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National Institutes of Health Director, Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Discusses "Exceptional Opportunities for Biomedical Research" at Children's National Medical Center

Washington, DC – Speaking about "Exceptional Opportunities for Biomedical Research," National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, addressed faculty and staff at Children's National Medical Center. Dr. Collins spoke about the opportunities that research in genomics and rare disease can afford to the understanding of childhood diseases and development of new treatments. He also spoke about how the partnerships and programs between the National Institutes of Health and Children's National are important to rapidly take pediatric research findings from a laboratory setting to patients, families, and communities. Following his speech, Dr. Collins participated in a question-and-answer forum with faculty members of Children's Research Institute.

As the NIH Director, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist known for his discoveries of disease genes and his leading role of the Human Genome Project.

"We were honored to have Dr. Collins speak today and help Children's National kick off Research and Education Week," said Mark Batshaw, MD, Chief Academic Officer and Director of the Children's Research Institute. “Dr. Collins identified research opportunities in rare and molecular-based diseases while also providing our research faculty members with the resources and tools that the National Institutes of Health has developed to assist them."

“Dr. Collins' visit was motivating and inspiring for Children's Research Institute faculty and staff,” said Mendel Tuchman, MD, Scientific Director of the Children's Research Institute. “Helping to educate and encourage our junior and senior faculty in this current medical research landscape is vital to continue improving our understanding, prevention, treatment, and care of childhood diseases.”

Children's National works closely with the NIH through grants, collaborative programs, and studies. Of note is the collaboration between the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and Children's National's interventional cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. A competitive Science Education Partnership Award from the NIH funds the “Being Me” program at Children's National which educates youth about health and medicine topics. The NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science has also granted a Clinical and Translational Science Award to Children's National and the George Washington University to be funded through 2015. The NIH Clinical Center also uses the Clinical Studies Resource at Children's National to investigate childhood diseases in patients younger than 2 years of age.

Research and Education Week at Children's National is a week-long celebration of the excellence in research, education, innovation, and scholarship at Children's National. The week is a showcase of the strength and diversity of Children's National research and education programs. It is also an opportunity for interaction among colleagues in the academic programs, collaborative institutions, community partners, sponsors, and government agencies about the significant research projects and educational programs at Children's National.

Contact: Emily Hartman or Paula Darte at 202-476-4500.

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