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The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital is a destination for kids and their families facing complex medical issues and chronic illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy, and diabetes. Our physicians and scientists are working to improve the lives of kids in Chicago and throughout the world.
Contributions from the 2022 RBC Race for the Kids at Comer Children’s help UChicago Medicine physicians and scientists to continue to conduct research into childhood illnesses and diseases. Over the last two years, our physicians have also been researching how to improve outcomes of cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and addressing health disparities among children of color. 








  • Cataracts are the major cause of blindness worldwide and contributor to pediatric visual impairment in the U.S. Researchers are studying calcium crystals, the material from the lenses of children who undergo cataract surgery at Comer Children's Hospital. They are seeking to correlate the laboratory findings with the clinical data from these patients to advance understanding of pediatric cataracts and develop new strategies for their treatment or prevention.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the most prevalent non-cancerous cause of death for childhood cancer survivors. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur during childhood. They are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity in adulthood, leading to premature death. Researchers are investigating associations between ACEs, resilience, and cardiovascular outcomes in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) to inform future intervention studies and improve outcomes of childhood cancer survivors with ACEs. 
  • Formation of the face in the developing fetus relies on a balanced program of molecular and cellular events. However, environmental exposures, such as alcohol, have been reported to lead to malformations of the face. Our researchers will use high-level microscopic and molecular labeling technique to precisely characterize this intricate process and create 3D "roadmaps" of the expression of key molecules to investigate how common environmental exposures affect these roadmaps, develop prevention strategies key therapies to address disfiguring malformations.
  • A gluten free diet (GFD) is the only current treatment for patients diagnosed with celiac disease (CeD). While the GFD functions as the "medication" to treat CeD, insurance currently does not allow for financial coverage. Researchers are trying to create a template of approved gluten free "medical food" items that will qualify for insurance coverage, similar to coverage of approved medications for other diseases. 


  • Studying sickle cell disease (SCD), a chronic, debilitating genetic disorder that the shape of red blood cells, disrupting blood flow and causing pain, which is the most common reason SCD patients come into the emergency room.Our researchers are creating a national registry of SCD patient data to help identify patients with the disease and provide patients with proper treatment for the disease.
  • Investigating the role the microbiome (bacteria in the gut) plays with prenatal stress and infant development in Black mothers on the South side of Chicago, as Black American children are at a higher risk for suboptimal neurodevelopmental than White American children. They are also exploring whether a nutritional supplement improves a mother's stress level during pregnancy in order to improve infant development and reduce health disparities for Black American children.
  • Exploring why birth defects are the number one cause of death among newborns. Ivan Moskowitz, MD, PhD, is investigating a pathway that communicates between cells, also known as Hedgehog signaling pathway, to help better understand birth defects in children.

To learn more about Comer Children’s, visit



The Comer Development Board is a volunteer board dedicated to raising awareness for Comer Children's, and generating support for the hospital's groundbreaking research and distinctive patient care. Since its founding in 2006, the board has raised more than $5 million for Comer Children's thanks to fundraising events like Bright Night Benefit and the RBC Race for the Kids. 

To learn more, visit


Board Members

Stephanie Ross

Michele Seidl
Co-Membership Chair

Rachel Barner
Co-Race Chair

Kathy Buck

Jason Krawetz
Co-Membership Chair
Quincy Castro
Co-Race Chair
Susana Allshouse
Jacqueline Bush
Mary Ahn Chang
Cherry Chen
Cindy Cruise
Amiri Curry
Christine D'Hondt
Jill Engel Kling
Stacia Feinberg
Jennifer Friedlander
Meggan Friendman
Carey Goldblatt
Robin Goolsbee
Mary Ann Doherty
Mariana Ingersoll
Barbara Malott Kizziah
Benjamin Leshem
Fei Liu
Peter MacEntee
Ling Markovitz
Tara Marsh
Joanne Nemerovski
Kim Olivier
Cindy Rowe
Veronica Votypka 
Jennifer Marlowe
Sajil Unni
Lisa Rolfe Burik, sustaining member
Gail Rodman, sustaining member
Lisa Cohen Schenkman, sustaining member
Angela Zotos, sustaining member


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