Grant Boosts Louisiana Children’s Access to Clinical Trials

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Federal Program Could Improve Health for All Children in the State, Country
Released: Friday, December 04, 2020

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – A new $2.1 million federal grant will give more of Louisiana’s children access to cutting-edge health research while training young scientists in pediatric research.

The five-year National Institutes of Health award will focus on boosting clinical trial access in five areas:

  • Care before and after birth
  • Obesity
  • Upper and lower airways
  • Brain development
  • Physical, mental, and social well-being

“Louisiana’s children are affected by many health problems at a higher rate compared to other states. This is especially true in rural areas and areas that have less access to health care,” said Daniel Hsia, M.D., Associate Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and co-lead investigator of the study. “The planned future research has the potential to improve the health of all the children in our state and across the United States.”

“By bringing new scientific discoveries to Louisiana’s children, we can eliminate some of the barriers to care for many of our state’s children,” said Pennington Biomedical Executive Director John Kirwan, PhD. “We may also slow or even prevent the development of chronic diseases such as obesity and asthma, and the related health issues that continue on into adulthood.”

“We are excited to continue our collaboration as we bring more cutting-edge clinical trials to the children of Louisiana in order to improve their health and well-being," said John Carlson, M.D., PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Medicine at Tulane University and co-lead investigator of the study.

Dr. Hsia said this grant renewal is part of the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program, which is focused on enhancing the health of children for generations to come. The initial grant established the Louisiana site within the ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN) in 2016. This earlier effort enhanced research capacity and infrastructure for pediatric clinical research, helping to train additional research staff and scientists.

The current effort will draw on researchers and resources from Pennington Biomedical, Tulane University, LSU Health Sciences Center, and the state’s two freestanding children’s hospitals, Children’s Hospital New Orleans and Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.

This grant is supported by the National Institutes of Health under award number 2UG1OD024959. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center

LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The center conducts basic, clinical and population research, and is affiliated with Louisiana State University. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 450 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical is located in state-of-the-art research facilities on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.