Georgia Tech-Emory partnership receives funding for single ventricle heart defect research

Jan. 21, 2020

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Shannon McCaffrey
Emory University
404-727-3990
shannon.mccaffrey@emory.edu

Walter Rich
Georgia Tech
404-385-2416
wrich@gatech.edu

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Susan Margulies

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ATLANTA, GA – The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech will share in a $5.7 million Innovation Fund aimed at identifying new functional cures for children born with single ventricle heart defects, a rare but incurable condition.

Funded by the nonprofit foundation Additional Ventures, the department will join four other institutions in a large-scale coordinated research effort.

The department, a partnership between the Georgia Tech College of Engineering and the Emory University School of Medicine, will receive $1.5 million.

“This funding allows us to harness the expertise of researchers throughout Georgia Tech and Emory University to identify new interdisciplinary approaches for novel functional cures for children born with single ventricle heart defects,” says Susan Margulies, PhD and chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“There are great discoveries happening every day in our labs. This funding will stimulate new research applications and will enable some of that promising research to reach the marketplace where it can make a difference in children’s lives.”

Single ventricle heart defects (SVDs) affect about 5 in 100,000 newborns each year and are among the most challenging and costliest heart conditions to treat. Recipients of the Innovation Fund will focus on cutting-edge research to better understand the root causes of SVDs and to develop functional cures for those living with this condition.

“Forty years ago, children with single ventricle heart defects didn’t survive past infancy,” says Erin Hoffmann, Additional Ventures president and co-founder. “While surgical advancements have vastly improved the chance of survival for these children, it also means that we must now focus on high-impact research to provide new treatment options that allow them to live long, normal lives.”

“No single lab can overcome the complex challenges of SVDs,” says Kirstie Keller, PhD, director of scientific programs at Additional Ventures. “These five Innovation Funds will provide a network of researchers to collectively tackle these challenges. With rapid advances in areas like genomics, single-cell technologies and tissue engineering, now is the time to coordinate efforts to accelerate progress.”

The other recipients of the Innovation Fund are Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Gladstone Institutes, The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packer Children’s Hospital Stanford.

For more information on Additional Ventures and the five Innovation Funds please visit additionalventures.org.


About The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering is a partnership between Georgia Tech and Emory University. Combining the best of research and education, the department is dedicated to improving health and well-being by creating medical breakthroughs driven by engineering innovation and translational research. To learn more, visit bme.gatech.edu

About Additional Ventures

Additional Ventures is a nonprofit foundation that aims to accelerate research progress and improve clinical care for children born with single ventricle heart defects (SVDs) and their families, so they can live long, healthy lives. To find more information and sign up for news updates, visit additionalventures.org.