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  • NIH Member Spotlight: Dr. Gregory Storch

    Chief, Division of Pediatric Laboratory Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

    Dr. Gregory Storch's research is focused on using molecular methods to improve the rapid diagnosis of viral and other unconventional infections. The agents of choice are those for which existing methods are inadequate, either because the agent cannot be cultivated or because current diagnostic methods are too slow or insensitive.

    In 2015 Dr. Storch led a team that developed a diagnostic test to quickly detect enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus that caused unusually severe illness in children. The outbreak caused infections at an unprecedented rate, with over 1,000 confirmed cases and 14 reported deaths nationwide. The test was extremely effective at reducing the amount of time needed to detect the virus.

    Dr. Storch’s NIH Supported Research

    Dr. Storch is the principal investigator (PI) of an NIH grant to define the human virome in immunocompromised children and investigate its relevance to febrile illnesses. This project will provide insights into the role of viruses in febrile illness in childhood and will be the basis for future comprehensive studies of the effects of viral infection on the health of children.

    Dr. Storch is also the PI of a second NIH grant to develop a pediatric infectious diseases and immunology postdoctoral training program. The program has a long-term goal of training academic physician-scientists to perform research in infectious diseases and immunity of children.

    Impact on Patients and Public Health

    Viruses are a major cause of febrile illness in children, but the specific cause of viral illnesses is often not determined. Dr. Storch’s research will enhance the capability of next generation sequencing technology to improve the detection of viruses in human samples, which will be broadly applicable to studies seeking to define the range of viruses associated with human health and disease.

    Infectious diseases still account for extensive morbidity and mortality throughout the world, and trained researchers are needed who can apply powerful new scientific methods to bring these diseases under control. The pediatric physician-scientist infectious diseases training program emphasizes the use of powerful new methods to study microbial and human genomics.

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