Dr. He is a basic science researcher by training in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology and has been conducting clinical research for the past 20 years at Nemours. She advocates bench to bed research approaches and has strong collaboration with Nemours clinicians. Dr. He plays a key role in mentoring and supporting GI fellow research from study design, funding, and data analysis to final manuscript writing. Her current research focuses on GI diseases such as celiac disease, IBD, intestinal dysfunction and pancreatic deficiency, and extra-esophageal reflux. Dr. He's lab developed a sensitive biomarker to detect extra-esophageal reflux (EER) in children with upper airway diseases. Currently, Nemours is the only laboratory that provides this as a diagnostic test to assess the effects of extra-esophageal reflux on airway conditions. Dr. He and her collaborators are well recognized for their contribution in this field. They have published several key papers and collaborated with investigators nationally and internationally. Their research results and certified clinical test for EER biomarker led to clinical trials funded by pharmaceutical companies and invitations to international meetings. In the past several years, they were awarded with grants from NIH and other institutional funding and contract research. Under Dr. He's leadership, Nemours, GI clinical lab continuously grows in test volume and new test additions via implementation of robotic instrumentation and data management automation. The GI clinical lab offers five complex diagnostic assays nationwide to evaluate diseases such as intestinal and pancreatic dysfunctions, IBD, celiac diseases and EER. Dr. He,s long-term goal is to continue research, particularly to identify new and better biomarkers for GI and other diseases, establish reference guidelines based on age, disease progression and disease phenotypes, and derive new research directions from large and standardized clinical data. Dr. He,s early research and publications addressed the structure and function relationship of several key proteins in cardiac and skeleton muscle and epithelial cells. Dr. He first described the mechanism of Ca-induced structure/function change of calsequestin, and successfully cloned an isoform of Na/Ca exchanger, a key protein for calcium homoeostasis in the heart. After joining Nemours, Dr. He worked on the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR). Mutation of this protein is associated with Cystic Fibrosis disease. Dr. He,s research results were published in several highly prestigious journals.
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