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NIH Expands Undiagnosed Diseases Program

The National Institutes of Health is funding six extramural medical centers to help identify the causes of mysterious diseases.

Jul 3, 2014
Tracy Vence

FLICKR, RVOEGTLIThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) is giving six additional medical centers a total of $43 million to take part in its Undiagnosed Diseases Network, through which the agency is supporting research to unravel the causes of prolonged, mysterious conditions. The network is an extramural expansion of the agency’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program, which is headquartered at the Clinical Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Investigators from the Baylor College of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Duke University, Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center will now take part in a program that’s using genomic and other approaches, to ascertain the causes of rare, idiopathic conditions.

“We believe that there is a substantial unmet demand for the diagnoses of conditions that have perplexed skillful physicians,” grant recipient Isaac Kohane, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, said in an NIH statement. “We want to address inquiries from physicians and patients throughout the country who require these services and, in doing so, create a 21st century model for diagnosis and treatment in this genomic and information-intensive era.”

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