Fund Research

Innovative research and emerging medical technologies offer an enormous impact on the survival and long-term care of individuals affected by congenital heart defects. While the heart defect might have been surgically repaired, the chronic disease associated with the heart condition is not cured. Unfortunately, research specific to CHD has been seriously underfunded due to a lack of public recognition. It is the CHD Coalition’s mission to not only directly support research, but also to unify the CHD Community to generate national awareness of the #1 birth defect and ultimately fuel widespread contribution to these programs. Advocacy leads to funding, which advances research, and saves lives.

 

Collectively to date, the CHD Coalition has granted over $368,000 to carefully-selected research programs led by progressive hospitals across the United States. Institutions that have been awarded grants have included Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Icahn School of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital. The CHD Coalition will continue to evaluate studies from the leading institutions that focus on congenital heart defects.

 

There are no salaried employees at the CHD Coalition. All donations go to research and to continue the CHD Coalition’s various programs. This is a significant differentiator between us and similar organizations. It is imperative that donors evaluate an organization’s commitment to research, not just from their mission statement, but also from the percentage of money given to research compared to the amount paid to their employees.

 

 

2016 $50,000 Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY
“Valve Prosthesis with Growth”
The objective of this research proposal is to produce and evaluate a prototype of an innovative non-biological mechanically-engineered valved prosthesis which could grow with time, avoiding multiple reoperations in children and adults with CHDs and improving their quality of life. Such a new generation of valved device would be based on a mechanical disruptive concept, never used before in currently available valve prosthesis. If successful, such a device could have a significant impact on the quality of life by avoiding surgery and saving lives, as well as a positive impact to financial, emotional and social aspects related to valve replacement.
 
2016 $50,162.32 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
“Molecular signals involved in the growth and development of systemic-pulmonary arterial collateral vessels”
Children with forms of single ventricle heart disease are known to be at significantly higher risk for a number of complications and shortened lifespan. One particular problem unique to children with single ventricle heart disease is the development of systemic-pulmonary arterial collateral flow. This study will help to better understand the causes of collateral vessel formation; it may be possible to develop a specific drug therapy that reduces collateral formation and potentially improve the quality of life for children with single ventricle heart disease.
 
2015 $50,000 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Goldmuntz, MD
“Genotype Identifies the At-Risk Population for Long Term Complications in Tetralogy of Fallot”
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is one of the most common types of CHD, with 1200 new cases each year in the U.S. The majority of patients survive the initial surgical repair, however, patients experience early mortality resulting from residual lesions such that adults with TOF have four times the risk of death compared to those without CHD. Over time, right ventricular dysfunction may develop making it difficult for the right ventricle to properly pump blood into the lungs. The right ventricular dilation is thought to be a primary reason for the poor exercise tolerance, rhythm disturbances, risk of sudden death, and diminished quality of life seen in this patient population. The goal of the study is to (1) confirm the association of RV fibrosis with RV function suggested by other studies, and (2) identify genetic factors that modulate the degree of fibrosis in the right ventricle in the patient with TOF so that the at-risk population may be identified and test therapies that may decrease the degree of fibrosis to decrease associated morbidities and improve clinical outcomes.
 
2014 $48,423 Boston Children’s Hospital Boston, MA
Jean Anne Connor, PhD, RN, CPNP
“Consortium for Congenital Cardiac Care Measurement of Nursing Practice (C4-MNP)”
While it takes a team of medical professionals to care for a child, nurses represent the single largest provider pf inpatient care and can have a drastic impact on patient outcomes. Yet little has been studied about their positive contribution, and significant variation in patient outcomes continues to exist. The purpose of the consortium is to establish a national standard for pediatric cardiovascular nursing measurement, with the goal of benchmarking nursing care activities that contribute to improved patient outcomes in a highly complex environment and population of patients.
 
2014 $15,000 Icahn School of Medicine New York, NY
Kanwal M. Farooqi, MD
“Creation and Validation of Low Cost 3D Cardiac Models from MRI in Patients with Congenital Heart Disease”
3D printing offers the possibility of creating physical replicas of the heart, coming as close as possible to holding the patient’s heart in one’s hand prior to the operating room. Use of these 3D cardiac models allows a cardiologist to communicate a patients’ congenital heart defect by simply demonstrating a physical replica. However, many of the techniques used can been improved upon to produce better 3D models for visualization of intra-cardiac anatomy, and may be performed in a more cost effective manner. This study aims to establish imaging protocols to optimize the usage of this technology and address its feasibility for cost effectiveness so it can be routinely implemented in a clinical setting. By demonstrating the creation of these models on a low cost 3D printer, this study will validate measurements made on the models using measurements from the original cardiac MRI for comparison.
 
2013 $50,000 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
Francis X. McGowan, Jr., MD; Matthew J. Gillespie, MD
“Cell-based Rescue of Ventricular Failure in Congenital Heart Disease”
Over time, endogenous cardiac stem cell are progressively injured and depleted as heart failure develops in patients with congenital heart disease. These cells, normally resident in the heart, can help restore heart muscle and blood vessels and stimulate supply substances needed for limiting damage to the heart and enhancing its repair. These cardiac-directed stem cells can be safely and effectively isolated from small samples of a congenital cardiac patient’s own tissues. This will allow for their numbers to be increased and their properties manipulated in the laboratory, leading to administration back into the heart and resulting in significant improvement in the cardiac dysfunction and reversal of the pathologic remodeling that are the hallmarks of fatal heart failure.
 
2013 $5,000 Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York New York, NY
Rubin S. Cooper, MD
“Echocardiographic Assessment of Right Ventricular Function Using Speckle Tracking Imagine (STI) Technology Compared to Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)”
Currently, cardiac MRI is the gold standard to assess ventricular function. This is a laborious, time consuming and expensive modality of imaging. If the same information regarding heart function can be obtained with echocardiogram using STI then this will be a cost effective method.
 
2012 $50,000 Children’s Hospital at Montefiore New York, NY
Nadine Choueiter, MD; Robert H. Pass, MD
This study investigates how well cardiac MRI predicts the coronary artery anatomy in Tetralogy of Fallot patients who are undergoing the new MELODY valve implantation, which is a relatively new procedure that allows an alternative to traditional open-heart pulmonary valve replacement. The MELODY valve is placed using a catheter that is guided into the heart from a vein in the leg or neck, eliminating the open-heart surgery normally used, which is much more invasive and dangerous.
 
2011 $50,000 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
Jack Rychik, MD; Kathryn M. Dodds, RN, MSN, CRNP
“Single Ventricle Survivorship Program”
Improving the quality of life and finding new treatments for patients with single ventricle heart defects is one of the most pressing challenges in pediatric cardiology. The Single Ventricle Survivorship Program was created to focus attention on the challenges faced by these patients and to help improve quality and duration of life. While many patients lead highly functional and active lives after single ventricle surgery in childhood, there are, however, certain health problems, not limited to the heart, being recognized with increasing frequency.
 

 

More about the selection process: A total of 7 applications were received by top institutions who perform CHD related research in the North Eastern United States. The CHD Coalition’s Research Grant Committee — comprised of CHD Board Members, cardiologists, a pediatric cardiology nurse, parents of children with CHDs and a CHD warrior — performed a multi-staged review process.

NOTE: If you would like more specific details regarding the research proposals that received funding, please contact grants@chdcoalition.org.

CHD Coalition, 45 Carey Avenue, Suite 250 #1, Butler, NJ 07405, Phone: (973) 850-6320, Email: info@chdcoalition.org