Current Environment:

Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Kantor is pursuing 2 main research areas:

Gene-environment interactions that contribute to illness severity.

The susceptibility to and severity of many diseases in the ICU are likely subject to gene-environment interactions in which inter-individual variation in disease manifestation is influenced both by host genetic background and environmental exposure. Our overall goal is to use genetic association methods to identify genes that explain inter-individual variation in disease manifestation following environmental exposure. We are using rhinovirus triggered asthma exacerbation as a model because:

  1. rhinovirus-triggered acute asthma exacerbation is a dominant cause of morbidity among children with asthm
  2. there is marked inter-individual variation in the susceptibility to and severity of rhinovirus-triggered asthma exacerbation, ranging from mild symptoms to life-threatening episodes
  3. accumulating evidence suggests that variation in asthma severity is likely influenced by host genetic background. Characterizing the genetic basis of inter-individual variation in the clinical phenotype of rhinovirus infection will provide insights into the biological mechanisms that pre-dispose some children to severe episodes of rhinovirus-triggered asthma exacerbation, and ultimately will improve risk stratification and treatment. Further, we expect that our approach can be used more broadly to study the genetics of severe disease in the intensive care unit.

Point of care ultrasound in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Point of care ultrasound in the critical care setting comprises a set of focused applications utilized to monitor physiological states, guide invasive procedures, and diagnose potentially life-threatening conditions. Accumulating evidence in adults demonstrates point of care ultrasound alters clinical management, improves the safety and efficacy of invasive procedures, and may potentially improve the outcomes of critically ill patients. We are broadly interested in investigating the utility of point of care ultrasound in the pediatric intensive care unit. Current projects include:

  1. using ultrasound to measure anterior thigh muscle thickness as a proxy for muscle mass and nutritional statu
  2. nvestigating ultrasound-based physiological parameters that might predict volume responsiveness
  3. using ultrasound to assess lung recruitment of patients on ECMO. In addition, we are collaborating with a number of other academic centers to investigate how ultrasound-derived data alters the timing and nature of clinical management decisions in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Researcher | Research Background

David B. Kantor obtained his MD and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His PhD work focused on using genetic techniques to identify and characterize genes involved in early brain development. He subsequently completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care, also at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kantor is a past scholar in the Pediatric Critical Care and Trauma Scientist Development K12 Program and is currently funded through a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute K23 career development award.

Selected Publications

  1. A role for endothelial NO synthase in LTP revealed by adenovirus-mediated inhibition and rescue. Kantor DB, Lanzrein M, Stary SJ, Sandoval GM, Smith WB, et al. Science (New York, N.Y.). 1996; 274(5293):1744-8. PubMed [journal]PMID: 8939872
  2. Visualization of the distribution of autophosphorylated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II after tetanic stimulation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus.Ouyang Y, Kantor D, Harris KM, Schuman EM, Kennedy MB. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 1997; 17(14):5416-27. PubMed [journal]PMID: 9204925
  3. Recombinant adenovirus-mediated expression in nervous system of genes coding for ion channels and other molecules involved in synaptic function. Ehrengruber MU, Lanzrein M, Xu Y, Jasek MC, Kantor DB, et al. Methods in enzymology. 1998; 293:483-503. PubMed [journal]PMID: 9711625
  4. Curbing the excesses of youth: molecular insights into axonal pruning. Kantor DB, Kolodkin AL. Neuron. 2003; 38(6):849-52. PubMed [journal]PMID: 12818170
  5. Semaphorin 5A is a bifunctional axon guidance cue regulated by heparan and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Kantor DB, Chivatakarn O, Peer KL, Oster SF, Inatani M, et al. Neuron. 2004; 44(6):961-75. PubMed [journal]PMID: 15603739
  6. The Nogo-66 receptor homolog NgR2 is a sialic acid-dependent receptor selective for myelin-associated glycoprotein. Venkatesh K, Chivatakarn O, Lee H, Joshi PS, Kantor DB, et al. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2005; 25(4):808-22. PubMed [journal]PMID: 15673660 
  7. Replication and fine mapping of asthma-associated loci in individuals of African ancestry. Kantor DB, Palmer CD, Young TR, Meng Y, Gajdos ZK, et al. Human genetics. 2013; 132(9):1039-47. NIHMSID: NIHMS497079 PubMed [journal]PMID: 23666277 PMCID: PMC3975655
  8. Pulmonary hypertension associated with scurvy and vitamin deficiencies in an autistic child. Duvall MG, Pikman Y, Kantor DB, Ariagno K, Summers L, et al. Pediatrics. 2013; 132(6):e1699-703. PubMed [journal]PMID: 24190688
  9. Intravenous β agonists and severe pediatric asthma exacerbation: time for a closer look at terbutaline? Kantor DB, Phipatanakul W. Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. 2014; 112(3):187. PubMed [journal]PMID: 24565592
  10. Establishing intensivist-driven ultrasound at the PICU bedside--it's about time*. Su E, Pustavoitau A, Hirshberg EL, Nishisaki A, Conlon T, et al. Pediatric critical care medicine: a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies. 2014; 15(7):649-52. PubMed [journal]PMID: 24977438

Researcher | Publications