Historic CuRe Trial underway

Last spring Diana Farmer, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S., internationally renowned fetal and neonatal surgeon and chair of UC Davis Health’s Department of Surgery, in collaboration with stem cell scientist Aijun Wang, launched the world’s first human clinical trial using stem cells to treat spina bifida before birth. Thirty-five babies will receive this one-of-a-kind fetal treatment through the CuRe Trial (Cellular Therapy for In Utero Repair of Myelomeningocele) at our Fetal Care and Treatment Center. The team anticipates seeing improvements for those born with the most severe form of spina bifida, myelomeningocele, with the ultimate hope of helping them boost motor function and walk independently.

See more in a four-part video series at ucdavis.health/cure-trial.

Level I Children’s Surgery Center

UC Davis Children’s Hospital is verified as a level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the world standard bearer for surgical quality. Level I centers have children’s surgeons in every discipline, with pediatric anesthesiologists and dedicated operating rooms for children available 24 hours a day. They also train future leaders in education and research and participate in community outreach.

Group behind conjoined twins separation receives DAISY Team Award

Due to their teamwork, dedication, and successful separation of conjoined craniopagus twins, the multidisciplinary team of more than 30 experts — under the lead of pediatric neurosurgeon Michael Edwards, M.D., chief of plastic surgery Granger Wong, M.D., D.M.D., and director of pediatric anesthesiology Rajvinder Dhamrait, B.M., B.Sc (Hons)., D.C.H., F.C.A.R.C.S.I., F.R.C.A. — has earned this honorable award. In October 2020, after months of high-tech preparation, Abigail and Micaela Bachinskiy were finally separated and able to live independent lives.

Farmer is American Surgical Association president

UC Davis Department of Surgery Distinguished Professor and Chair Diana Farmer, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S., was sworn in as president of the American Surgical Association (ASA) in April. Farmer is the first surgical leader from UC Davis Health named to the position, and the third woman elected president in the ASA’s 142-year history.

Farmer receives national award for work on spina bifida

Diana Farmer is one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Harrington Scholar-Innovator Awards, given by the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals of Cleveland. The awards support a diverse set of drug discovery projects and include grants of at least $100,000, with the opportunity to qualify for up to $1.1 million. Farmer’s spina bifida research has produced a unique “patch” engineered from placental mesenchymal stem cells, applied to a baby’s exposed spinal cord during an in-utero surgery. Farmer’s award will support further development of this technology for adult acquired spinal cord injury.