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Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Philip K. Frykman Receives NIH Grant for Research on HAEC, a Potentially Deadly Complication Threatening Infants and Small Children.

Dr. Philip K. Frykman, a Los Angeles-area pediatric surgeon and scientific researcher, has been awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research immune processes that appear related to a potentially deadly complication of Hirschsprung's disease (HD), a congenital condition most often impacting the large intestine that causes severe constipation. Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) is the illness’s most frequent complication. HAEC affects up to 40 percent of children with the condition, many of whom also have Down syndrome. It often leads to frequent hospitalizations and is responsible for half of the deaths in this population.

The prestigious grant will fund Dr. Frykman’s exploration of how an arm of the immune system that attacks fungus relates to HAEC. HAEC symptoms include abdominal swelling, fever, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the complication may send very young infants and children to intensive care units because of overwhelming sepsis. Dr. Frykman’s NIH grant comes on the heels of an observation, characterized as groundbreaking by experts in the field, that both increased amounts and unexpected species of fungi appear to be living in the intestines of patients who develop HAEC, compared to patients who do not develop the complication.

“When my colleagues found the higher levels of fungi, we felt it was possible we were on to something that could make a huge difference,” Dr. Frykman said. “The data at this point is highly intriguing, and I look forward to getting started doing the pure science we need before we can perhaps turn this information into something that can help treat or prevent HAEC in patients worldwide living with Hirschsprung disease,” said the physician and research scientist.

About Dr. Philip K. Frykman
Philip K. Frykman, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P. is an internationally recognized expert in Hirschsprung disease and has published extensively on the subject. He has been awarded numerous NIH grants and is active in leadership positions in multiple consortia studying the biology of Hirschsprung disease, its surgical treatment, and complications with the aim of improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Dr. Frykman is also a very active member of the Los Angeles-area medical community as both a pediatric surgeon and a teaching physician at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Frykman performs pediatric surgery in the Los Angeles area through his Thousand Oaks practice, Pacific Coast Pediatric Surgery.

Readers who would like to learn more about Dr. Frykman’s practice can call his offices at 805-372-8500 or visit it online at

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Source: PRWeb
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