Research Opportunities | Paediatrics

The ACH sections research is committed to expanding our research platform, building research infrastructure and expanding the body of knowledge within the areas of pediatric pain and anesthesia.  Professor Robin Cox (GFT), Dr David Lardner (MPT), along with Dr Nivez Rasic, Dr Tiffany Rice, Dr Adam Spencer and Dr Debbie McAllister lead collaborations within ACH, The University of Calgary, and ACHRI.   

The area of pain and translational research has seen the greatest growth.  We have been joined by Dr. Jillian Vinall (PhD) as a post-doctoral researcher. She is a neuroscientist who studies acute and chronic pain in children from birth to adolescence, with a special interest in neuroimaging.  Dr. Melanie Noel has been appointed an adjunct professor of anesthesiology and is a prolific researcher in the area of developmental psychology, studying both acute and chronic pain in children and adolescents.  Dr Rice (MD, PhD) has recently started with our section and will be heading up the translational research component of the program and has established collaboration with basic science researchers at the U of C, Dr. Syed and Dr. Trang.   Drs Noel, Vinall, Rasic and Rice make up the Vi Riddell pain research team and have numerous projects underway including the following

ACH

Research Projects


Vinall J, Rasic N, Pavlova M, McCallum L, Graham S, Rice T, Noel M.

Sociolinguistic context of pain memory development in young children.

Vinall J, Rasic N, Arnold P, Sears C, Noel M.

Mutual maintaining mechanisms underlying the co-occurrence of PTSD and chronic pain in youth: An integrative examination (PATH Study).

Vinall J, Rasic N, Spencer A, Noel M, Walker A, MacMaster F, Syed N, Rice T.

Neurobiological, cognitive-affective and behavioural changes following exposure to either sevoflurane or propofol-based anesthesia in children undergoing MRI.

Rice T, Armstrong R, Hasan S, Iqbal F, Syed N.

Effects of anesthetic agents on neuronal viability, neurite outgrowth and mitochondrial integrity.

Vinall J, Noel M, Harris A, Bray S, Carter K, Rasic N.

Neurobiological changes associated with improvements in function following intensive pain rehabilitation in youth.

Beran T, Noel M, Spencer A, Pearson J, Bell-Graham L.

Efficacy of a Preparation Intervention for the Management of Children's Pain and Fear during Needle Procedures: Help from a Robot Named MEDi.

Young C, Spencer A, Weber B, Walker A, Fermin C, Cook A, Brindle M.

Examining postoperative pain following subscrotal uni or bilateral orchiopexy.

Weber B, Spencer A, Walker A, Fermin C.

Evaluating pain outcomes of ketorolac administration in children undergoing circumcision.

Joughin E, Spencer A, Letal M, Parsons D, Brauer C, Kiefer G, Goldstein S, Ferri-deBaros F, Boulter L, Spicer S.

Evaluation of pain management for pediatric orthopedic patients after discharge from hospital.

Theam M, Shillington C, Spencer A, Walker A, Lamb T.

An Evaluation of A Standardized Peri-operative Pain Protocol for Adolescents undergoing Posterior Spinal Instrumentation for Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spencer A, Choi E, Walker A.

Validation of ultrasound as point-of-care technique to assist with real-time placement of a nasogastric tube in an anesthetized pediatric patient.

Moser JJ, Walker A, Spencer A.

Point of care paediatric gastric sonography: can antral cut-off valves be used to diagnose an empty stomach?

Noel M, Rasic N, Vinall J, et al.

Establishing a pain outcome database for children and adolescents with headaches, functional abdominal pain and other complex pain disorders.


In addition, our pain program has had the opportunity to be part of the national pain SPOR, and is one of the lead pediatric pain sites.  

Dr. Spencer is spearheading research involving regional anesthesia and is involved in various studies with our surgical colleagues.

On-going research projects at Alberta Children's Hospital


Farran A, Khan A, Farran P.

Retrospective review of pediatric anesthesia for children with mitochondrial disorders.

Moser J, Rice T, Archer D, McAllister D.

Neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants exposed to potentially neurotoxic medications during their NICU admission: a pilot project.


From a research standpoint, the section of pediatric anesthesiology has made substantial gains building its research program, but more importantly fostering a culture of research within the section and the hospital.  Even staff who are not directly involved in research are willing to facilitate these projects, and follow the clinical research protocols to facilitate recruitment and data collection.  Furthermore, our section also gives personal monetary donations to support the research efforts of the members in the group who are conducting research.  We excited about these efforts and look forward to further growth and development of this aspect of our section.