Nationwide Childrens Hospital Joins Down Syndrome Research Consortium

November 16, 2010

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.”

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.

Lito Ramirez
Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society
(866) 568-8949

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at