Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Burns directs the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Research Program, dedicated
to excellence in basic, translational and clinical research regarding
the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of this important
yet enigmatic multisystem inflammatory disorder of childhood.
Epidemiological studies pinpoint clustering of KD cases in time and
space in search of potential infectious or environmental
triggers. Ongoing family-based genomic association analysis of
inflammatory and cardiovascular pathways have implicated polymorphisms
in the genes encoding interleukin-4 and the chemokine receptor-ligand
pair, CCR5 and CCL3L1, as risk factors for KD and adverse
cardiovascular outcomes, in particular coronary artery aneurysms.
Innovative technologies are also being applied to validate nucleic acid
and protein biomarkers from patient sera to enhance KD diagnosis and
risk stratification. Finally, the research program is studying
the effectiveness of immunomodulatory treatment paradigms including
intravenous gamma globulin and anti-TNFalpha monoclonal antibodies on
outcome in both prototypical and refractory KD.
Primary II&I Focus Area: Allergy & Autoimmunity
Secondary II&I Focus Area: Inflammation & Tissue Injury
U. of North Carolina (MD)
U. of Colorado
Harvard Medical School