Media Coverage

8/10/20
The Conversation published an article by Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases, who finds that the link between Kawasaki disease and a mysterious illness striking young children infected with COVID-19 is premature. Hicar notes differences in symptoms, impact on the heart, age of patients and location of new cases between the two diseases. “Perhaps studying these new cases will shed much needed light on the cause of Kawasaki disease, a disorder that has perplexed pediatricians for a half-century,” says Hicar. “As both conditions appear to incite a large inflammatory response in certain children, continued research is needed to provide the ‘how’ for the new COVID-19-associated cases and the ‘what causes it’ for Kawasaki disease.” The story was picked up by several other news outlets.
7/28/20
New York state is investigating 242 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Governor Andrew Cuomo and others liken the mysterious illness to Kawasaki disease, but local pediatric infectious diseases expert Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases, says many who study Kawasaki agree the two have little in common. “There could still be some kind of immune — a subset of immune cells that are reactive in both that might explain some of the overlap, but they really look like very different phenomenon,” says Hicar. According to Hicar, one issue is the broad definition of MIS-C. He believes the data includes more cases than are actually true cases.
6/24/20
Articles report on a study led by Teresa Quattrin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean for research integration. The research found that golimumab, an anti-tumor-necrosis-factor drug, helped preserve the ability to make insulin (endogenous insulin) in newly diagnosed children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes.
6/17/20
Xiaozhong Wen, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, is interviewed for an article on a new study that linked indoor air pollution and heavy metals to child obesity. “Conventionally, obesity research focuses more on diets, physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle,” said Wen, who was not involved in the study. “Usually we only look at one or a few exposures in one study. This one is pretty ambitious.”
6/16/20
A story in the Buffalo News about Western New York restaurants preparing to reopen for indoor dining notes that a UB team recently adjusted future modeling illustrations to account for various factors, including people wearing face masks. “The face masks are critical, and it’s your job to wear a face mask to protect others,” said Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics and a clinical professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Winkelstein is also chief medical officer of UBMD Physicians’s Group and Kaleida Health.
6/9/20
Articles about Erie County moving towards the third phase of reopening cite research by Peter Winkelstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics and executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Winklestein’s model shows that if three-quarters of the public follow local, state and CDC recommendations on mask wearing, hospitalizations will be very low in September.  
5/15/20
The Buffalo News quotes Teresa Quattrin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean for research integration. Quattrin is part of a team that developed a coloring book, “Sofia Learns About Research,” that helps teach children the value of clinical medical trials. The book was made available earlier this month in interactive online form. Quattrin is among those who spent the last five years creating the book and exploring ways to bring it to a wider audience.
5/12/20
Steven E. Lipshultz, MD, A. Conger Goodyear Professor and Chair of pediatrics, was asked to comment on a new study of the cardioprotective agent dexrazoxane, which is used in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  The study shows for the first time that the agent may reduce treatment-related mortality. For many children with AML who undergo treatment and are cured, the toxicity of that treatment can leave them with severe health problems, often involving the heart. “The evidence shows dexrazoxane doesn’t interfere with treating cancer ― it may actually be beneficial ― and it definitely is associated with less heart damage,” he said. 
5/5/20
A story reports that Omar S. Alibrahim, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Critical Care, is a co-author on the international COVID-19 guidelines for patients who will need to go on life support machines during their course of treatment.
5/5/20
New York is requiring that regions have a capacity to conduct 30 tests for every thousand residents per month as one of the conditions to begin reopening. To this point there have been a limited amount of tests, so regions had been concentrating on testing people most at risk. “Now it’s time to be testing much more widely in the community so that we have a much better understanding of what’s going on,” says Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics and clinical professor of pediatrics. John E. Tomaszewski, MD — SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Peter A. Nickerson, PhD, Professor and Chair of pathology and anatomical sciences — says access to test kits is increasing.
5/4/20
Neither recent county hospitalization data nor updated modeling from the University at Buffalo offer any evidence that Erie County is on a downward trend for COVID-19 hospitalization rates. That trend line is critical to the formula the state is using to determine whether any region is ready to see a relaxation of the governor’s shutdown orders. Erie County’s health commissioner, Gale R. Burstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics — along with Peter Winkelstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics and executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics — provided insight and data on the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the county.
5/1/20
Experts believe that once social distancing restrictions are eased, there will be a rise in coronavirus cases. Erie County’s health commissioner, Gale R. Burstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, says that while Erie County uses models to anticipate the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic curve, hospitals do too. “That’s why they’ve all increased their capacity to handle more patients,” Burstein explains. “They also designed what they call the sub-acute care facilities.” Peter Winkelstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics and executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, says the local models change, at most, once per week. “A good rule of thumb is that all models are uncertain and the further out you go, the less certain they become,” Winkelstein notes.
4/30/20
A report on new COVID-19 data models from UB scientists show that there is no immediate threat of new coronavirus infections overwhelming the hospital system in Erie County with current social distancing measures in place. That rise may not exceed total hospital bed capacity, but could overwhelm intensive care units if mitigation efforts aren't taken, says Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics and a clinical professor of pediatrics. “We’re sitting on a powder keg,” he says. “And if you open it up too fast, you’re going to blow up.”
4/28/20
Stress, which is inescapable during the COVID-19 pandemic, causes harmful physical effects. A Best Life article references a 2009 study — published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology — co-authored by Bruce D. Miller, MD, that examined pathways linking emotional stress, depressive symptoms, autonomic nervous system dysregulation and airway function in childhood asthma. The study showed that depressed children with asthma exhibit a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system along with increased airway compromise. Miller is a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics.
4/27/20
Erie County has seen a trend of hospitalizations due to treatment of COVID-19 leveling off. Erie County’s health commissioner, Gale R. Burstein, MD — who is a clinical professor of pediatrics — said the data suggests the curve is beginning to flatten. Burstein said the University at Buffalo will give updated models to determine if Erie County is close to its peak. Peter Winkelstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics and executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, will present the modeling data. Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, says that Erie County’s new hospital admission numbers are encouraging because they have been less than peak — but he warns that we have seen dips like this before.