Research

The Department of Pediatrics has nationally and internationally renowned research experts in the fields of cystic fibrosis, oncology (cancer), hemophilia, sickle-cell disease, infectious diseases, genetics, neonatology, child abuse, adolescent medicine, obesity, behavioral pediatrics, endocrinology, bronchoscopy, and congenital heart disease.

Our faculty continually develops new knowledge through research, using it to understand and treat children's illnesses. The Department is ranked 14th in the country for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Our accomplishments and research leadership not only raises our visibility nationally but provides the faculty and staff opportunities to participate in the development of new treatments and potential cures. Most importantly, this means having the latest clinical trials available to our patients.

Each of our pediatric subspecialty divisions' pages details more information about their specific research endeavors

Dr. Toni DarvilleDepartment of Pediatrics faculty who would like individual input or consultation regarding research are invited to contact Dr. Toni Darville, the Department’s Vice Chair for Research, at lad@email.unc.edu.  Dr. Darville is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology/Immunology, and Chief of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division.  She leads an internationally recognized, NIH-funded basic and translational research program in chlamydial diseases.  Dr. Darville is available for consultation regarding research project and grant proposal development.

Pay It Forward, Move It Forward

Dr. Darville has started the Pay It Forward, Move It Forward (PIF-MIF) Program, an initiative that connects Department of Pediatrics Faculty and Fellows with successful scientists that can provide advice and constructive criticism on their research project. Investigators receive feedback from advisors from within the Department of Pediatrics, NC TraCS, Center for Faculty Excellence and research institutions from across UNC’s campus. Both junior and senior level investigators are encouraged to apply. For more details, please contact us at .

Biostatistical Resources

High-quality research requires high-quality study design, biostatistics and data management.   A summary of the on-campus options for accessing biostatistical advice and support follows. In some cases, this may be associated with costs.  Department of Pediatrics resources to help support will vary year to year but may be available.  To request funds from the Department for biostatistical support, Faculty may submit an application form to katie.eimers@unc.edu.

Visit NC TraCS online

Faculty may submit requests for biostatistical support through TraCS here. A biostatistician group will review each request, ask any questions they may have, and then determine the best option, as follows:

  • Walk-in clinics (no cost) – For general statistical questions or consulting.
  • Overview (no cost) – General/broad advice from a biostatistician about a given research project.
  • Seminar Series (no cost) - Provides junior clinical and translational researchers who have basic quantitative training in biostatistical methods with a more in depth understanding of selected topics and to introduce them to more advanced methods. Emphasis is placed on what is needed to understand a statistical method or concept in order to recognize whether a methodology is potentially relevant to their research aim and choice of study design, and appropriately interpret results of analyses using the methodology. For more information, contact NCTraCS_BiosSeminar@unc.edu.
  • Group feedback (no cost) – If your data are complicated and routine analysis does not apply, faculty may present to a group of Biostatisticians at the Bios Core Grand Rounds and they will discuss the problem with you and provide you with suggestions. Depending on the problem, follow-up meetings with a subgroup of Biostatisticians are available. Contact Dr. Jianwen Cai.
  • In-depth support (cost) – Fees associated with the in-depth support options are determined individually by a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, and are based on each faculty member's need. Options for support are as follows:
    • Biostatistician that oversees your work
    • Biostatistician that does the work for small bursts throughout lifetime of project
    • Biostatistician that is integrally involved in the project
    • Biostatisticians can be written into a grant or contract, or the funds available through the Department of Pediatrics may be used to support some percentage of their time.

Biostatisticians from the Department of Biostatistics can be written into a grant or contract, or the funds available through the Department of Pediatrics may be used to support some percentage of the Biostatistician's and their programmer's time.

Biostatisticians at the CSRL provide expertise in sampling, questionnaire design, nonresponse adjustments, population-based weights, complex statistical analysis as well as data collection by telephone, Internet, mail or face-to-face. Free consultations are available.

For more information, call Robert Agans at (919) 843-5923.

Housed within the Department of Biostatistics, the CSCC is a data coordinating center for multi-site clinical trials and observational studies. The CSCC provides:

  • Statistical collaboration on protocol design
  • Design and implementation of a state-of-the-art electronic data collection and management system using the Carolina Data and Reporting Tool (C-DART) platform. C-DART is jointly developed by the CSCC and NC TraCS
  • Multi-site trial project management, clinical site training and monitoring, database QC and cleaning, status reports, DSMB/OSMB reports
  • Statistical analysis, manuscript collaboration, manuscript tracking for large studies, generation of public access databases

Biostatisticians and CSCC staff can be written into a grant or contract. Initial consultation may be arranged through NC TraCS, or by contacting Dr. Sonia Davis.

The Odum Institute offers walk-in, short-term and longer-term statistical, survey and data management consulting. The Institute also provides a range of short courses including quantitative and qualitative methods, survey research and data management.

For more information or to arrange a consultation, call the Institute's main line at (919) 962-3061.

Housed within the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), the Biostatistics and Data Management Core is a no-charge facility open to LCCC members and those performing cancer research at UNC. The Core provides weekly walk-in clinics as well as individual consultation and support for:

  • Research and protocol design, including implementation and programming of specific sampling schemes, the assistance in clinical protocol preparation, including the choice of proper design and statistical analysis methods, and the development of special software programs or macros for handling non-standard data analysis situations.
  • Data management, including database design, creation, and implementation, documentation, maintenance and quality assurance, and user support for centralized patient and population study databases, including study databases.
  • Data analysis for clinical trials and for epidemiologic, cancer prevention and control, and basic science studies.

The best way for eligible faculty to contact the Core is through the walk-in clinics, or by emailing LCCC_BIOS@med.unc.edu.

The UNC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) biostatistics training core has developed several excellent introductory presentations on statistical concepts relevant to clinical and translational research: Overview of Biostatistics (by Michael Hudgens and Katie Mollan), Data Management (by Ali Fokar), and Survey Development (by Carol Golin and Catherine Grodonsky).

The Department of Pediatrics will be acquiring the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for the use of faculty and fellows who are interested in conducting health services research in large administrative databases – or who wish to learn about using such databases!

The KID is one of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) family of databases created and supported by AHRQ. HCUP has been the means of providing researchers with publicly available data at the encounter level. KID contains inpatient treatment and charge data on patients younger than 21 years of age. It is the only all-payer database on children’s health service use.

KID data are captured every three years, and our department will acquire the entire current archive of data from 1997 through 2009. Because the database is large, it permits analysis of rare conditions, but it is also a valuable tool for study of preventable hospitalizations, costs as represented by charges, quality, safety, and comorbidities among other researchable questions.

This link will take you to AHRQ’s KID home page, where you will find considerable information on the contents of the data, and rules for its use.

Several members of the Department of Pediatrics faculty can assist faculty with the use of the data for exploration of research questions. Use of the data does not require a programmer, but some statistical and data analysis experience is helpful. The Department provides some biostatistical support as part of its faculty development portfolio.

Please contact for additional information or if you intend to use KID for research projects.