Scientists have developed a molecular “clock” that could reshape how pediatricians measure and monitor childhood growth and potentially allow for an earlier diagnosis of life-altering development disorders. The research, published this week in PNAS, describes how the addition of chemical tags to DNA over time can potentially be used to screen for developmental differences and health problems in children.
I grew up and took my basic medical training in what used to be called Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). After graduating, I worked as a district health doctor in remote rural hospitals. My continuing interest in the health of people living in poverty dates to that time. After moving to Canada with my family, I worked as a resident at BC Children's Hospital before taking further sub-specialty training in pediatric respiratory diseases plus a second fellowship in pediatric intensive care. After completing this training I joined the BC Children's Hospital
staff, splitting my time between the intensive care unit and the respiratory division. More recently, I have left the ICU and I am currently the head of the division of respiratory medicine.
My research interests reflect my past clinical experience. My primary interest has always been international health. I have published two books on the subject and also teach a credit course on international health at UBC. I currently run a large multi-centre trial in India looking into childhood pneumonia. I also like investigating topical questions in clinical respiratory medicine, including the very specialised respiratory topic of children that need mechanical ventilation in their homes.
Predictive Accuracy of Chest Radiographs in Diagnosing Tachypneic Children.
Seear M and Awasthi S and Gowraiah V and Kapoor R and Awasthi A and Verma A and Al-Shabibi S and Gowdy C
The quality of life of home-ventilated children and their primary caregivers plus the associated social and economic burdens: a prospective study.
Seear M and Kapur A and Wensley D and Morrison K and Behroozi A
Casting a look at pediatric plastic bronchitis.
Jasinovic T and Kozak FK and Moxham JP and Chilvers M and Wensley D and Seear M and Campbell A and Ludemann JP
Can we distinguish pneumonia from wheezy diseases in tachypnoeic children under low-resource conditions? A prospective observational study in four Indian hospitals.
Gowraiah V and Awasthi S and Kapoor R and Sahana D and Venkatesh P and Gangadhar B and Awasthi A and Verma A and Pai N and Seear M
Combined immunodeficiency associated with homozygous MALT1 mutations.
McKinnon ML and Rozmus J and Fung SY and Hirschfeld AF and Del Bel KL and Thomas L and Marr N and Martin SD and Marwaha AK and Priatel JJ and Tan R and Senger C and Tsang A and Prendiville J and Junker AK and Seear M and Schultz KR and Sly LM and Holt RA and Patel MS
Fifty years of pediatric asthma in developed countries: how reliable are the basic data sources?
Chawla J and Seear M and Zhang T and Smith A and Carleton B
The need for better data about counterfeit drugs in developing countries: a proposed standard research methodology tested in Chennai, India.
Seear M and Gandhi D and Carr R and Dayal A and Raghavan D and Sharma N
Wilson-Mikity syndrome: updated diagnostic criteria based on nine cases and a review of the literature.
Hoepker A and Seear M and Petrocheilou A and Hayes D and Nair A and Deodhar J and Kadam S and O'Toole J
Iatrogenic hyponatremia in hospitalized children: Can it be avoided?
Skippen P and Adderley R and Bennett M and Cogswell A and Froese N and Seear M and Wensley D
Life-threatening human metapneumovirus pneumonia requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in a preterm infant.
Ulloa-Gutierrez R and Skippen P and Synnes A and Seear M and Bastien N and Li Y and Forbes JC
A controlled study of postpartum depression among Nepalese women: validation of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale in Kathmandu.
Regmi S and Sligl W and Carter D and Grut W and Seear M
Citrate anticoagulation in a piglet model of pediatric continuous renal replacement therapy.
Nuthall G and Skippen P and Daoust C and Al-Jofan F and Seear M
Echocardiography and pulmonary function testing in childhood onset systemic lupus erythematosus.
Al-Abbad AJ and Cabral DA and Sanatani S and Sandor GG and Seear M and Petty RE and Malleson PN
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for cerebral palsy: two complications of treatment.
Nuthall G and Seear M and Lepawsky M and Wensley D and Skippen P and Hukin J
Hemostatic parameters and platelet activation marker expression in cyanotic and acyanotic pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery in the presence of tranexamic acid.
Levin E and Wu J and Devine DV and Alexander J and Reichart C and Sett S and Seear M
Evaluation of a mathematical model to predict intrapulmonary shunt non-invasively.
Seear M and Malagon I and Hui H and Alexander J and Daoust C and Skippen P
Anti-polypeptide immune response mimicking Mycoplasma pneumoniae anti-P1 IgM in idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis.
Cimolai N and Seear M
Effect of hyperventilation on regional cerebral blood flow in head-injured children.
Skippen P and Seear M and Poskitt K and Kestle J and Cochrane D and Annich G and Handel J
Bronchial casts in children: a proposed classification based on nine cases and a review of the literature.
Seear M and Hui H and Magee F and Bohn D and Cutz E
The effect of preoperative tranexamic acid on blood loss after cardiac operations in children.
Zonis Z and Seear M and Reichert C and Sett S and Allen C
Mycoplasma pneumoniae as a cofactor in severe respiratory infections.
Cimolai N and Wensley D and Seear M and Thomas ET
Mathematical model of oxygen transport: a teaching aid for normal physiology adaptable to extracorporeal oxygenation circuits.
Seear M and Anderson B and Hall R and Hui H
Functional characteristics of pediatric veno-venous hemofiltration.
Werner HA and Herbertson MJ and Seear MD
Thiamine, riboflavin, and pyridoxine deficiencies in a population of critically ill children.
Seear M and Lockitch G and Jacobson B and Quigley G and MacNab A
Effect of pentoxifylline on hemodynamics, alveolar fluid reabsorption, and pulmonary edema in a model of acute lung injury.
Seear MD and Hannam VL and Kaapa P and Raj JU and O'Brodovich HM
Amiloride impairs lung water clearance in newborn guinea pigs.
O'Brodovich H and Hannam V and Seear M and Mullen JB
The clinical value and risks of lung biopsy in children with congenital heart disease.
Wilson NJ and Seear MD and Taylor GP and LeBlanc JG and Sandor GG
The effect of desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) on postoperative blood loss after cardiac operations in children.
Seear MD and Wadsworth LD and Rogers PC and Sheps S and Ashmore PG
Quality of life for children who need home ventilation and their caregivers. Medical advances over the last 20 years have produced a revolution in child survival. Many of these survivors lead normal lives but a few require some form of assisted ventilation. The trend is to manage these patients in their homes. Numbers have risen steadily to the point that there are now 150 patients registered in the home ventilation clinic from places all over BC. This is now the largest home ventilation clinic in Canada. We are just starting a questionnaire-based study of the quality of life of the affected children and their caregivers. We will also be monitoring extra health-related expenses the family must meet. This is the first study of this kind ever undertaken in children. The results will be a valuable addition to home care planning.
The use of hi-flow nasal oxygen in the treatment of viral bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is the single most common cause for admission to pediatric hospitals, including our own. The disease has enormous economic and health consequences. Survivors are frequently left with significant long term health problems including asthma. Despite considerable research, there are no effective therapies other than symptom support. Over this last winter, we conducted a prospective controlled study of the use of hi-flow nasal oxygen in children with bronchiolitis. It was a low-incidence winter so we only managed to enroll 50 patients. Fortunately, we registered our study and it was noticed by staff at Children's Hospital in Sydney, Australia. They now have research clearance to run the same protocol during their bronchiolitis season which starts in June. Hopefully this will allow us to get over 100 patients which will allow us to analyse the data. If numbers are low then we will run the study again in our next winter. This has the potential to improve the care of this common condition so we hope to finish the analysis and submit the work as soon as possible.
Improving the diagnosis of respiratory diseases in children living in low-resource conditions. Each year, over a million children die from lung infections. Accurate diagnosis is a fundamental requirement for the improved treatment protocols needed to reduce this terrible annual mortality. During the last winter we organised a large study involving 5 Indian hospitals. The aim was to define accurate diagnostic criteria to improve the prediction of the major respiratory illnesses affecting children. The organisation worked well. We stopped the study at the end of the viral season in May. At that stage, we had enrolled over 700 patients. The data analysis is not yet complete but clear diagnostic criteria have emerged that will be valuable in advancing the fight against pediatric respiratory deaths.Grants
$10,000 grant from the BC Children's Hospital Centre for International Child Health (CICH) in 2007. This was partial support for a joint study of drug quality in Chennai, India.
$25,000 grant from the BC Children's Hospital Auxilliary to support general respiratory research.Research Group Members
Matthew Garayt, Research Assistant