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Rare Disease Institute - Genetics and Metabolism

Contact number | 202-545-2500
Baby Mila wrapped as a present.

Helping Families with the Specialized Care They Need

Our team has helped countless families in need of care for their children, like Mila Vasaio, who was diagnosed with Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) and Hirschsprung disease shortly after birth.

Read Mila's story
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(en español)

Please note: We are now seeing patients at our new location on the Research & Innovation Campus, 7125 13th Pl NW Washington, DC 20012. View a map of directions to this location (en español). 

Children’s National Rare Disease Institute (CNRDI) is a first-of-its-kind center focused exclusively on advancing the care and treatment of children and adults with rare genetic diseases. We aim to provide a medical home for patients and families seeking the most advanced care and expertise for rare genetic conditions that remain largely unknown to the general medical community.

With more than 8,500 visits annually and 12 physicians, Children’s National Hospital is home to the largest clinical genetics program in the United States. Listen to our Director, Marshall Summar, M.D., speak about the importance of the CNRDI.

We coordinate the multidisciplinary care of children with genetic, metabolic and undiagnosed disorders in collaboration with primary care physicians and specialists from other divisions at Children’s National. Additionally, every geneticist here works in concert with a genetic counselor to manage both the clinical and practical aspects of treatment. The research interests of our practitioners ensure the most timely and thoughtful care for our patients.

Our Inherited Metabolic Disorders Program provides diagnostic testing, evaluation and management for patients with inborn errors of metabolism, as well as definitive testing and treatment for patients identified by newborn metabolic screenings. We are also nationally and internationally acknowledged as a leader in treating urea cycle disorders, genetic syndromes and lysosomal storage diseases. The well-rounded nature of the clinical team also makes Children’s National a noted destination for treatment of rare and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, such as NAGS and propionic acidemia. 


Your child's appointment may be available as a telehealth visit. Please call the Bear Line at 1-888-884-BEAR (2327) to schedule and learn more.

Our Rare Disease Institute offers a virtual genetics clinic, allowing patients to be evaluated from home. Along with in-person visits, this enables us to optimize and tailor care for every child and family. Telehealth decreases wait times and allows simple issues to be addressed quickly.

Conditions We Care For

Services We Provide


Ryan A's Story

Ryan Alam, a teen fighting a rare neurodegenerative disease, tandem skydives with SFC Chris Acevedo of the U.S. Army Parachute Team. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights.

Ryan has neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, or NBIA. Of the different types of NBIA, he has mitochondrial-membrane protein-associated neurodegeneration, or MPAN, a disease in which a surplus of iron accumulates in the brain and causes it to deteriorate. Tuba Alam, Ryan’s mom, says that despite his condition, his goal in life is to help others like him find a cure so that they can live a full life.

Ryan A's Story

Rare Disease Institute Team