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New England Research Institutes (NERI) Announces Additional $45M NIH Grant to Support the Pediatric Heart Network

WATERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New England Research Institutes (NERI) today announced that it has received a $45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the continuance of its work on the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN). PHN is a multi-center clinical research network started in 2001, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, to study congenital and acquired heart diseases that occur in childhood. This grant provides five more years of funding to nine clinical centers and NERI as the data coordinating center, to conduct clinical research studies in children and young adults with heart defects and other heart diseases.

Congenital heart defects occur in approximately 40,000 infants in the US each year and are a major cause of infant death. The PHN was started by the NHLBI to find treatments for children with heart disease. Nine major studies have been conducted since 2001 at children's hospitals around the US and Canada with research teams that specialize in the care of patients with heart disease. The PHN also provides training in clinical research to new investigators, and is the clinical cornerstone of the NHLBI's comprehensive Bench to Bassinet (B2B) Program in pediatric cardiovascular translational research.

The B2B program was established to accelerate the translation of basic research findings into clinical studies and trials, and to provide clinical input on pressing needs for basic research. In addition to the PHN, the Program includes the Pediatric Cardiac Genomic Consortium (PCGC) conducting human genetic studies and the Cardiovascular Development Consortium (CvDC) focusing on basic research and animal models. NERI also serves as the coordinating center for the B2B program. The federal funding to NERI for its work on the PHN and on B2B totals $87 million over the next 5 years.

"Quality research conducted by the PHN over the last decade has led to better understanding of pediatric heart disease and how to treat it. Although there are many more questions to be answered, it is gratifying to see the PHN's mission of improving health outcomes in children begin to be realized, and a privilege for NERI to be a continuing partner in this important and exciting research," said Lynn Sleeper, Sc.D., Principal Investigator, Statistical and Clinical Science for the PHN Data Coordinating Center.

Sharon Tennstedt, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Operations for the PHN Data Coordinating Center, and who also directs the B2B Coordinating Center, added, "NERI is very pleased to continue our role in the PHN. We look forward to more groundbreaking clinical studies, particularly as the Bench to Bassinet Program makes progress in identifying genetic causes of congenital heart defects."

For more information regarding PHN, please visit For more information regarding B2B, please visit

About NERI

NERI is a privately held CRO that provides global, customized clinical trial solutions and registry services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biomaterial and medical device companies. NERI also has notable experience collaborating on federally funded research with organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since its founding in 1986, NERI has earned widespread recognition for its scientific credibility, efficiency and expertise in conducting clinical trials in numerous therapeutic areas. For more information, visit .

Media Contact:

Sharon Tennstedt, Ph.D.

This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at

SOURCE New England Research Institutes
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