Funded since 2001, the mission of the DC-IDDRC is to expand our understanding of the causes underlying intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), develop innovative therapies, and prevent or attenuate the full effects of these disorders, so that each child can achieve her/his full physical and intellectual potential. To realize this mission, we provide a rich environment for performing fully translational IDDR in the four collaborating DC academic medical centers (Children?s National Health System (lead), George Washington University, Howard University, and Georgetown University). In this proposal, our specific aims are: 1) To identify the causes and develop new clinical approaches for the prevention or amelioration of IDD; 2) To provide accessible, state-of-the-art and cost-effective core facilities for cohesive, multidisciplinary research and education/training in IDDR; 3) To create an intellectual home for investigators engaged in IDDR; and 4) To implement an innovative Research Project that addresses one of the five IDDR themes (Developing Biomarkers of Premature Brain Injury). The Director of the DC-IDDRC, Vittorio Gallo, PhD, is an internationally renowned neuroscientist who will continue to direct the Administrative Core that functions as the organizing nexus of the DC-IDDRC, providing management, administration, communication and training, assuring compliance and quality assurance, directing strategic planning and recruitment, and promoting the growth of the DC-IDDRC. The scientific cores provide an integrated platform and synergy for investigation as required by truly translational IDDR. The Clinical Translational Core (CTC) is designed to serve as a ?one-stop-shop? for IDDR investigators, providing assistance at each stage of the clinical and translational research spectrum and optimizing the efficient, high quality implementation of fundamental research. The Genomics and Proteomics Core (GPC) provides advanced genomics and proteomics technologies, as well as specialized statistical analyses for DNA, mRNA and proteomics studies. The Cell and Tissue Microscopy Core (CTMC) supports investigators with a broad array of advanced cellular and molecular imaging tools for state-of-the-art neuroscience studies. The Human and Animal Imaging Core (HAIC) provides scientific and technical support for in vivo and ex vivo whole brain imaging, image processing, and image analysis for both human and animal studies. The Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core (NEC) provides sophisticated neurobehavioral and neuropsychological research support to define developmental and behavioral phenotypes in humans and animals. Our hypothesis-driven project is entitled ?The vulnerable preterm cerebellum: Elucidating mechanisms and consequences of injury?. It utilizes the HAIC, NEC and CTC functions. Through these components, the DC-IDDRC will enhance the recruitment of investigators, generate innovation, and promote transdisciplinary research that together will facilitate the development, implementation, and dissemination of new diagnostic and therapeutic advances for the care of individuals with IDD.!
OVERALL: NARRATIVE This is a new application for the DC-IDDRC, the District of Columbia Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. The Center includes four collaborating DC academic medical centers (Children?s National Health System (lead), George Washington University, Howard University, and Georgetown University) to draw intellectual and core resources from neighboring institutions to help meet its ambitious research mission and create a truly integrated DC-IDDRC. The DC-IDDRC is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) and their families by creating a strong translational research environment optimized for studying and defining the basic causes and mechanisms underlying IDDs, and designing new effective treatments and prevention strategies. Our DC-IDDRC is strongly focused on building and supporting collaborations among investigators from the four institutions who are studying IDDs by using different experimental approaches, and by partnering with the community to ensure that scientific discoveries will benefit affected individuals. Our application builds over 15 years of collaborative and dedicated IDD research among the participating institutions to create an integrated academic center for all investigators engaged in IDD research in the District of Columbia.
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