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Packard Children's Hospital gift creates new biotech research center for children's health

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has given $700,000 to the Stanford University School of Medicine to harness the rapidly evolving field of biotechnology research for advancing children's health.

The gift will create a center that will allow basic scientists and clinicians to use the tools of biotechnology -- genetics, genomics and proteomics -- to create ways to diagnose childhood diseases earlier, predict which children will respond to treatment and determine which children will have serious side effects from therapies.

''We know that all of the issues that face children are a result of their genetics and their environment,'' said Harvey Cohen, MD, PhD, chair of pediatrics and chief of staff at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. ''We will study genetic and environmental influences on the body. We will study chromosomes and genes that the children have, how the genes are turned on or off, what proteins are made, how they may be altered and determine whether proteins and other substances change their location as a result of a disease process.''

The $700,000 gift is the first investment of its kind by the hospital in the medical school. The hospital's twin goals are financial and programmatic sustainability and medical and technological pre-eminence. ''Over the past several years, Packard Children's Hospital has invested in programs that have made it sustainable; because of this, the hospital is now able to invest in innovation such as the biotechnology effort,'' said Christopher G. Dawes, Packard's president and chief executive.

Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, notes that finding ways to translate basic knowledge into practical applications for patients - so-called translational medicine - is a cornerstone of the school's strategic plan, "Translating Discoveries."

"There has been a vast amount of knowledge that has emerged in recent years from the field of biotechnology," s
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Contact: Robert Dicks
robert.dicks@medcenter.stanford.edu
650-497-8364
Stanford University Medical Center
29-Sep-2003


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