2022-2023 Colin's Kids Foundation awards

The mission of Colin’s Kids Foundation is to provide funding to advance medical research related to congenital heart defects (CHDs) and to provide financial assistance to families struggling to obtain the best care for their children.

Recipients of the 2022-2023 Colin's Kids Foundation awards are listed below:

Henry Foote

Henry Foote, MD
Second Year Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Cardiology
Duke University School of Medicine

Henry Foote, MD is a second year fellow in pediatric cardiology at Duke University. Dr. Foote graduated from Yale College with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He spent two years studying the mechanics of cell-cell adhesions at Duke University before completing his medical degree at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He completed residency training in combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Duke University. His research interests included optimizing drug dosing strategies with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling as well as outcomes-based research using Electronic Health Record based data. Following completion of his pediatric cardiology fellowship, he is planning to pursue a second fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine with the goal of practicing as a pediatric cardiac critical care physician.

Dr. Foote is very excited to receive the Colin Molloy Research Award to support his project investigating center-level factors that contribute to shorter length of stay following the Norwood Procedure. Infants with single ventricle heart disease undergo the Norwood procedure in infancy as one of three staged palliative procedures during early childhood. This procedure still carries significant morbidity, and infants frequently require prolonged post-operative hospitalizations to recover. The goal of this project is to use a multicenter database to identify center-level practices that are associated with shorter lengths-of-stay to help encourage improved outcomes across centers for these at-risk infants.

Mary Moya Mendez

Mary Moya-Mendez, MS
Third Year Medical Student
Second Year Master of Health Sciences, Basic Science Research Program
Duke University School of Medicine

Mary Moya-Mendez, MS is a third year medical student and second year student in the Master of Health Sciences program at Duke University School of Medicine. Mary graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and neuroscience. She earned a Master of Biomedical Science with a concentration in neuroscience prior to beginning medical school. As a first year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine, Mary was quick to get involved with research. She began working in Dr. Andrew Landstrom’s lab after a few months of arriving at Duke. Given her previous experience, she helped to bridge the gap between pediatric cardiology and pediatric neurology by studying the cardiac outcomes in a disease previously thought to solely be a neurological condition. Mary’s work focuses on the genetic causes of pediatric cardiovascular disorders.

Mary is very grateful to receive the Colin Molloy Research Award to support her project entitled, “Establishing a Model for Studying Intracellular Calcium and Contractility in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome”. Congenital heart disease (CHD) encompasses a spectrum of structural defects, but hypoplastic heart syndrome (HLHS) is a particularly severe form with a high rate of mortality if left untreated. While it’s been postulated that HLHS results from a primary development defect in the myocardium, a model that can be utilized to learn more about this syndrome at the cellular level has yet to be established. The purpose of this funded project is to develop a model for studying HLHS using inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that have been derived from patients with HLHS prior to undergoing surgery. These iPSCs will be re-differentiated into cardiac myocytes which will enable studying heart cells from a patient with HLHS in a noninvasive manner. Mary’s model will utilize a genetically encoded calcium reporter that allows for longitudinal analysis of intracellular calcium and contractility in HLHS patient-derived cardiac myocytes. Establishing a rigorous model of HLHS is a critical first step to addressing important knowledge gaps in the field of pediatric cardiology and identifying new therapies that might prevent disease development in the future.

Meredith Sooy-Mosse

Meredith Sooy-Mossey, MD, MS
Second Year Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Cardiology
Duke University School of Medicine

Meredith Sooy-Mossey, MD, MS is a second year pediatric cardiology fellow at Duke. Dr. Sooy-Mossey graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Prior to medical school, she was a 9th grade Biology teacher in Brooklyn, NY while pursuing a Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University. She attended medical school at the University of Vermont. Dr. Sooy-Mossey completed pediatric residency at Duke and participated in research track through the R38 Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) program. Throughout her residency and fellowship, Dr. Sooy-Mossey has been interested in health disparities in children with congenital heart disease. Upon competition of her fellowship, she plans to pursue a career in outpatient cardiology with a focus on health equity research and intervention design.

Dr. Sooy-Mossey is very excited to receive the Colin Molloy Research Award. With support from Colin’s Kids, she will explore levels of household material hardship, a concrete measure of socioeconomic status including food, housing, energy, and transportation insecurity in patients with congenital heart disease. She will track how the level of household material hardship changes from the time of prenatal diagnosis through the first year of life and its effect on outcomes. With a better understanding of patients’ needs, interventions can be designed to help address food, housing, energy and transportation insecurity, ensuring optimal and equitable outcomes for all children with congenital heart disease.

Katie Wood

Katie Wood, MD
Third Year Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Cardiology
Duke University School of Medicine

Katie Wood, MD is a third year pediatric cardiology fellow at Duke. Dr. Wood graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and completed medical school at SUNY Buffalo. She completed combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Duke in 2020 and stayed for pediatric cardiology fellowship.

During her fellowship, Dr. Wood has developed clinical and research interests in patients with Fontan circulation and exercise physiology in congenital heart disease. She has become an active member of the Fontan clinic, specifically focusing on creating a comprehensive home-based exercise program for these patients to improve outcomes. Fontan patients are at high risk for major morbidity and mortality due to “Fontan failure.” Previous studies have identified a small sub-set of Fontan patients who exercised regularly in their youth and have superior exercise capacity that overall have a reduced risk for Fontan failure. With support from Colin’s Kids, Dr. Wood and a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, physical therapists, and researchers will perform a pilot study evaluating the feasibility of a remote home-based exercise program for Fontan patients and its impact on exercise capacity and quality of life. This study will also collaborate with the DCRI to use existing technology to make this an app-enabled remote exercise program to improve patient engagement and data collection. Dr. Wood is very excited to receive the Colin Molloy Research Award to advance these efforts, which ultimately may be utilized to improve exercise and outcomes in children with all types of congenital heart disease.