Nationwide Children’s Hospital today announced that it has joined a national research consortium that will work to accelerate Down syndrome research and scientific discovery. The effort is the first of its kind in the nation.
In June, the Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society, a research and advocacy group based in Columbus, brokered an agreement with medical directors, researchers and clinicians from seven different pediatric and academic institutions to form a unique collaborative that will aggressively drive innovation and discovery in the field of Down syndrome research.
These partner institutions include: Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, The Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh.
“We have a genuine opportunity to make substantive advances in Down syndrome research efforts,” said Dan Coury, MD, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and consortium member. “By working cooperatively, we can shorten the path to discoveries that can one day improve the quality of life for every individual living with Down syndrome.”
Down syndrome is one of the lowest funded research programs at the National Institutes of Health. This year, NIH will spend just $19 million on Down syndrome research -- that 's less than 0.01-percent of its annual research budget.
On November 8, the group held its inaugural meeting in Columbus to discuss current research activities, and initial areas of collaboration.
“It has been more than 30 years since the last major scientific breakthrough discovery was made in Down syndrome research,” said CODSS president and CEO, Lito Ramirez. “By sharing knowledge, information, expertise, and human resources under a single cooperative effort, we can move research forward in ways that have not been possible, or even tried before.”
ABOUT CENTRAL OHIO DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society (CODSS) is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization started in March 2009 to forward three critical issue areas: 1) Down syndrome research; 2) legislation; and 3) parent/family services. It group is credited for being the only local Down syndrome group in the nation to convene its own scientific advisory panel or retain it’s own legislative lobbyist. Recently, CODSS was applauded for its direct role in securing the support and agreement of Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown to co-sponsor the Trisomy 21 Translational Research Parity Act that was just introduced in Congress. The Bill seeks to increase federal funding for Down syndrome research.
Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society