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Children's Mercy Kansas City Gets $150M Gift From Two Family Foundations

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Children's Mercy Kansas City has obtained $150 million from two family foundations to start construction of a new building for the Children's Research Institute and to accelerate the recruitment of researchers.

The Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation each donated $75 million to the children's hospital, money that will be used in part to expand its Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine and to build a state-of-the-art genome center.

"In addition to exceptional clinical care, Children's Mercy has always placed an emphasis on research and education to transform the future of pediatrics," said Randall O'Donnell, president and CEO of Children's Mercy Kansas City, in a statement. "Thanks to the unparalleled generosity of the Hall and Sunderland families, our Children's Research Institute will allow us to accelerate even more precise diagnoses and treatments for complex childhood diseases, so we can provide groundbreaking care for the most difficult medical cases right here in Kansas City and around the globe."

According to Tom Curran, executive director and CSO of the Children's Research Institute, half of the funding will be used to construct the new building, which will house the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine, while the other half will be used for programmatic support and recruitment. "Since we feel that genomics underpins all of pediatric medicine, we anticipate that all of the recruitments will have a relationship with the genome center and some will be 100 percent within the center," he said.

"As Tom points out, there's no earmarking of the money to specific areas, however, a significant proportion of already allocated research lab space is used to build a state-of-the-art genome center, more than doubling the existing Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine and allowing for the several-fold increase in anticipated pediatric genomic research volume with existing faculty and particularly the investigators to be recruited with the gift," said Tomi Pastinen, director of the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine at Children's Mercy.

The new research building will have nine floors and have approximately 375,000 square feet, increasing the space for pediatric research nearly sixfold.