NIH selects Children's Hospital as Center of Excellence to train future generations of scientists

March 02, 2007

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as a Center of Excellence for training the nation's future leaders in pediatric research. There are only 20 such NIH-funded centers nationwide.

These NIH Centers of Excellence - known as Child Health Research Centers (CHRC) - serve as hubs for training bright young scientists who are performing cutting-edge laboratory research into pediatric diseases such as cystic fibrosis, cancer and diabetes.

Children's will establish its CHRC though a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Established physician-scientists in Children's CHRC will mentor and train up to four junior scientists annually who are conducting laboratory research into the molecular basis of pediatric diseases. Junior scientists are physicians who are completing fellowships or are new faculty members with an interest in basic science research.

Children's center will be led by principal investigator David H. Perlmutter, MD, physician-in-chief at Children's and the Vira I. Heinz Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"This program will serve as a cornerstone of Children's efforts to recruit to Pittsburgh the world's best and brightest scientists who have an interest in research that may lead to better treatments and potential cures for a variety of devastating pediatric diseases," Dr. Perlmutter said. "With this Center of Excellence grant, the NIH is recognizing the significant achievements scientists at Children's and the University of Pittsburgh have made to pediatric research and our potential for future advancements."

Children's CHRC will include 27 scientific mentors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 14 of whom are NIH-funded investigators at Children's.

Under the leadership of Dr. Perlmutter, who joined the hospital in 2001, Children's has grown into one of the nation's leading pediatric research institutions. Together with the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Pittsburgh, the hospital's annual NIH funding has nearly tripled to more than $24 million during his tenure, and ranks ninth nationally in NIH funding among all pediatric programs.
-end-
For more information about research at Children's or Dr. Perlmutter, please visit www.chp.edu.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

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