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Program Snapshot

In fiscal year 2015, in accordance with the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, Congress appropriated $12.6 million to the NIH Common Fund to support pediatric research. The Common Fund’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research program (Kids First) is planning to develop a data resource for the pediatric research community of well-curated clinical and genetic sequence data that will allow scientists to identify genetic pathways that underlie specific pediatric conditions but that may also be shared between apparently disparate conditions. The program will collect data from the following types of pediatric conditions:

  • Childhood cancers – Those that have a suspected genetic component.
  • Structural birth defects - related to a problem with body parts and structure and include conditions like cleft lip, misshaped heart valves, abnormal limbs, problems related to the growth and development of the brain and spinal cord.

The integrated data resource will allow researchers to explore whether shared genetic pathways may contribute to both cancer and structural birth defects.

Program Highlights

Initial cohorts selected for sequencing. The applications from researchers to use whole genome sequencing to investigate the genetics of childhood cancers and structural birth defects have been reviewed by a panel of external scientific experts. The selected cohorts address the following conditions:

  • Rare cancers of the bone or soft tissue (Ewing Sarcoma)
  • Bone tumors that were resistant to drug treatment (Pediatric Osteosarcomas)
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate (Orofacial Cleft Birth Defects)
  • Developmental disorders of facial nerves, such as those controlling eye movement (Syndromic Cranial Dysinnervation Disorders)
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Developmental disorders of the chest muscle used for breathing (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia)
  • Disorders of Sex Development

Learn more about the selected cohorts. Kids First plans to reissue the call for applications to support whole genome sequencing of additional childhood cancer and structural birth defects cohorts in Fiscal Years 2016, 2017, and 2018 pending availability of funds.

Planning Committee

Audie Atienza, PhD
Health Promotion Research
National Cancer Institute, NIH
EPN - Exec Plz, North, Room 4074A
6130 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD
Phone: 301-402-8426
Fax: 301-480-2087

Alexis Bakos, PhD, MPH, RN, C
Program Director
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Room 710
One Democracy Plaza
Bethesda, MD 20892-4870
Phone: 301-594-2542
Fax: 301-480-8260

Maria Teresa Canto, DDS, MS, MPH
Health Promotion and Comunity-based Research Program
Center for Health Promotion and Behavioral Research
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH
Building 45, Room 4AS43D
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-594-5497
Fax: 301-480-8322

Emmeline Edwards, PhD
Deputy Director
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
NSC 3305, 6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-9531
Phone: 301-496-9248
Fax: 301-402-4370

Jeffrey Elias, PhD
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute of Aging, NIH
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-594-5942

Kimberly Gray, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
PO Box 12233 MD EC-21
111 TW Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 919-541-0293
Fax: 919-316-4606

Darlene Kertes, PhD
Office of the Director
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH
31 Center Drive, B2B34 MSC 2027
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-402-1146

Marsha F. Lopez, PhD, MHS
Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5156, MSC 9589
Bethesda, MD 20892-9589
Phone: 301-402-1846

Patricia L. Mabry, PhD
Health Scientist Administrator, Behavioral Scientist
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Office of the Director, NIH
31 Center Drive, Building 31, Room B2B37, MSC 2027
Bethesda, MD 20892-2027
Phone: 301-402-1753

Paige McDonald, PhD, MPH
Acting Chief and Program Director
Basic and Biobehavioral Research Branch
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute, NIH
6130 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7363
Executive Plaza North, Room 4062
Bethesda, MD 20892-7363
Phone: 301-435-5037
Fax: 301-435-7547

Vivian Ota Wang, PhD
Senior Advisor
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Office of the Director, NIH
31 Center Drive, Building 31
Room B2B37, MSC 2027
Bethesda, MD 20892-2027
Phone: 301-443-2376
Fax: 301-402-1150

Michael Spittel, PhD
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences
National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development, NIH
6100 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20892-7510
Phone: 301-435-6983

Catherine Stoney, PhD
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NIH
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 401, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Phone: 301-402-1272
Fax: 301-480-3621

Virginia Taggart, MPH
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH
6701 Rockledge Drive, Suite 10018
Bethesda, MD 20892-7952
Phone: 301-435-0202
Fax: 301-480-3557

Susan Volman, PhD
Program Director
Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard., Room 4282, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 29892-9555
Phone: 301-435-1315
Fax: 301-594-6043

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