NorthShore At Its Best: Research Excellence


Michael Caplan, MD, in NorthShore’s Infant Special Care Unit

It takes years of painstaking research to unravel the mysteries of disease. One NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) physician-scientist knows the process firsthand, and has now embarked on clinical trials to verify a drug that could set a new standard of treatment for a life-threatening disease found in some prematurely-born infants.

Michael Caplan, MD, NorthShore Chief Scientific Officer and the Auxiliary of NorthShore Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, is leading this groundbreaking research to benefit babies born with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a disease that destroys the bowels of some 5,000 babies born in the U.S. every year.

Clinical trials now underway focus on the use of probiotics, or “good bacteria,” similar to supplements sold in health food and drug stores. A new, highly purified product has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and will be tested at NorthShore for its effectiveness.

Thanks to support from generous donors over a span of 20 years, Dr. Caplan has been able to hire collaborating scientists to help unravel key questions. “This support has enabled us to significantly impact a variety of research projects into NEC and other infant diseases,” said Dr. Caplan, who holds an academic appointment at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

NorthShore’s Associate Board, a fundraising group of young volunteer professionals, has funneled a portion of those dollars they have raised into Dr. Caplan’s research.

Associate Board President Kevin Desai believes the support has made a difference. “We’ve been able to witness firsthand the results of research and the potential to change patient care—which is powerful.”

Research plays an important role in advancing cures and discoveries, and every gift counts. Please consider joining NorthShore Foundation in raising $30 million for research by 2015. To advance cure and discoveries, please make a donation or contact Murray Ancell, Executive Director, at 224.364.7200.

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