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  Children’s National Awarded Prestigious NIH Clinical Trials Grant
October 7, 2011

Children’s National Neurosciences Recognized as Leading National Program

Washington, DC – Children’s National Medical Center is one of 25 institutions selected by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a new clinical trial consortium: Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NEXT) focused on neurological disorders in adults and children.

“This is a great accomplishment for Children’s National. We are pleased to join some of the nation's leading institutions focused on developing new therapies for neurologic diseases,” said Roger J. Packer, MD, Senior Vice President of Neurosciences and Behavioral Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center and Principal Investigator for the Children’s National site. “As one of only two pediatric institutions chosen to be in the consortium, this offers Children's National an opportunity to use its expertise to help develop biologically-based studies for children with neurologic conditions. All of us involved in this trial consortium hope that national collaborative efforts like this will lead to improved treatments and outcomes for children and adults with neurologic diseases.”

Children’s National neurosciences clinical program includes more than 85 pediatric clinical specialists and translational researchers. Furthermore the Center for Neuroscience Research and the Research Center for Genetic Medicine of the Children’s Research Institute have many dedicated researchers who collaborate with their clinical peers.

“The leadership team on this effort: Drs. Roger Packer, William Gaillard, Vittorio Gallo, and Eric Hoffman are internationally recognized in research around neuromuscular diseases, epilepsy, autism, and other neurological disorders,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, President and CEO, Children’s National. “They lead teams comprised of clinicians and researchers who are dedicated to finding answers that address the complexities of the brain, mind, and neurological system. This NINDS/NIH collaboration with institutions across the nation illustrates the leading role Children’s National plays in re-imagining how we care for kids.”

“We have made tremendous strides in understanding the molecular underpinnings of development and how these affect neurologic and behavioral outcomes. These discoveries enhance our ability to translate new knowledge into therapeutics. Broad national consortiums like this are essential given that some of the diseases and conditions being investigated are relatively rare,” said Vittorio Gallo, PhD, Director of the Center for Neurosciences Research at the Children’s Research Institute.

“Bringing the pediatric perspective to clinical trials within this NINDS/NIH consortium will further existing synergies in neuroscience research among organizations, other clinical trial networks, and drug development programs, changing how neurologic diseases are treated in the future,” stated Eric Hoffman, PhD, Director of the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at Children’s Research Institute.

Contact: Paula Darte or Emily Hartman, Children’s Public Relations, 202-476-4500.

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About Children’s National Medical Center:
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. With 283 beds, more than 1,330 nurses, 550 physicians, and seven regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of acute pediatric services in the Washington metropolitan area. Children’s National has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet® designated hospital, the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve. For more information, visit, receive the latest news from the Children's National press room, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.