with training all of children’s services at NYU Langone in these essential healthcare safety behaviors.

Our dedication to pediatric surgical quality and safety led us to develop state-of-the-art protocols for reducing radiation exposure in children both within the operating room and in those undergoing routine diagnostic imaging. These efforts resulted in national recognition, including a 2018 Quality, Safety, and Value Award by the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

Clinical Trials

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