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Opening Dedication of the New John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center at the New Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Campus in Lawrenceville
Date:10/29/2008

Research building marks the first completed phase of the new Children's Hospital campus

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC officially opened its new 10-story, state-of-the-art John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center today marking the first completed phase of its new premier pediatric campus.

With more than 300,000 square feet of space, the new center will serve as the hub of pediatric health research for the region. The center - double the size of the current location - will enhance the hospital's ability to recruit top researchers from around the world.

Research is fundamental to Children's Hospital's mission, one that ties clinical care to both research and education.

The new facility will support biomedical research, including pediatric cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver failure, childhood infection and inflammatory diseases, genomics, immunology and neuroscience, among other fields. The new flexible lab space can accommodate 70 principal investigators.

"The flexible open lab design facilitates the kind of collaborative interaction between investigators and laboratory groups that is necessary for major research advances in the 21st century. It also permits sharing of equipment to drive down the cost of research," said David H. Perlmutter, MD, physician-in-chief and scientific director, Children's Hospital, and the Vira I. Heinz Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This research building will serve as the hub for Children's Hospital, UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh to advance the cause of child health through cutting-edge research.

Children's Hospital's research heritage includes contributions to medical science dating back to Jonas Salk's historic polio vaccine.

"Dr. Perlmutter has transformed the research program at Children's Hospital into one of the fastest growing pediatric research programs in the country. He leads both by clearly focused vision and by his own example of groundbreaking work on the pathobiology of liver disease," said Arthur S. Levine, MD, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "And, if our experience with the open laboratory design of the Biomedical Science Tower 3 is a good example, research at Children's will take on a new creativity and energy with the opportunities presented by the open laboratory design, which promotes the type of frequent informal interaction among scientists that often leads to the most innovative ideas."

There are more than 350 scientists and clinicians dedicated to research, and 16 endowed chairs supporting groundbreaking research. Each Children's Hospital investigator is a full-time member of the of the University of Pittsburgh faculty.

"There is nothing worse than a child suffering from a debilitating disease or illness. One way to help build a healthy and strong tomorrow is by supporting research that can help find cures for childhood diseases today," said John G. Rangos Sr. "Children's Hospital provides some of the best pediatric care in the country, and is one of the many reasons why I have continued to support them over the years. It is our responsibility to help ensure all children have a bright and healthy future."

Under the leadership of Dr. Perlmutter, the research program at Children's Hospital is now ranked sixth in the nation in terms of the overall number of National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards. In the last 8 years, research funding to Children's Hospital from the NIH has increased from less than $4 million to well over $23 million in 2007. Total funding from all sources has now exceeded $42 million per year.

"This building will provide the space for Children's Hospital to continue to recruit the finest child health researchers in the country and also from other countries and also to focus on the development of young and promising scientists who will carry out child health research well into the future," said Dr. Perlmutter. "We believe the new research center will have a major impact through basic research on the concepts that produce quantum leaps in improving the health of children."

John G. Rangos Sr. has been a strong and consistent supporter of Children's Hospital for more than two decades and has contributed more than $8 million to support vital research into childhood diseases such as diabetes.

"Mr. Rangos is not only committed to pediatric health care, he truly understands the importance of research and how it can make an impact on pediatric care nationwide," said Mary Jo Howard Dively, Esq., chair, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Board of Trustees, and vice chair, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Board of Trustees. "The new facility is a real tribute to Mr. Rangos and his leadership. He is a person who understands how important research is to the organization, and he looks at how the contribution he plans to make can motivate researchers and foster overall growth."

The new research building is housed next to the new Children's Hospital, scheduled to open May 2, 2009, located in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.

For more information about the new John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center, or the new Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh campus in Lawrenceville, please visit Children's Web site at http://www.chp.edu.


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SOURCE Children?s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
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