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Children’s National Hospital becomes part of the national CAUSE Clinical Research Network under a $3 million grant

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant will support the consortia to further improve asthma interventions and preventions April 26, 2021

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) allocated $10 million in funding to establish the Childhood Asthma in the Urban Setting (CAUSE) network. The NIAID plans to increase this number by $70 million over seven years to support the network. Children’s National Hospital will be part of the new research network, which is a 7-year consortium comprised of seven clinical sites in six different cities that will join forces to perform mechanistic and translational studies examining the basic immunology of pediatric asthma among urban, under-resourced and largely minority children and adolescents. 

Children's National is the home of Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia (IMPACT DC). The program focuses on research, care, and advocacy to decrease asthma morbidity experienced by at-risk youth in the region while serving as a model program for the nation. NIAID gave an initial $3 million to IMPACT DC to conduct its own pilot study of anti-IgE therapy to prevent asthma exacerbations. Additional support for this and other studies will come from subcontracts from the CAUSE Coordinating Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

“This new award allows IMPACT DC to remain part of one of the nation's most prestigious pediatric asthma research consortia,” said Stephen Teach, M.D, M.P.H., chair for the Department of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “It will allow us to both pursue an independent research agenda while collaborating with similar academic centers nationwide.”

Pediatric asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, and it is estimated that about 6.1 million children under 18 years suffer from this condition. It disproportionately affects urban, minority and under-resourced children and adolescents.

“It is essential to develop an understanding of the basic immunology of the disease and therapeutic options to ameliorating these disparities,” said Dr. Teach.

CAUSE researchers will explore the mechanisms of immune tolerance to allergens, the role of early environmental exposures in the pathogenesis of asthma, the pathogenesis and mechanisms of non-atopic asthma, the role of the respiratory epithelium in asthma and more.

The CAUSE network comprises seven clinical research centers, including Children’s National led by principal investigator, Dr. Teach, and the following research centers:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital. Principal investigators: Wanda Phipatanakul, M.D. and Talal Chatila, M.D.
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Principal investigator: Gurjit Khurana Hershey, M.D., Ph.D. 
  • Columbia University Health Sciences, New York. Principal investigator: Meyer Kattan, M.D. 
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. Principal investigators: Paula Busse, M.D.; Supinda Bunyavanich, M.D.; and Juan Wisnivesky, M.D. 
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Principal investigators: Rajesh Kumar, M.D. and Jacqueline Pongracic, M.D. 
  • University of Colorado Denver. Principal investigator: Andrew Liu, M.D. 

Media contact: Valeria Sabate


About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research and commitment to community. Volunteers opened the hospital in 1870 with 12 beds for children displaced after the Civil War. Today, 150 years stronger, it is among the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals. It is ranked No.1 for newborn care for the fourth straight year and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. In 2021, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus will open, the first in the nation dedicated to pediatric research. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and is the nation’s seventh-highest NIH-funded children’s hospital. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels.

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