Children's National Medical Center (CN) is submitting a competitive renewal for its Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC). The focus of this Center is on cellular, physiological and neurobehavioral aspects of brain development and dysfunction, and on the mechanisms of genetic diseases causing intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The Center comprises 151 NIH and other federally funded projects, with a total annual direct costs of more than $50 million, of which over $12 million is from NICHD. The projects that are part of the IDDRC cover 27 of the 31 areas of focus in the IDDRC RFA:HD-10-022. A total of 96 faculty members from 25 departments/divisions at the participating institutions (CN, GU, GWU, HU) are affiliated with the IDDRC as Center Investigators. We propose to support an Administrative Core (Administrative Core) and 5 scientific cores: Biostatistics and Informatics (Biostatistics and Informatics Core), Cellular Imaging (CIC), Proteomics and Genomics (PGC), Neuroimaging (NIC) and Neurobehavioral Evaluation (Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core). The Director of the IDDRC, Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D. is also Director of the Centerfor Neuroscience Research at CN, where he developed a research program on neurodevelopmental disorders. He will direct the Administrative Core that functions as the heart/coordinating core of the entire IDDRC. The Administrative Core will promote growth of the IDDRC by providing advocacy, management and administration, communication and training, compliance and quality assurance, strategic planning and recruitment. Biostatistics and Informatics Core provides a broad range of study design, information management, and statistical support services extending from the design of research studies to publication of results. CIC assists investigators with a broad array of imaging tools for cellular analysis, and provides advisory and training services. PGC provides advanced genomics and proteomics technologies, genetic counseling as well as specialized statistical analyses for DNA, mRNA and proteomics studies. NIC provides support for image acquisition, image sequence selection and implementation, paradigm design for functional studies, software development, image processing/analysis. Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core provides sophisticated neurobehavioral and neuropsychological research support to define developmental and behavioral phenotypes and to develop or validate new methods for this purpose. As demonstrated in the past funding cycle, the continued support to our IDDRC will further enhance recruitment of new IDD investigators, and will promote interdisciplinary IDDR to generate innovation, resulting in major advancements in IDDR.
Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) affect 15% of children, but little is known of their neurological/neurobehavioral/genetic causes. Our IDD Research Center (IDDRC) includes multidisciplinary programs and supports investigators through unique, cost effective research Cores providing a broad range of current technologies. This research will improve our understanding of the causes underlying IDDs and develop innovative therapies, to permit each child to achieve full physical/intellectual potential.
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