Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children researchers recently received three awards from the National Institutes of Health to fund idiopathic scoliosis research, the most common type of scoliosis which appears around ages 10 to 15. The grants total approximately $7.5 million.
Scottish Rite Hospital received the first award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It will fund a multi-site program titled “Developmental Mechanisms of Idiopathic Scoliosis” to understand the biological causes of idiopathic scoliosis in order to develop future treatments. Scottish Rite Hospital Director of Molecular Genetics and Basic Research Dr. Carol Wise will lead the program and work with investigators at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California, San Francisco.
The second award was received from the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program administered by the NIH. The grant will fund the “Genomics of Orthopedic Disease” program, led by Dr. Jonathan Rios, to sequence genomes of approximately 400 members of families with a history of scoliosis. The 124 million megabytes of genomic data generated from the project are expected to identify genetic errors causing idiopathic scoliosis.
NIH also granted Wise additional funding for an international meeting to bring researchers and physicians together who are committed to treating and curing idiopathic scoliosis. The meeting, titled “Genomic Approaches to Understanding and Treating Scoliosis,” will be held March 16-18 at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.
Wise says Scottish Rite Hospital researchers are honored and excited about the discoveries they hope to make with the funds. “I’m proud of the progress our team has made as we research the treatment and possible prevention of scoliosis in the future,” Wise said in a statement to D CEO Healthcare.