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Researchers Aim to Prevent Global Prematurity and Stillbirths
Date:2/18/2008

universal global issue. Children's is pleased to join ranks with other groundbreaking researchers - together we can all contribute to improving infant and maternal health throughout the developing world and right here at home."

"We believe it is our responsibility to help solve this global problem and have committed the resources to form a new office at Children's to specifically address prematurity and stillbirths," continued Hansen. "The office will be directed by Dr. Craig Rubens, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and will be based at the hospital and closely linked to our Research Institute."

Over 500,000 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year. In 2004, 1 of 8 babies was born prematurely and between 1994 and 2004 the rate of infants born prematurely in the U.S. climbed nearly 14 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Prematurity rates are growing in Latin America as well.

"Bringing together the research literature and the world's leading stillbirth and prematurity scientists will allow us to build a critical research agenda for the future. This is an area in medicine that has yet to receive the funding levels and attention it needs," said the grant's principal investigator Craig Rubens, MD, PhD, director, Office for Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirths at Children's. "With the help of the Gates Foundation we are establishing important partnerships with global organizations, such as UNICEF and the March of Dimes, to strengthen our efforts through collaboration. It's our goal to develop an internationally focused, comprehensive research program to fully understand what causes premature births, including those that result in stillbirths, and how to prevent them on a global level."

Rubens is developing an international scientific advisory committee made up of experts representing major health centers and organizations, who have a strong history of
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SOURCE Seattle Children?s Hospital Research Institute
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