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Pediatric clinical trials are critically important given that the intersection of disease and normal growth and development can markedly influence the response to therapeutic interventions during infancy and childhood.

Our Goals

The goal of the Sunflower Pediatrics Clinical Trials Research Extention (SPeCTRE) is to improve opportunities for children in rural and underserved areas of Kansas and neighboring states to participate in clinical trials. We are part of a National Network!

Frequently Asked Questions

The NIH identified 23 states in the U.S. that do not receive high levels of NIH funding for research. The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program builds research capacities in these states.

Understanding the effects of environmental exposures on child health and development is a priority for the National Institutes of Health. To advance knowledge in this area, NIH launched a new seven-year initiative called the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. ECHO is designed to strengthen health care outcomes for rural and medically underserved children. ECHO's priority research areas include upper and lower airway disease, obesity, pre-, peri- and postnatal outcomes, neurodevelopment and overall positive health.

ECHO leveraged NIH-funded institutions that are part of the IDeA Program to build an IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN). There are 17 sites nationwide in the ISPCTN Network, including us (SPeCTRE). The goal of the ISPCTN is to provide medically underserved and rural populations with access to state-of-the-art clinical trials, apply findings from relevant pediatric cohort studies to children in IDeA state locations and build pediatric research capacity at a national level. Funding also supports the professional development of faculty-level pediatricians and their support teams in the conduct of clinical trials research. ISPCTN focuses on the five ECHO priority areas outlined above.

ISPCTN has created online education for clinical trials, has collaborated with the pediatric trials network and has proposed two novel clinical trials for obese children. Capacity building and clinical trial implementation are ongoing. The ISPCTN is uniquely poised to establish and support new pediatric clinical research programs in underserved populations, producing both short and long-term gains in the understanding of child health.

We also partner with other departments of KU Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital

Sunflower Pediatric Clinical Trials Research Extension

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
Mailstop 4004
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160