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Children’s National Awarded Prestigious NIH Clinical Trials Grant

October 07, 2011

Children’s National Neurosciences Recognized as Leading National Program

Washington, DC – Children’s National Medical Center is one of 25 institutions selected by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a new clinical trial consortium: Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NEXT) focused on neurological disorders in adults and children.

“This is a great accomplishment for Children’s National. We are pleased to join some of the nation's leading institutions focused on developing new therapies for neurologic diseases,” said Roger J. Packer, MD, Senior Vice President of Neurosciences and Behavioral Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center and Principal Investigator for the Children’s National site. “As one of only two pediatric institutions chosen to be in the consortium, this offers Children's National an opportunity to use its expertise to help develop biologically-based studies for children with neurologic conditions. All of us involved in this trial consortium hope that national collaborative efforts like this will lead to improved treatments and outcomes for children and adults with neurologic diseases.”

Children’s National neurosciences clinical program includes more than 85 pediatric clinical specialists and translational researchers. Furthermore the Center for Neuroscience Research and the Research Center for Genetic Medicine of the Children’s Research Institute have many dedicated researchers who collaborate with their clinical peers.

“The leadership team on this effort: Drs. Roger Packer, William Gaillard, Vittorio Gallo, and Eric Hoffman are internationally recognized in research around neuromuscular diseases, epilepsy, autism, and other neurological disorders,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, President and CEO, Children’s National. “They lead teams comprised of clinicians and researchers who are dedicated to finding answers that address the complexities of the brain, mind, and neurological system. This NINDS/NIH collaboration with institutions across the nation illustrates the leading role Children’s National plays in re-imagining how we care for kids.”

“We have made tremendous strides in understanding the molecular underpinnings of development and how these affect neurologic and behavioral outcomes. These discoveries enhance our ability to translate new knowledge into therapeutics. Broad national consortiums like this are essential given that some of the diseases and conditions being investigated are relatively rare,” said Vittorio Gallo, PhD, Director of the Center for Neurosciences Research at the Children’s Research Institute.

“Bringing the pediatric perspective to clinical trials within this NINDS/NIH consortium will further existing synergies in neuroscience research among organizations, other clinical trial networks, and drug development programs, changing how neurologic diseases are treated in the future,” stated Eric Hoffman, PhD, Director of the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at Children’s Research Institute.

Contact: Paula Darte or Emily Hartman, Children’s Public Relations, 202-476-4500.

About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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