Current Projects

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research

The goal of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine research team is to conduct high-priority, multi-institutional, collaborative research on the prevention and management of acute illness and injuries in children and youth of all ages.

Currently Funded Programs

PECARN Core Data Project

The Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), is the first federally-funded pediatric emergency medicine research network in the United States. PECARN is a multistate, multisite collaborative research network which collectively has access to greater than 1.2 M pediatric emergency department visits annually across all sites. UNM is a member of the Southwest Node of PECARN with U of AZ and U of OK.

UNM works closely with University of Utah Data Collection Center for data analysis. The UNM EMS Affiliate Scientific Advisor also coordinates with University of Utah for national EMS Data Collection and research.

Site PI: Dr. Robert E. Sapien, MD, MMM
EMS Affiliate Scientific Advisor: Darren Braude, MD, MPH, EMT-P
Clinical Research Manager: Scott J. Oglesbee, MPH


Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a clinical diagnosis defined as a diarrheal disease and is most commonly caused by viruses but can also be caused by bacteria, or parasites. The goal of this National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) funded research program is to determine the efficacy and side effects of probiotics, specifically the probiotic agent Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG (LGG), used in the treatment of AGE in children ages 3-48 months who present to the Emergency Department. Washington University in St. Louis Probiotics

Probiotics Team
Probiotic PI: Dr. Robert E. Sapien, MD, MMM

RNA Biosignatures II

This NICHD co-funded research program aims to effectively integrate a RNA-based diagnostic technology (called transcriptional signatures) to distinguish between bacterial and non-bacterial infections in well-appearing febrile (elevation of body temperature >38 C) infants who present to the Emergency Department.

Other focuses include:

  • Establishing a collaboration between PECARN branches to conduct translational genomic research and,
  • Demonstrating an effective process for the screening, consenting, collecting, and processing of small volumes of blood samples from febrile infants for the use of extracting RNA.

Biosignatures II Research

RNA Biosignatures II Team
RNA Biosignatures II PI: Dr. Grace Park, DO, MPH

Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) occurs with head injury from contact and/or from the acceleration/deceleration of the head, and is also associated with neurobehavioral deficits in patients.

This NIH funded research program is a collaborative study with the Mind Research Network and focuses on using imaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (DTI), and in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to provide unique information on neurobehavioral functioning and to increase understanding the mechanisms underlying mTBI and its stages of recovery. Mind Research Network mTBI

Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Team
PI: Dr. Grace Park, DO, MPH

EMS for Children

EMS for Children, Child Ready Regionalization of Care, and Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department Telehealth Network

These are all HRSA funded projects which aim to improve the care of the acutely ill or injured child through regionalizing pediatric emergency care and increasing access to care. Major initiatives include:

  • Community self-assessments to assess their level of preparedness
  • Building a Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department Telehealth Network to increase access to care for child in rural and tribal areas
  • Prevention activities through app development in injury prevention, asthma prevention and cultural humility for health care providers.

EMS for Children Team
PI: Dr. Robert E. Sapien, MD, MMM


Other Research Studies

Child Ready Regionalization of Care

Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department Telehealth Network