Adjustable Heart Stent Promises Lifelong Solution for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease

The Renata Minima Stent can be gradually expanded up to adult size over the course of the child’s lifetime

As Director of Cardiac Catherization Labs at Seattle Children’s, Dr. Brian Morray routinely performs diagnostic as well as complex heart procedures on patients as young as a few days old all the way up to adults. Part of his job is to provide minimally invasive services for children with congenital heart disease (CHD).

“Congenital heart disease is the most common kind of congenital birth defect,” said Morray. “For the vast majority of our patients, it occurs when the heart is developing in utero. It’s a structural abnormality of the heart that we frequently diagnose before birth.”

Helping Children Sleep: Seattle Children’s Expanding Sleep Medicine Program

A child in a bed with a medical professional standing to the left and another person sitting on a couch in the background.

One of the 12 overnight sleep study suites at Seattle Children’s new Sleep Center

Studies consistently show that up to 50% of children experience a sleep problem at least a few nights each week. While the most recognized consequence of inadequate sleep is daytime sleepiness, children commonly manifest their sleepiness as irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties and poor academic performance.

Some sleep disruptions are normal and are connected to age-related changes. Others are symptoms of an actual sleep disorder. Whatever the reason, sleep problems can affect the entire family and should be accurately diagnosed.

In this Q&A, Dr. Maida Chen, director of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, shares details on Seattle Children’s expanding Sleep Medicine Program.

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Epilepsy Update: Dr. Rusty Novotny Discusses Latest Treatments and Developments

A man wearing glasses and a suit shows a model of a human head with electrodes to two women.

Dr. Novotny, right, director of Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program, discusses the latest developments in epilepsy (file photo)

New research and treatments for epilepsy have come a long way in the last several years. In this Q&A, we talk with Dr. Edward “Rusty” Novotny, director of Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program and professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Washington. As the director of one of the largest epilepsy programs in the nation and the program exclusively dedicated to pediatrics in the Northwest accredited level 4 by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, Dr. Novotny answers questions about advances in epilepsy treatment.

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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Program Expansion at Seattle Children’s Serves Growing Need

A baby with sensors on their chest.

Seattle Children’s is expanding the bronchopulmonary dysplasia program

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a long-lasting form of lung disease affecting babies born prematurely. Their lungs are not fully formed and are sometimes damaged, and they need extra oxygen through a tube placed into their nose or more support to survive, grow and develop.

BPD also is called chronic lung disease of prematurity. The number of newborns with BPD has risen as more and more babies survive being born many weeks before their due date. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 newborns develop BPD in the United States each year.

In this Q&A, Dr. Gregory Redding,  division chief of the Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Division at Seattle Children’s and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, shares details on Seattle Children’s expanding Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Program.

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Seattle Children’s Researchers Discover that Nanobodies Could Pack the Biggest Punch Against COVID-19 Variants and Resurgence


When the worst pandemic of the century struck, a group of nine Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s scientists teamed up with researchers from Rockefeller University to innovate powerful tools for diagnosing and treating a virus that has claimed over 5 million lives.

In a recent study published in E-life, scientists from Seattle Children’s Aitchison, Sather, Myler and Debley labs, in collaboration with Rockefeller University’s Chait, Rout and Bieniasz labs, demonstrate how a unique group of antibodies, known as nanobodies, could become an exceptional resource for superior COVID-19 protective and therapeutic interventions, as well as bring hope for effective treatment of diseases most commonly found in low-resource countries.

Antibodies are produced by our bodies as a protective response to bacteria, viruses and foreign substances in our blood. Nanobodies are fragments of antibodies produced by llamas and other members of the camelid family. Nanobodies are ten times smaller than human antibodies, they are remarkably robust and they are readily “humanized” for use in diagnostic and therapeutic treatments. Nanobodies bind to viral-producing antigens in places not accessible to human antibodies and are considerably more thermo-resistant. Read full post »

Ensuring the Continuity of Research to Improve Children’s Lives Amidst the Unexpected

Seattle Children’s Therapeutics is envisioning and testing next-generation cell and gene therapies for pediatric diseases so children have the medicines they deserve.

How Seattle Children’s Therapeutics is Navigating the Pandemic

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, Seattle Children’s Therapeutics researcher Kaori Oda worried that her research work would be put on hold, or even worse, need to permanently end. Like most people, she was worried that she and her family might contract the virus, but she was also concerned that a slowdown would impact her team’s timeline for bringing a much-needed therapy to children with leukemia.

Seattle Children’s Therapeutics is a unit in the research division at Seattle Children’s. As a novel non-profit therapeutics development enterprise, it is devoted to envisioning and testing next-generation cell and gene therapies for pediatric diseases, so children have the medicines they deserve.

The Seattle Children’s Therapeutics team has designed, manufactured and launched a robust portfolio of cellular immunotherapy clinical trials for childhood cancer since 2012 in the areas of leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors and solid tumors. The team plans to expand its focus to other childhood diseases that are amenable to treatment using genetic and cellular therapies. Read full post »

Scientist Brings First-Hand Perspective to Fight Against Malaria

Drs. Nana Minkah (back) and Deba Goswami are working with their Kappe Lab colleagues to develop a vaccine for malaria.

Growing up in Ghana, a sub-Saharan country on the west coast of Africa, Dr. Nana Minkah, a scientist at the Kappe Lab, endured the unenviable “rite of passage” contracting malaria multiple times as a child.

While he doesn’t remember the early years when the associated high fever caused hallucinations, he has distinct memories of later bouts when he was bedridden for more than a week with pain and chills so bad his body visibly shivered.

The multiple malaria infections Minkah endured in his youth is common to those living in sub-Saharan Africa where the mosquito-transmitted parasitic infection is one of the deadliest diseases in human history. Despite tremendous attempts to rid the world of the malaria pathogens, it continues to sicken hundreds of millions and kills nearly half a million people each year. Malaria’s biggest toll is on children and pregnant women in developing countries.

That’s why, after Minkah completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, he joined the Kappe Lab in 2015. Although he had no experience in parasitology, he wanted to work on malaria — a disease that continues to plague his homeland.

“I wanted to do work that has clinical implications with the potential to save the lives of people who look like me,” Minkah explained. Read full post »