The Leda J. Sears Charitable Trust supports research in pediatric related projects at the Department of Child Health. Since 1991, the trust has donated more than $850,000 to fund pilot studies.

Dr. Judith Miles, professor emerita of genetics and pathology, received the first-ever Sears Trust gift. Her innovative research resulted in the creation of a multidisciplinary autism clinic, which received large external funding from the National Institutes of Health and evolved into the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a nationally-recognized center for autism.

Each year, the department awards Sears Trust funding to faculty with primary or joint appointments in the Department of Child Health.

Sears Trust Guidelines:

  • The Sears Trust has a year-round, rolling application process; there are no deadlines.
  • The proposed research projects (clinical or basic science) must be related to children.
  • Researchers can apply for up to $10,000 of funding per research proposal.
  • There is no limit to the amount of applications each researcher can submit.
  • All applications will be reviewed by invited external reviewers, and written feedback will be provided to all applicants.
  • The award will be carried over a 12-month period after which remaining funds will be returned to the CHRI. Formal extension requests may be submitted and will be considered by the CHRI director.
  • In case of leave or relocation to another department/university, the remaining balance can only be transferred to the project’s collaborating faculty within the Department of Child Health.
  • Abstracts resulting from proposed projects must be presented at the School of Medicine's annual Health Sciences Research Day.

How to Apply:

Your application must contain the following details:

  • Cover Page: Containing the project’s title and information regarding principal investigator(s).
  • Research Plan: Typed using 11-point font size and at least 0.5-inch margins. It may not exceed three pages (excluding references) and must include the following:
    • Specific aims
    • Research strategy
      • Hypothesis
      • Significance
      • Project summary
    • References (not included in the three-page limit)
  • Biographical sketches for all principal investigators
  • Budget with justification (one page)
    • Budget requests should not exceed $10,000 for this one-year study.
    • Salary and fringe benefits for PIs is not allowable.

Submit applications to Dr. Kheirandish-Gozal.

Past Awardees

2020

  • Dr. Adrienne Ohler  Child Health Research Institute
    The Role of Early Antibiotics in Obesity of Children from Low-Income Families
    Awarded: $10,000
  • Dr. Rene Cortese, Child Health Research Institute
    Cellular heterogeneity in blood cells from children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea undergoing adenotonsillectomy.
    Awarded: $31,500 
  • Dr. Rebekah Nevel, Dr. James Acton, Hannah Holzum, Pediatric Pulmonology
    Cystic Fibrosis Food Pantry: Improving Food Security in Our Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic
    Awarded: $10,000

2019

  • Dr. James Acton, Pediatric Pulmonology, Dr. Deborah Chance, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and Child Health, and Dr. Thomas Mawhinney, Agriculture Biochemistry and Child Health
    Investigations of Effects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phenazines on PA Sensitivities to Antimicrobial Agents in vitro
    Awarded $8,000
  • Dr. Rene Cortese, Child Health Research Institute
    Study of cellular heterogeneity in mouse hippocampus after intermittent hypoxia exposures mimicking sleep apnea.
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Abdelnaby Khalyfa, Child Health Research Institute
    Study of cellular heterogeneity in mouse cardiovascular system after intermittent hypoxia exposures mimicking sleep apnea.
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Benjamin Francisco, Pediatric Pulmonology, Dr. Paul Foreman, Pediatric Pulmonology, Dr. Douglas Steinley, Psychology, and Dr. Tammy Rood, Pediatric Pulmonology
    Asthma Best Practices
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Tracy Stroud, Developmental Pediatrics, Dr. John Pardalos, Neonatology, and Dr. Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi, Surgery
    University of Missouri Neonatal/High Risk Follow up Clinic Data Base Development Project
    Awarded $10,000

2018

  • Dr. Bindu Sathi, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
    Use of Echocardiogram Strain Technique to Detect Subclinical Myocardial Dysfunction Secondary to Iron Overload in Chronically Transfused Sickle Cell Anemia Patients
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi, Surgery
    Comprehensive Analysis of Urinary Microbiome & Metabolomics in Kids w/Vesicoureteral Reflux & Renal Scarring
    Awarded $12,000
  • Dr. Benjamin Francisco, Pediatric Pulmonology
    Asthma Best Practices (Empowerment)
    Awarded $25,000
  • Dr. Bindu Sathi, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
    Understanding Immunological Dysregulation in Sickle Cell Ds. and Alloimmunization
    Awarded $19,995
  • Dr. Judith Miles, Developmental Pediatrics, and Dr. Kerri Nowell, Health Psychology
    Validation of Catatonia Impact Scale to young patient treatments w/Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Kristin Sohl, Developmental Pediatrics
    Refugee Education and Advocacy for Child Health
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Biochemistry and Child Health
    Impact of Congenic Myostatin Deficiency in Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta
    Awarded $24,784

2017

  • Dr. Laura Hesemann, Pediatric Nephrology
    Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) and Essential Hypertension
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Thomas Mawhinney, Agriculture Biochemistry and Child Health
    Developing Novel Analytical and Cell-Based Approaches
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Judith Miles, Developmental Pediatrics, and Dr. Kerri Nowell, Health Psychology
    Validation of Catatonia Impact Scale to young patient treatments w/Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Jaume Padilla, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Vascular Insulin Resistance in Obesity: Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Habib Zaghouani, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Child Health, and Neurology
    Immune Therapy of Type I Diabetes
    Awarded $15,000

2016

  • Dr. Judith Miles, Developmental Pediatrics, and Dr. Kerri Nowell, Health Psychology
    Validation of Catatonia Impact Scale to young patient treatments w/Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Awarded $22,500
  • Dr. Arayamparambil Anilkumar, Pediatric Neurology
    Validation & Development of a Rapid Screening Tool for Dyslexia using NIH Stroke Scale
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Jaume Padilla, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Vascular Insulin Resistance in Obesity: Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.
    Awarded $4,565
  • Dr. Habib Zaghouani, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Child Health, and Neurology
    Immune Therapy of Type I Diabetes
    Awarded $22,500
  • Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Biochemistry and Child Health
    Impact of Congenic Myostatin Deficiency in Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta
    Awarded $14,000

2015

  • Dr. Kristin Sohl, Developmental Pediatrics
    Refugee Education and Advocacy for Child Health
    Awarded $10,000
  • Dr. Habib Zaghouani, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Child Health, and Neurology
    Immune Therapy of Type I Diabetes
    Awarded $15,000
  • Dr. Jaume Padilla, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Vascular Insulin Resistance in Obesity: Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.
    Awarded $9,980
  • Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Biochemistry and Child Health
    Impact of Congenic Myostatin Deficiency in Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta
    Awarded $10,000

2014

  • Dr. Jaume Padilla, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
    Vascular Insulin Resistance in Obesity: Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.
    Awarded $9,826
  • Dr. Habib Zaghouani, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Child Health and Neurology
    Immune Therapy of Type I Diabetes
    Awarded $14,734
  • Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Biochemistry and Child Health
    Impact of Congenic Myostatin Deficiency in Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta
    Awarded $24,561

2013

  • Dr. Anjali Patwardhan, Pediatric Rheumatology
    Difference in Cytokine-Chemokine Blood Levels in Patients with Autoimmune Diseases Who Are Obese & Those Not Obese
    Awarded $16,087
  • Dr. Michael Cooperstock and Dr. Michael Sherman, Pediatric Infectious Disease
    Autoantibody Biomarkers in Autoimmune Encephalopathy (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome)
    Awarded $10,612
  • Dr. Anuradha Rajagopalan, General Pediatrics
    Streptococcal Disease in Children
    Awarded $2,000