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Kids First Program Spring Webinar: Empowering Discovery through a Wide Variety of Data Types
Join us for a webinar featuring program updates and research findings from the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program. Open to all members of the community, this event is an excellent opportunity to hear from Kids First investigators and data experts, and to pose questions to this season's panel of presenters.

● 2:00 pm – Dr. Marcia Fournier, NIH Kids First Program Manager: “Collaborate to Accelerate Discoveries in Pediatric Research”
● 2:15 pm - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Philip Lupo, Kids First Investigator- “Cancer Risk in Children with Birth Defects: How Kids First Can Move Observation into Understanding”
● 2:45 pm – Dr. Adam Resnick & Dr. David Higgins, Kids First Data Resource Center: “Kids First Variant Search Tool: Exploring Datasets to Jump Start Analyses”
● 3:15 pm - Valerie Cotton, NICHD: “Cloud Credits Pilot Announcement”
● 3:30 pm – Dr. James Coulombe, NICHD: “Relevant NIH Funding Mechanisms”
● 3:45 pm – Open discussions

While completing registration, be sure to submit questions in advance for the Q&A sessions following each presentation! Questions and suggested topics for discussion can also be submitted to us via email at KidsFirst@od.nih.gov.


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Dr. Philip Lupo
Director of the Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program @Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center
Dr. Philip Lupo is a genetic epidemiologist and Director of the Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program in the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. A key area of his research is focused on cancer risk in children with birth defects. This work is facilitated through his involvement in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), where he is Chair of the Epidemiology Committee, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), where he has served in various capacities, including President and Chair of the Data Committee. Examples of his current research projects include: the Genetic Overlap Between Anomalies and Cancer in Kids (GOBACK) Study, a multistate collaboration evaluating the risk of cancer in children with birth defects; and the COG-supported Genetics of Embryonal and Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Study (GEARS).
Valerie Cotton
Deputy Director of Data Science and Sharing @NICHD
Valerie Cotton is the deputy director of the Office of Data Science and Sharing (ODSS), where she works closely with ODSS Director Dr. Rebecca Rosen to coordinate and promote the sharing of scientific data and biospecimens through developing technical infrastructure, communicating data science best practices, and implementing policies in support of NICHD’s mission. Previously, Ms. Cotton served as the program manager for the NIH Common Fund’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program (Kids First), working under NICHD program staff to coordinate the Kids First Working Group and the Kids First sequencing program. She also helped coordinate development of the cloud-based Kids First Data Resource Center, facilitating collaborations among multiple institutes and centers, research communities, and other stakeholders to promote data sharing, empower researchers, and accelerate discovery in pursuit of improving the lives of children and their families.
Dr. Adam Resnick
Co-Executive Director @Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine
Adam Resnick, PhD, is Co-director of Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). His research is focused on defining the cell signaling mechanisms of oncogenesis and tumor progression in brain tumors. Resnick’s research lab studies cell signaling cascades and their alterations in pediatric brain tumors to elucidate the molecular and genetic underpinnings of each tumor in an effort to identify and develop targeted therapies. Dr. Resnick serves as Scientific Chair for several consortia-based efforts, including the Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) and Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), which include more than 20 pediatric hospitals across the globe. Additionally, Dr. Resnick is the Principal Investigator for the NIH Common Fund-supported Gabriella Miller Kids First Data Resource Center. As co-director of D3b, Dr. Resnick leads a multidisciplinary team to build and support a scalable, patient-focused healthcare discovery.
Dr. Marcia Fournier
Program Manager @NIH
Marcia Fournier, Ph.D., is the program manager for the NIH Common Fund’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program. She joined NIH in 2020 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Research Data Commons. In addition to developing strong internal project communications among the data commons stakeholders, she also supported the development of the NCI Clinical Trial Data Commons. Dr. Fournier has 20 years of experience in leading teams and applying genomics and machine learning in developing innovative healthcare products. Throughout her career, she has worked with leading institutions in cancer research and technology, including as a postdoctoral fellow with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and as a principal scientist with GlaxoSmithKline. She also was the founder and chief executive officer of the biotechnology company Bioarray Genetics Inc., a gene-profiling company.
Dr. James Coulombe
Chief of Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch (DBSVB) @NICHD
James N. Coulombe, Ph.D., is the chief of NICHD’s DBSVB and the working group coordinator for the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program (Kids First). Since joining NICHD in 2006 as a program official, Dr. Coulombe has overseen a program in developmental genetics and genomics and established a program in systems developmental biology. He took on the additional role of working group coordinator for Kids First in November 2017 and was appointed DBSVB’s chief in November 2018. Prior to coming to NICHD, Dr Coulombe served as a staff scientist at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. His research focused on development of the neural crest and target cell-derived factors controlling neurotransmitter expression in neural crest-derived peripheral neurons.
David Higgins
Informatics Program Manager @Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine
David Higgins is a Informatics Program Manager responsible for increasing the accessibility of the Center’s resources to the D3b Center’s research collaborators. He is working to develop training materials for researchers using D3b tools in order to accelerate the transition from data to knowledge to impact. Additionally, David communicates with researchers to learn about their needs, pointing them to the best tools for their particular projects. If these tool don’t exist, he brings their requests back to the ADAPT and Bioinformatics Units to guide the development of new software tools and pipelines. Prior to joining CHOP in March of 2020, David performed research as part of a PhD program, learning to use high-throughput sequencing sets to identify genomic variants. Following his PhD, he spent three years working as a visiting professor at liberal arts colleges where he taught classes in biology and genetics.