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NIAID and Children’s National Health System Launch Pediatric Clinical Research Partnership

Dept. of Health and Human Services

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Children’s National Health System, a pediatric academic medical center in Washington, D.C., have launched a clinical research partnership devoted to treating and preventing allergic, immunologic and infectious diseases in children. An inaugural symposium at Children’s National on Sept. 17, 2018, highlighted the partnership and discussed current and future directions for research activities.

Children’s National and NIAID formed the partnership in 2017 to develop and conduct collaborative clinical research studies focused on young children with allergic, immunologic, infectious, and auto-inflammatory diseases. The two institutions also offer joint training opportunities for physician-scientists interested in caring for these children while developing their expertise in pediatric immunology and infectious diseases. The inaugural Children’s National-NIAID Symposium 2018 reviewed the research being conducted under the auspices of this unique partnership and provided attendees the opportunity to raise new research questions and propose novel areas of scientific collaboration.

“Collaborating with a renowned pediatric hospital in our community promises to advance clinical research efforts, ensure the best possible care for children participating in research studies, and aid the development of medical innovations to improve the lives of children worldwide,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “The partnership also expands and enhances the ability of both institutions to provide medical and research training opportunities for the next generation of clinicians and scientists specializing in pediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases.”

“This is an exciting collaboration between Children’s National and NIAID,” stated Kurt Newman, M.D., Children National’s president and CEO. “This important pediatric effort has the potential to improve individual children’s health, as well as overall public health, by pairing unique NIH resources with our investigators’ strengths in clinical and translational research.”

The partnership is co-led by H. Clifford Lane, M.D., deputy director for clinical research and special projects at NIAID, and Mark Batshaw, M.D., Children National’s executive vice president and chief academic officer.

In the partnership, investigators from both institutions work together to design and conduct clinical studies to advance prevention strategies, diagnoses, treatments, and cures for a diverse range of pediatric diseases that involve the immune system. Many of these collaborative studies will include children at high risk for complications related to their underlying disease or from experimental therapeutics and diagnostic tests they receive. Study participants will have the opportunity to be seen at both Children’s National and the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Together, the institutions provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art pediatric clinical support, infrastructure, and research capacity.  These resources protect the safety of children, ensure that they receive the highest quality of care, and offer them the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge clinical research.

“This collaboration between an NIH institute and a specialized pediatric medical center ensures that the youngest research participants receive the gold standard of medical care. My hope is that this partnership between NIAID and Children’s National, focused on allergic, immunologic and infectious diseases, will serve as a model for future collaborations to address additional diseases and health conditions,” said James K. Gilman, M.D., CEO of the NIH Clinical Center.

Dr. Gilman delivered remarks on the importance of the partnership at the Sept. 17 symposium. Health officials from Children’s National and NIAID discussed specific aims of the partnership and presented updates on a variety of research topics, including diagnoses of primary immune deficiency diseases—rare genetic disorders that impair the immune system—and new approaches to manage food allergies. Symposium participants also reflected on challenges and lessons learned to pave the way for delivering care to clinical research participants with complex health and social needs. Drs. Newman, Fauci and Batshaw delivered concluding remarks. The complete agenda is available online.

The collaboration is supported through an NIAID supplement to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National, which is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award from NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to Children’s National and The George Washington University. 

This original press release can be found on the NIH website, here: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-childrens-national-partner-advance-pediatric-clinical-research.

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