HUGO MOSER RESEARCH INSTITUTE OVERVIEW

Kennedy Krieger’s scientists and researchers are leaders in the worldwide effort to prevent and treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.  Our investigators continue to break new ground with innovative magnetic resonance imaging technology, investigate critical areas, such as the role of genetics in developmental disorders, and develop new treatment models and therapies. Kennedy Krieger is committed to sharing our knowledge that can be adapted and used by other healthcare organizations to benefit patients across the country and around the world.

Professional Training Overview

Kennedy Krieger dedicates substantial resources to increasing the number of qualified specialists in the fields of neurological and developmental disabilities. We also take seriously our responsibility not only to improve care through research, but to share that knowledge with others. That is why more than 400 individuals come here to train in a wide variety of disciplines each year. The goals of the Institute’s clinical training programs are twofold: 1) to train leaders in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities and 2) to help ensure that there is a sufficient number of qualified professionals to meet the needs of children with special health care needs and their families. By training future generations of researchers and professionals – from undergraduate students to current staff – we are ensuring that children everywhere can receive the best possible care.

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A National Research Resource Center for Functional Brain Imaging Technology

The only children's hospital designated as a NIH National Research Resource for functional brain imaging, Kennedy Krieger is breaking new ground with innovative fMRI technology.
Understanding Behaviors Through Observational Research

Discovering the environmental and biological basis of behavior is crucial to understanding and improving treatment outcomes for a wide variety of developmental disorders.
Motion Analysis Research and Laboratory

Using 3D modeling and other innovative technologies, our researchers are studying new methods to improve walking patterns in those with brain injuries.
IAN Research: Advancing Research, Empowering Advocates, Interpreting Findings

The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is the nation's largest online autism research effort. IAN Research collects data from families online and matches them to studies nationwide.

HUGO MOSER RESEARCH INSTITUTE OVERVIEW

Kennedy Krieger’s scientists and researchers are leaders in the worldwide effort to prevent and treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.  Our investigators continue to break new ground with innovative magnetic resonance imaging technology, investigate critical areas, such as the role of genetics in developmental disorders, and develop new treatment models and therapies. Kennedy Krieger is committed to sharing our knowledge that can be adapted and used by other healthcare organizations to benefit patients across the country and around the world.

Participate in Research

Over the years, Kennedy Krieger’s scientists and researchers have made crucial medical discoveries that have led to innovative treatments and improved patient care for individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system. Learn more about current research studies you can participate in by visiting our recruiting research studies page. Learn more.

Current Research Projects

Novel Approaches for CEST Labeling, Detection, Quantification, and Translation
Principal Investigator: Van Zijl, Peter
The overall Program Project focuses on the design and detection of bioorganic biodegradable Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) agents, with the ultimate goal of their practical application...
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging as a Biomarker for FSHD
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
Sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology -- 2011 AAN Clinical Research Training Fellowship. Recent advances in the study of heritable neuromuscular disorders have led to multiple promising...
A Novel Xenograft Mouse Model of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The goal of this study is to construct and validate an animal model of FSHD derived from human muscle. Despite being one of the most prevalent neuromuscular disorders worldwide, there have...
Biomarkers of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD)
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
This NIH-funded study is established to identify biomarkers for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). FSHD patients and their unaffected first degree relative will undergo open muscle biopsy...
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Double-Blind Randomized Trial to Find The Optimum Steroid Regimen (FOR-DMD)
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
This Phase III multi-center, double-blind, parallel group, 36 - 60 month study funded by the NIH will compare three corticosteroid regimens in wide use in DMD: 1) daily prednisone (0.75 mg/kg/day); 2...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Biomarkers for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
This study, supported by the FSH Society, will utilize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to develop non-invasive, quantitative imaging biomarkers for...
HALO-DMD-01: A Phase 1b Open Label, Single and Multiple Ascending Dose Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics (PK) of HT-100 in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The study, sponsored by HALO Therapeutics, is designed to provide initial safety, tolerability, and PK data of halofuginone hydrobromide, HT-100, in young boys ages 6-20 years with DMD.  HT-100...
HALO-DMD-02: An Open Label Extension Study of HT-100 in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who have Completed Protocol HALO-DMD-01
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
This open-label, multiple dose extension study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamic signals, and population PK of HT-100, a delayed-release, orally-delivered agent in...
CHAR0312: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Tissue Bank for Exon Skipping
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The purpose of this research is to collect blood and skin samples from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients ages 4 years and above with specific genetic mutations within the dystrophin gene...
Myostatin regulates fate of satellite cells in dystrophic muscle
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The goal of this proposal is to determine whether myostatin, expressed in both skeletal muscle and fibroblasts, regulates the conversion of satellite cells to fibroblasts and whether this conversion...
Partnering to treat an Orphan Disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The goal of this program is to develop an investigational drug by Sanofi for a new indication, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  The program includes preclinical toxicology and efficacy studies as...
Biomarkers for Therapy of FSHD
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The goal of this Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center is to define modifying genes of FSHD and to determine, through novel animal models of FSHD, whether these are...
A Three Dimensional Environment for Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Transplantation
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Kathryn
The purpose of this collaborative project is to develop and test and injectable scaffold embedded with muscle stem cells and a Pfizer drug to facilitate muscle regeneration. Cell based therapies...
Acupressure and Acupuncture as an Intervention with Children with Autism II
Principal Investigator: Warren, Lana
The purpose of this feasibility study is to see if children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will tolerate an acupressure and acupuncture intervention twice weekly over a 3 month period of time...
Acyl-CoA Synthetase ACSVL3 in Malignant Glioma: Metabolism and Oncogenic Cellular
Principal Investigator: Watkins, Paul
Malignant glioma accounts for a significant percentage of brain tumors. As these tumors are typically refractory to treatment, there is a need for new and novel therapeutic approaches. Levels of...
Modeling Aggressive Medulloblastoma Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Principal Investigator: Ying, Mingyao
Brain tumors are the most common cause of childhood oncological death, and medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Group 3 MB is characterized by amplification and...
Understanding Mechanisms of Lower Extremity Strengthening in Women Heterozygous for X-ALD
Principal Investigator: Zackowski, Kathleen
Sponsored by the ELA Foundation. X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), a sex-linked progressive neurodegenerative disease, is caused by a defect in the ABCD1 gene. The disease is expressed in...
Predicting Intervention Responsiveness to Improve Rehabilitation in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Principal Investigator: Zackowski, Kathleen
Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society -- RG 4668-A-1. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) distinguished pathologically by...
Genetic Modifiers of Conduction Disease Risk in Myotonic Dystrophy
Principal Investigator: Nazarian, Saman
Co-Principal Investigator: Kathryn Wagner This multi-center case controlled observational study is established to determine if genetic variants that are known to modulate cardiac conduction and...
Functional Connectivity ToolKit
Principal Investigator: Pekar, James
Functional connectivity (FC) is defined as synchrony between neural signals from different locations; collections of regions displaying consistent synchrony are referred to as networks. Spontaneous...
Chromosomal abnormalities underlying developmental disabilities
Principal Investigator: Pevsner, Jonathan
The research question we would like to address is whether children with developmental disabilities have identifiable chromosomal abnormalities. The approach is in four parts:(1) prescreen and recruit...
Analysis of Genetic Variation in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Principal Investigator: Pevsner, Jonathan
We propose to sequence genomic DNA from patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, to study the nature and extent of genetic variation. To do this, the PI’s laboratory will study...
Pediatric Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for Children with Hemiparesis: Outcomes of a Clinical Model
Principal Investigator: Pidcock, Frank
Does the function of children with hemiparesis improve after treatment involving constraint of the less impaired upper extremity in conjunction with intensive therapies? We will investigate this...
Using Xbox Kinect based sensory technology to improve the functional mobility by allowing remote monitoring and modification of therapeutic activities for children with Cerebral Palsy in the home
Principal Investigator: Pidcock, Frank
This is a small fesibility study where Kennedy Krieger will partner with Richard Simpson a rehabilitation engineer to provide the therapeutic and technologic resources for developing and implementing...
Effect of the NICU Therapy Initiative on Length of Stay
Principal Investigator: Pidcock, Frank
Problem: There is a lack of evidence regarding the impact of interventions by physical therapy and occupational therapy on length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Johns...
Developmental Trajectories of Impairments, Associated Health Conditions, and Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy
Principal Investigator: Pidcock, Frank
The purpose of this research study is to fill the gaps in fundamental knowledge of Cerebral Palsy by determining how children with cerebral palsy or with gross motor delay change in their balance,...
Why parents choose or decline Complementary and Alternative Medicine services in the acute pediatric inpatient rehabilitation setting
Principal Investigator: Prestwich, Suzanne
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) usage in the general population is becoming more common as is usage in children. Use in children with chronic illness such as oncology patients, ADHD and...
Construct and Predictive Validity of the Capute Scales
Principal Investigator: Pritchard, Alison
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are often presented with the responsibility of early identification of developmental delay and other types of disorders, due to their early and ongoing contact with...
Accommodations for ADHD: Are They Effective in Reducing the Impact of the Disorder?
Principal Investigator: Pritchard, Alison
One of the most important functions served by a pediatric neuropsychological assessment is the provision of evidence-based recommendations and resources designed to reduce symptoms and improve...
Outpatient Research Registry
Principal Investigator: Pritchard, Alison
The primary objective of this protocol is to gather information on Neuropsychology outpatients that can later be accessed for screening purposes (to determine eligibility for research studies...
Executive Function and Academic Achievement in Children with a History of Prematurity
Principal Investigator: Pritchard, Alison
The proposed study will be a retrospective review of previously collected clincal neuropsychological testing data, which will be deidentified for the purpose of this research study. The first...
Effect of glycerol trierucate on clinical course of Adrenoleukodystrophy
Principal Investigator: Raymond, Gerald
Adrenoleukodystrophy is a disorder of very long chain fatty acids secondary to defects in peroxisomal beta oxidation. The accumulation of these fatty acids results in a disorder of the adrenal glands...
Virtual Sailing Simulator in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator: Recio, Albert
The benefits of sport and recreational activities for the disabled are well recognized from the standpoint of health and quality of life. Yet there remains a lack of options for most disabled people...
Collaborative Assessment of Pediatric Transverse Myelitis; Understand, Reveal, Educate. CAPTURE Study
Principal Investigator: Recio, Albert
Currently, there are no uniform outcome measures to assist in guiding therapies. This multi center study proposes a unique opportunity to examine the outcomes of acute treatment and potentially...
Developmental Outcomes in Children with Unilateral and Mild/Moderate Hearing Loss
Principal Investigator: Reesman, Jennifer
The primary goal of the present study is to begin to develop a program of research to capture developmental outcomes in children with hearing loss, with a current focus on unilateral (UL) and mild/...
Cognitive, Behavioral, and Educational Outcomes in At-Risk Children with Hearing Loss
Principal Investigator: Reesman, Jennifer
Children with hearing loss are at increased risk for poor cognitive, behavioral and educational outcomes. The present study seeks to identify correlates of poor outcomes and identify predictors via a...
Utility of the Immediate and Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Adolescents
Principal Investigator: Reesman, Jennifer
The present research seeks to examine whether the ImPACT test provides an accessible means of assessment for adolescents who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as this tool has not previously been...
Individualizing Learning Arrangements for Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Principal Investigator: Rooker, Griffin
The frequent and immediate delivery of reinforcers (rewards) following completion of academic tasks and related activities is an integral part of many educational programs for children with...
Facial Dysmorphology in Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Principal Investigator: Rooker, Griffin
Recent literature has demonstrated an association between autism spectrum disorders and characteristic dysmorphologies of the face and brain. The current study extends this line of investigation by...
Relation of Severity of injury with Testosterone profile & osteoporosis in spinal cord injured men
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
Hypothesis: Higher spinal cord injury neurologic level correlates with decreased testosterone level and increased prevalence of secondary osteoporosis.  Spinal cord injury is more common in...
Incidence of Osteoporosis in Patients with Chronic Spinal Cord Dysfunction
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
Research Question: Prevalence of osteoporosis in patients with traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injury. Secondary Question: Relationship between bone mass, injury level and grade (ASIA), total...
Patterned FES Ergometry of Arm and Shoulder in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
Recent evidence suggests that FES can improve certain functions in the Central Nervous System (CNS) following injury or disease; it can enhance motor recovery, change H reflex and flexor reflex...
Relation of HDL levels with home based Activity Based Restorative Therapies in spinal cord injured adults
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
Hypothesis: HDL levels increase following home based Activity Based Restorative Therapies (ABRT) The effect of exercise on lipid profile is well documented in the able bodied population. The effect...
FES Driven Stepping in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
Improving walking in individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a major current clinical and research goal. Gait training in SCI can be done with therapist-assisted over ground ambulation (with or...
Pediatric Multicenter Evaluation of Notable SCI Outcome Instruments, evaluation of Outcome Instruments when Applied to Children
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
The overall objective of this research project is to establish pediatric psychometric support (usability, reliability, validity) of outcomes instruments that have been recommended for use in spinal...
Linking Adult and Pediatric Outcomes Instruments
Principal Investigator: Sadowsky, Cristina
To validate the estimates used to link the Shriners Hospitals for Children (SHC) pediatric spinal cord injury (SCI) general mobility, manual mobility, power mobility and daily routine computer...
Cognitive profiles in childhood epilepsy and the influence of identified risk factors
Principal Investigator: Salorio, Cynthia
Epilepsy is often associated with a host of neurobehavioral comorbidities, including cognitive, psychiatric, and social abnormalities. Such abnormalities contribute to difficulties across...
ArmAware: a novel device to treat hemiplegia and hemispatial neglect
Principal Investigator: Salorio, Cynthia
The Investigators have developed a novel therapeutic device called ArmAware, that is designed to be an adjunctive treatment for adults and children with hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body...
The Osteogenesis Imperfecta Registry
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
The development and operation of a national registry for individuals with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Longitudinal Study of Brittle Bone Disease
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
The objective of this protocol is to conduct a longitudinal multidisciplinary investigation of the natural history, current therapeutic interventions, morbidity, and mortality in people with OI....
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Diagnoses and Treatment
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Bruce
We will undertake a retrospective review of clinical records to evaluate the range and features of various NDD diagnoses and stimulant safety and efficacy in the sickle cell disease population...
Distal Femur Bone Mineral Density Measurements in Healthy Individuals and Individuals with Acquired and Genetic Bone Disorders
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
Medical reports and our preliminary data indicate that DXA bone density measurements at the distal femur are sensitive indicators of the extent bone demineralization. Although data at this femur site...
The utilization and efficacy of physical therapy services for individuals with Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
This study is being performed to determine how physical therapy services are being used by individuals with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) and the efficacy of these services for individuals with...
Factors Determining Failure to Respond to Treatment in Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
Treatment with bisphosphonates is generally effective in increasing bone density and decreasing fracture rate in children with osteogenesis imperfecta. However, adults with osteogenesis imperfecta do...
Assessment of Medical and Surgical Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease in OI
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
Current information about cardiovascular disease in OI children or adults has not been systematically evaluated: the real incidence of valvular or aortic disease or atherosclerotic risk or is unknown...
Retrospective Analysis of Distal Femur and Femur Neck DXA Measurements in Adult Controls and in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury, Cerebral Palsy and Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Principal Investigator: Shapiro, Jay
Loss of bone mineral density has been a consistent finding in non-weight bearing spinal cord injury (SCI) and cerebral palsy (CP) patients. DXA BMD of the total hip and femur neck and QCT-derived...
Aging and Dementia in Adults with Down Syndrome
Principal Investigator: Silverman, Wayne
This ongoing NIH supported Program Project will be renewed for another five years, and is programmatically a seamless continuation of my current Exempt protocol (#NA_00002225; "Changes in Functioning...
Predicting Cognitive Decline in Adults with Down Syndrome
Principal Investigator: Silverman, Wayne
The object of this proposal is to predict cognitive decline in adults with Down syndrome (DS) and to ultimately provide a platform for early intervention to prevent the dementia associated with...
The role of Mnbk in DS brain development and aging
Principal Investigator: Silverman, Wayne
 This collaborative study (headed by Jerzy Wegiel, D.V.D., Ph.D. of the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities) focuses on the role of overexpression of Mnbk/...
Changes in Functioning Among Adults with Mental Retardation
Principal Investigator: Silverman, Wayne
 The major objectives of this program of research are to: (1) study the basic biological mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer disease (AD), focusing explicitly on the adult population with Down...
Descriptive and Clinical Analysis of Behavioral Services to Enhance Readiness for Transition to Adult Medical Care in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease
Principal Investigator: Slifer, Keith
From a health care systems perspective, one of the main challenges for adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) is transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Interdisciplinary transition programs...
Analysis of and Intervention for Behavioral and Psychological Adjustment and Coping After Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator: Slifer, Keith
Sustaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) is a life-altering event, both for youth and their families. Recent innovations in the treatment of pediatric SCI offer the potential for greater restoration of...
Exposure Therapy and Counterconditioning Intervention for Acute Pain Management during Venipuncture in Children with Chronic Conditions: A clinical case series
Principal Investigator: Slifer, Keith
Managing children’s distress during invasive medical procedures, including venipunctures, is challenging for health care providers. The venipuncture procedure is sometimes not well tolerated by...
Clinical Assessment of Behavioral Adjustment in Pediatric Patients: A Preliminary Case Series Review
Principal Investigator: Slifer, Keith
In pediatric rehabilitation settings, behavioral consultants see patients with a wide range of medical conditions, mental health diagnoses, and presenting problems. The Pediatric Behavioral...
Standardization of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Fifth Edition (WISC–V)
Principal Investigator: Slomine, Beth
The results of this study will be used to create an updated version of one of the most widely-used measures of intelligence for children. We will participate in this research with the test developer...
The reliability and validity of the CPCHILD© in children with holoprosencephaly (HPE) or other brain malformation
Principal Investigator: Stashinko, Elaine
The purpose of this study is to investigate the reliability and validity of the Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD©) as a measure of health related quality...
Neural Basis of Recovery of Inhibitory Control and Processing Speed After Pediatric TBI
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
Inhibitory control is frequently impaired following pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI), and deficits in inhibitory control impact a child’s function in school and at home and ultimately their...
Neural basis of impairments in response inhibition and processing speed following pediatric traumatic brain injury
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
Impairments in response inhibition and processing speed developing after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) are common and affect behavioral and academic outcomes. It remains unclear which brain...
Predictors of functional recovery and description of outcomes after pediatric brain injury
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
Brain dysfunction in children can result from multiple causes, including trauma, hypoxia, diseases of the central nervous system, metabolic disorders, tumors, vascular abnormalities, and congenital...
Neural markers of concussion and recovery
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
The goals of this study are to collect preliminary data on neural biomarkers with promise for identifying concussion and predicting and evaluating recovery from concussion in teenagers. We will...
Quantitative Sensory Testing in a Clinical Sample of Children with Concussion
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
Concussion is a diffuse neurometabolic disturbance leading to symptoms in physical, cognitive, emotional and sleep domains. Clinical management of concussion is based on symptom report in conjunction...
Body Fluid Markers of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
Principal Investigator: Suskauer, Stacy
The goal of this study is to identify whether blood, urine, and CSF biomarkers are predictive of short-term (1 month) outcome after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). We will obtain blood and...
The Mentoring Practices and Benefits Survey
Principal Investigator: Swearingen, Tami
The purpose of this multi- centered educational project is to assess the effectiveness of an evidence-based approach to mentoring among inpatient RN's. Specifically the research question posed: Is...

Faculty & Research Scientists