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New England Research Institutes (NERI) Announces Additional $45M NIH Grant to Support the Pediatric Heart Network
Date:10/25/2011

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 dec
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