Baylor College of Medicine Awarded $14.85 Million Grant to Complete Neurological Research Center at Texas Children's Hospital


HOUSTON -(July 28, 2010) - Neurological research at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) andTexas Children's Hospital is getting a big boost in the form of a $14.85million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to complete twofloors of the Jan and Dan DuncanNeurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children's Hospital.

"More than 300 million children suffer from a neurological deficit, but thepercentage of funding for neurological research is small relative to themagnitude and societal impact of these disorders," said Dr. Huda Zoghbi,professor in the departments of molecular and human genetics, pediatrics,neurology and neuroscience at BCM and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan NRI.

"The grant will fund the interior build-out of specific floors in the NRI, amultidisciplinary research facility for pediatric neurological diseases such asautism, epilepsy, Batten disease, cerebral palsy, and Rett and Angelmansyndromes," said Zoghbi, who is also an investigator with the Howard HughesMedical Institute.

In addition to creating office and laboratory space, the funding will be usedto build space for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment that will helpresearchers identify metabolic fingerprints of different disorders. The NRI isscheduled to open later this year.

"We are very grateful to receive this support from the NIH to complete space tohouse - under one roof - BCM investigators committed to understanding thepathogenesis of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders. The build-out ofadditional floors in the NRI will also allow us to recruit new faculty withexpertise currently lacking in the Texas Medical Center, to supportinterdisciplinary approaches and enhance collaborations," said Zoghbi. "BCM andTexas Children's have a rich partnership and dedication to research which isdemonstrated in the building of the new NRI."

"This will be the first facility in the U.S. entirely dedicated to researchingpediatric cognitive developmental and neurological disorders, and developingtreatments for them," said Dr. John Swann, co-director of the NRI andscientific director of the Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology ResearchFoundation Laboratories at Texas Children's.

The NRI will ultimately bring together hundreds of researchers across multipledisciplines dedicated to understanding the unique issues of a child's braindevelopment and function during health and disease in the hope of bringingpromising new treatments to those afflicted with neurological disorders.

The Recovery Act Limited Competition: Extramural Research FacilitiesImprovement Program (C06) was a unique, one-time solicitation available todomestic institutions to construct new, or remodel existing, researchfacilities. The goal of the grant - available in amounts ranging between $2million and $15 million - is to facilitate and enhance the conduct of PublicHealth Service-supported biomedical or behavioral research. This is achieved bysupporting the costs of improving non-federal basic research and clinicalresearch to meet the biomedical or behavioral research, research training orresearch support needs of an institution. The National Center for ResearchResources at NIH oversees and administers these grants.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.