Researchers at Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Drs. Huda Zoghbi and David Nelson have successfully renewed a major National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant of $6.4 million to expand BCM’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC). It is a highly competitive award and BCM’s IDDRC is only one of fourteen such centers to be funded nationwide.
The IDDRC at Baylor College of Medicine was established in 1998 to advance biomedical research in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It is among few IDD centers in the country to have continuously received funding from the NIH for decades. The purpose of this grant is to expand existing capabilities of IDDRC by adding several new core services in the areas of clinical translation, rodent neurobehavior, neurovisualization/imaging and neuroconnectivity. In addition, this grant will also support preclinical research to develop innovative genetic treatments for Angelman syndrome.
Researchers say this grant will help them to discover the genetic causes of autism, epilepsy, and other IDD; to create and characterize novel animal models; to gain insight about potential therapeutics; and to conduct clinical trials on human patients. It is expected that about 40 investigators at the NRI, throughout the Texas Medical Center, and nearby region, will benefit from the resources of this grant.