Dr. Ren received his AB in Biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley and his MD from the Univerity of Chicago. He completed a pediatric residency and fellowship in allergy/immunology at the Children's Hospital in Boston. He completed a second fellowship in pediatric pulmonology at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He arrived in Rochester in 2001 to serve as the chief of pediatric pulmonology and Cystic Fibrosis Center co-director. His research focus in on the application of infant and young child pulmonary function testing to the study of pediatric respiratory diseases, such as bronchiolitis and CF. He is active in the CF Foundation, American Thoracic Society, and American College of Chest Physicians. He has served in key leadership positions in all 3 of these organizations and is an active participant in their annual conferences.
My research activities are focused in three areas: (1) the application of novel methods of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in infants and young children to clinical and translational studies of pediatric respiratory disease, (2) Cystic fibrosis (CF) epidemiology, and (3) multicenter clinical trials. Our areas of disease focus are CF, premature infants, and viral bronchiolitis.
We currently are involved in the following PFT projects:
• Lung Function Measures in Young Children with CF (OM0004).
This is a CF Foundation sponsored observational study that compares three different PFT techniques in young children with CF: modified spirometry, respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP), and forced oscillometry (FO). We completed enrollment and follow-up in 2009 and are currently in the process of data analysis.
• Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP)
PROP is an NIH funded multicenter program whose aim is to promote collaborative, innovative research to identify mechanisms and associated functional and molecular biomarkers of respiratory disease risk of premature infants ready for discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As part of the PROP, we are conducting a longitudinal study of respiratory function in the first year of life utilizing non-invasive respiratory testing (including RIP) and performing infant PFTs using the raised volume rapidthoracoabdominal compression technique.
• Effect of Albuterol on Tidal Breathing in Viral Bronchiolitis
The goal of this study, which received support from Medimmune and the Strong Children's Research Center, was to use RIP as an objective method to assess the effect of albuterol on respiratory function in infants hospitalized with viral bronchiolitis. Enrollment was completed in 2009, and we are presently in the process of data analysis.
My epidemiologic work has focused on CF and utilizes data from two large observational studies:
• Epidemiologic Study of Cystic Fibrosis (ESCF)
The ESCF was a prospective observational study of CF patients in North America. Data were collected from 1994-2005, and analyses are still ongoing. Using ESCF data, we have studied the effect of inhaled corticosteroid therapy on lung function, the impact of methicillin resistant S. aureus infection on lung function, and the relationship between infant care patterns and outcomes. We are presently studying the relationship between multiply antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and clinical outcomes in CF.
• Early Pseuomonas Infection Control Observational Study (EPIC)
EPIC is a longitudinal cohort study of young CF patients whose primary goal is to identify risk factors for the acquisition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa). Secondary objectives include better definition of outcomes associated with Pa infection and the impact of other organisms on clinical outcomes.
We are involved in a number of clinical trials, primarily in CF. Further information regarding clinical trials can be found at the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology website: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/pediatrics/research/subspecialty/pulmonology_allergy/Pulmonology_Research.pdf