Birth Defects Research Centre
Supported by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children
The Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre (BDRC) at the Institute of Child Health, University College London brings together world-class scientists in state-of-the-art facilities to create a centre of excellence to address one of the major causes of infant mortality and childhood disability in the western world
Birth defects are a leading cause of infant
mortality in the western world. One in
every 40 pregnancies in Europe is
affected by a birth defect, of which there are more than 4,000 types. Some of the commoner
birth defects include spina bifida, congenital heart defects, congenital
deaf-blindness, cleft lip & palate, and Down’s syndrome.
The Institute of Child Health (ICH) is an integral part of University College London (UCL), one of the UK’s largest multi-faculty universities. ICH, together with its clinical partner Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), is amongst the world’s top five research and clinical organisations specializing in child health. The ICH/GOSH partnership combines:
- The largest specialist children’s clinical service in the UK, with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches to healthcare in children with severe/complex disease.
- Advanced clinical and molecular genetics research aimed at determining the genomic and epigenetic basis of rare childhood disease.
- Wide-ranging developmental biology research, employing model systems (mainly mammalian) to determine the cellular/molecular mechanisms of birth defects.
- Innovation in therapeutic approaches including gene and stem cell therapies.
- A focus on translation of research from laboratory to the clinical environment.
- Major strength in epidemiological research as applied to childhood conditions.
A newly built, £6.5 million laboratory and office development, located on the third floor of the Institute, provides custom-designed space for genetics and developmental biology research. It forms the centre-piece of the BDRC, housing research staff in three of the key specialist units, and providing state-of-the-art facilities for other BDRC units based on adjacent floors. The goals of the BDRC are to:
- Provide a centre of excellence for genetics and developmental biology research into clinically important birth defects.
- Enhance the translation of research findings into new diagnostics and therapies for patient benefit, and assess outcomes on a population level.
- Train the next generation of birth defects research investigators, and engage widely with both specialists and non-specialists on advances in this field.
Page last modified on 19 sep 12 14:17