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Researchers to investigate the genetics of congenital heart disease
Date:12/22/2009

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Brigham and Women's Hospital have received funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to support their search for undiscovered gene defects that cause congenital heart disease. The $4.19 million, 6-year grant is part of the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium (PCGC), which seeks to identify genetic and epigenetic causes of human congenital heart disease, and relate genetic variants present in the congenital heart disease patient population to clinical outcomes.

Though individual congenital heart defects are rare, together they affect 35,000-40,000 U.S. infants born annually, making congenital heart disease the most common group of birth defects. The ultimate goal of the PCGC, part of the newly established "Bench to Bassinet" initiative at NHLBI, is to identify preventive strategies, targets for treatment, and better diagnostic and prognostic information for families.

"Too many young lives are lost each year due to congenital heart defects," said Susan B. Shurin, MD, acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. "To help give these children a chance at a healthier life, the Bench to Bassinet program will delve into how the cardiovascular system develops and help translate the best research findings into clinical practice."

"We are thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking new endeavor," says Jane Newburger, MD, MPH, Associate Chief for Academic Affairs in the Department of Cardiology at Children's, Commonwealth Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Principal Investigator on the grant together with Christine E. Seidman, MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Thomas W. Smith Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Jonathan Seidman, PhD, Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, i
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Contact: Rob Graham
rob.graham@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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