Emory University's Department of Pediatrics Including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Ranked in Top Five for Research Grants from the National Institutes of Health

ATLANTA (February 18, 2014)Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced today that its primary academic partner, the Emory Department of Pediatrics, has achieved No. 5 in the 2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH) rankings for pediatrics according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. In a jointly developed research strategic plan, Children's and Emory previously set a goal to reach the top 10 NIH funded department of pediatrics by 2018.

“We are elated to now be among the top 5 NIH-funded pediatric departments, because this is a strong indicator of an institution’s strength in child health-related research. Ultimately this means that we are performing vital research that will improve the lives of kids across the globe," said Dr. Paul Spearman, Chief Research Officer for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine. "In addition, this ranking really speaks to the growing strength of the partnership between Children’s and Emory University, a key component of our overall pediatric research enterprise that also includes Georgia Tech and Morehouse School of Medicine"

Some recently NIH funded projects include:

  • Marcus Autism Center was named an Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) by the NIH. An $8.3 million grant from the NIH created a comprehensive and collaborative research effort among Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Department of Pediatrics in Emory University School of Medicine and Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory. Marcus Autism Center is one of only three such centers nationwide and brings together more than 25 researchers and physicians in eight laboratories in the three highly connected Atlanta institutions, along with collaborators at Florida State University.
  • The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University have received a grant of almost $10 million to target lethal lung damage that causes the many deaths in children with sickle cell disease. The grant, awarded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, was given to Emory University and the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's. It will provide about $2 million in funding each year over five years, fostering bench-to-bedside research to find treatment that could stem a complication of sickle cell disease called “acute chest syndrome.” Acute chest syndrome damages the lungs, causing them to fill with fluid and sometimes resulting in respiratory failure.

The nearly $27 million in total grants help Children's and Emory researchers continue their revolutionary efforts to develop new treatments or cures for diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, cancer and blood disorders, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases and autism. 

The NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world granting more than 80 percent of its budget to researchers in more than 2,500 universities, hospitals and research institutions in the United States and around the world.

Research efforts at Children's are done through partnership with Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse School of Medicine. 13 key priority centers have been identified and include the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children’s Center for Immunology and Vaccines, Children’s Center for Transplant Immunology and Immune Therapeutics, Children’s Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation, Children’s Center for Cystic Fibrosis, Children’s Center for Developmental Lung Biology, Children’s Center for Cardiovascular Biology, Children’s Center for Drug Discovery, Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Center for Neurosciences, Children’s Center for Nanomedicine, Children’s Center for Outcomes Research and Public Health, and Children’s Center for Clinical and Translational research. 

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About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.

About the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University
The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia.

Tags: General News, Marcus Autism Center, Cancer and Blood Disorders, Research
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014