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Philadelphia Children s Hospital Establishes Chair in Pediatric Genomics

NEW YORK, May 23 – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said Wednesday it has established a chair in pediatric genomic research, sponsored by a $1 million gift from the William Wikoff Smith Charitable Trust.

The gift will support the William Wikoff Smith Endowed Chair in Pediatric Genomic Research. Vivian Cheung has been named the recipient of the chair.

Cheung, a pediatrician and molecular geneticists, is known for her work in building and using DNA microarrays. She is also a leader of the BAC Resource Consortium, a team of scientists who recently produced a research tool that links the DNA sequences published by the Human Genome Project with chromosome band patterns seen in microscopes.

Her genomics laboratory is studying genes involved in juvenile diabetes, hyperinsulinism, and the neurological disease ataxia telangiectasia. 

“The gift of this chair brings the hospital's researchers closer to discovering and ultimately correcting faulty genes responsible for a multitude of childhood diseases,” the hospital said in a statement. 

The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust was established in 1976 through the will of William Wikoff Smith, an industrialist, philanthropist, and former head of the Independence Seaport Museum. The Children's Hospital has received approximately $5 million in basic and applied research support from the William Wikoff Smith Trust and Mary L. Smith Charitable Lead Trust, and close to $6 million overall in funding of children's health research and for patient care services.

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