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Basel is evolving into a pediatrics hub

18.12.2019

The Botnar Research Center for Child Health in Basel has started its research activities. The first four projects have now been selected. Together with the DayOne Accelerator from BaselArea.swiss, Basel is gradually evolving into a pediatrics hub.

Children should benefit from research in Basel (img: Creative Commons)

The Botnar Research Center for Child Health (BRCCH) aims to foster novel and innovative research in pediatrics, a field in which the center benefits from partnerships with the University of Basel, the University Children’s Hospital Basel, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), according to a statement. On January 30, 2020, the BRCCH is hosting its first Spotlight Day in Basel, where it will showcase the four research projects that are kickstarting the center’s activities.

One project features an app with a digital medical system that can support the wellbeing of infants and young children growing up in rural areas of low-and middle-income countries. The platform is being assessed via a study of 2,400 children in Peru. Children with cleft lip or palate are the focus of the second project, which seeks to optimize surgical treatment with the use of artificial intelligence, smartphone-based images and 3D-printing of orthopedic plates.

For the third project, researchers are examining gut floral to fight infection and inflammatory disease in children. Using a CRISPR-based technology, they aim to develop bacteria that will provide assessments of the gut to improve the health of affected children. Gut bacteria are also the focus of the fourth project, which plans to replace “bad” bacteria with useful bacteria. This modification will be achieved with the help of engineered antibodies, and the direct targeting of individual genes in intestine-resident bacteria by employing CRISPR-Cas9 methodology.

The research activities at the BRCCH cement Basel’s growing reputation as a pediatrics hub. The city’s location promotion organization BaselArea.swiss is also using its DayOne Accelerator to support Digital Health startups that are working to improve the health of children and young people. Participants for the second round were recently announced.

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