The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (CDHNF) recognize the importance of addressing current gaps in knowledge and pointing the direction for future research in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. In addition, both organizations are keenly aware of the vital need to support excellence in the training of those who will form the next generation of investigators in the field.
Therefore, NASPGHAN and CDHNF initiated development of a five-year agenda for research in pediatric digestive and nutritional disorders. At the request of the CDHNF, the Executive Council of NASPGHAN formed the Research Agenda Task Force to identify research needs of the highest priority. The Task Force was charged with the responsibility to define a Research Agenda that clearly enumerates both clinical and basic research requiring support, as well as provides a clear and cogent rationale for these priorities. The Research Agenda would serve as a resource for discussions with funding partners in government, industry and disease-related agencies.
The Research Agenda Task Force was organized into subcommittees, each charged with establishing research priorities in specific areas. The subcommittees focused on the following topics: molecular basis of gastrointestinal diseases, developmental physiology and pathophysiology, secretion and diarrhea, acid-peptic diseases, endoscopy, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic diseases, motility disorders and functional gastrointestinal disorders, hepatobiliary disorders, transplantation, nutrition and obesity, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and allergy and immunology. In some circumstances, the Research Agenda Task Force employed the following materials:
- Mission Statement of the CDHNF.
- Pediatric Liver Research Agenda 2000, developed by the Children's Liver Council of The American Liver Foundation.
- CD Rudolph, HS Winter. NASPGN Guidelines for Training in Pediatric Gastroenterology. NASPGN Executive Council, NASPGN Training and Education Committee. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999;29(suppl 1):S1–26.
- Challenges in IBD Research: the Clinical Research Agenda for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.
- Challenges in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: the Research Agenda—1998.
Other publications that were considered for review included:
- US Digestive Disease National Commission Summary Report (US government source).
- Progress Report from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
- American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Task Force on Training (published in Gastroenterology 1996;110:1266–300).
The Research Agenda for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is presented in this journal supplement. Comprising 12 documents, the report is also available on the NASPGHAN website, http://www.naspghan.org.
The Research Agenda has been officially approved by the Executive Council of NASPGHAN and by the Board of Directors of the CDHNF. It is the mission of NASPGHAN, founded in 1972, to be a world leader in advancing the science and clinical practice of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition in health and disease. The CDHNF was established by NASPGHAN in 1998 to raise funds to promote research and education that will improve the health of children and adolescents with digestive and nutritional disorders.
The CDHNF is committed to identify, encourage, support and coordinate the scientific research and professional study of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, pancreatic and nutritional disorders in children. In addition, the CDHNF aims to strengthen the role of pediatric gastrointestinal and nutritional scientists as leaders in research and education in these medical and health care fields and to evaluate and improve the quality and availability of medical care for children with digestive disorders. The CDHNF also supports the research and educational programs of NASPGHAN.
We are hopeful that the Research Agenda for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition will enhance research funding, stimulate advances in knowledge and thereby promote the digestive and nutritional health of children.