NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Children's Hospital Boston will use a $4.2 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to identify genetic and epigenetic causes of congenital heart disease.
Funded through the NHLBI's Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium, the researchers will relate genetic variants found in patients with congenital heart disease to clinical outcomes.
Because this effort is aimed at discovering novel genes, the researchers will require a collaborative group like the PCGC that offers shared samples, data, and technology, the partners said.
"Everybody recognizes that no one center alone can do this research," Jane Newburger, associate chief for academic affairs in the department of cardiology at Children's Hospital, and professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.
"The collaborative effort is the only way we have a chance of making big discoveries in a short period of time," explained Amy Roberts, who is assistant professor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
The PCGC is part of NHLBI's Bench to Bassinet initiative, and it aims to identify preventive strategies, targets for treatment, and better diagnostic and prognostic information.
"Too many young lives are lost each year due to congenital heart defects," added Susan Shurin, acting director at NHLBI. "To help give these children a chance at a healthier life, the Bench to Bassinet program will delve into how the cardiovascular system develops and help translate the best research findings into clinical practice."