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World-Renowned Genetics Researcher Named to Lead Rady Pediatric Genomics Institute

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San Diego – Sept. 21, 2015 – The Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s announced today it has named pediatric genomics researcher Stephen F. Kingsmore, MD, DSc, to lead the Institute as its President and CEO.

Among his pioneering achievements, Dr. Kingsmore developed the 50 hour genome, a process by which doctors are able to decode and interpret a newborn baby’s genome in just two days. The genetic test, named one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2012 by Time Magazine, rapidly screens the DNA of babies for about 4,500 diseases known to be linked to single-gene mutations.

Dr. Kingsmore and his team also designed a software system for neonatologists to look for disease in specific regions of the genome based on the newborn’s symptoms and then guide doctors to where they should interpret results. These important advances toward rapid genetic sequencing for newborns promise to one day replace the traditional newborn screening blood test.

“Dr. Kingsmore’s impressive record of achievement and his stellar reputation as a world leader in pediatric genomics will serve him well as he endeavors to bring the Institute’s vision to life – to fundamentally change and improve healthcare for children in San Diego and around the world,” said David F. Hale, Board Chair of Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.

Dr. Kingsmore comes to Rady Children’s from Children’s Mercy Kansas City, where he most recently served as Executive Director of Medical Panomics. He was the Founding Director of the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine at Children’s Mercy, during which time he and his team decoded the genome of more than 1,700 children and parents. To maintain the continuity of his important research, Dr. Kingsmore will continue to collaborate with Children’s Mercy during the transition.

“Recruiting this brilliant person is a home run for Rady Children’s and for San Diego,” said Donald Kearns, MD, President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego. “We are building an outstanding team in pediatric genomics at the Institute. With Dr. Kingsmore joining the top experts we already have in place at the Rady Pediatric Genomics Institute, I have no doubt we are going to change the world for pediatric care.”

Dr. Kingsmore will begin his new position at the Rady Pediatric Genomics Institute on September 28, 2015.

About Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s

The Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s was launched in April 2014 with a $120 million gift from the Rady Family and a $40 million investment from Rady Children’s Hospital. The Institute brings together world-class scientists and clinicians into a shared research infrastructure, one that will enable them to accelerate the translation and implementation of research discoveries for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately cures for childhood diseases. For more information visit www.rchsd.org/research/genomics-institute/.

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 520-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

Media Contact: Carlos Delgado
Office: 858-966-4901
cdelgado@rchsd.org

Leading Pediatric Neurogenetics Researcher Named as First Chair within Rady Pediatric Genomics Institute

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Dr. Joseph Gleeson Will Build Program in Pediatric Neurogenetics

San Diego – July 20, 2015 – Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego has identified its first-ever Endowed Chair within the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute: pediatric neurogeneticist Dr. Joseph Gleeson. Dr. Gleeson’s pioneering work will be supported by a $2.5 million endowment for neuroscience provided by Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary.

Dr. Gleeson will build an innovative program in neurogenetics that seeks to understand the genetic basis of diseases such as epilepsy, autism and mental disability and develop new treatments. He comes to San Diego from New York City, where he was head of the Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Disease at The Rockefeller University and a scientific advisory board director at the New York Genome Center, a consortium of renowned academic, medical and industry leaders focused on translating genomic research into clinical solutions for serious disease. Dr. Gleeson will maintain access to the world-class scientific resources and collaborators at both institutions.

“The recruitment of a scientist of Dr. Gleeson’s caliber represents a major step in our vision to pursue pediatric genomics research at the highest level,” said David Hale, Board Chair of Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s. “Dr. Gleeson fully supports our goal that one day every child who comes to Rady Children’s for care will have the benefits of genomic sequencing.”

Among his recent findings, Dr. Gleeson’s lab has identified approximately 200 new causes for neurodevelopmental diseases that are not yet published.

“We’re excited to use these findings as a platform to diagnose kids at Rady Children’s,” said Dr. Gleeson. “We’ve already begun some pilot genome sequencing of patients at Rady Children’s neurology clinic and hope to find matches within that population for some of these newly identified genetic causes of disease.”

Another key initiative Dr. Gleeson is undertaking is searching for the genetic cause of intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients (epilepsy that does not respond to treatment with medication). Using samples of brain tissue obtained from a consortium of neurosurgeons around the world, Dr. Gleeson plans to sequence the part of the brain suspected of causing epilepsy with the goal of discovering the genetic origin.

Over the years, Dr. Gleeson’s lab has sequenced a defined population group of more than 3,000 patients, one of the largest groups in the world with recessive forms of neurodevelopmental disease. With this data, the lab has determined that some of these conditions previously thought untreatable have potential points of treatment.

“We are thrilled to welcome a true visionary in the field of Genomics research to lead our journey into the future of pediatric medicine,” said Dr. Donald Kearns, President and Chief Executive Officer at Rady Children’s.

Dr. Gleeson was previously a Professor at UC San Diego and a physician at Rady Children’s before moving his lab to Rockefeller. Dr. Gleeson will also be a professor of Neurosciences and Pediatrics at UC San Diego (pending Committee on Academic Personnel [CAP] approval), and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He will assume the role of Director of Neurodevelopmental Genetics in the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.

On March 4, 2015, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary created the Endowment for Neuroscience, a pool of funds to help researchers and clinicians at the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute translate research discoveries into improved patient care. The Endowed Directorship created by this fund will support the work and vision of Dr. Gleeson.

Media Contact:
Ben Metcalf
(858) 966-8579
bmetcalf@rchsd.org

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 520-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial Counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

$2.5 Million Pledged by Rady Children’s Auxiliary to Support Rady Pediatric Genomics Institute

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San Diego – May 2, 2015 – Building upon its legacy as a visionary and pioneering force for pediatric healthcare in San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary has announced it is pledging $2.5 million to support the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.

Since a small group of women first met in 1953, the Auxiliary has worked in partnership with Rady Children’s to fundraise, advocate for the health and well-being of children and increase community awareness of the Hospital.

“The Auxiliary’s generous pledge represents an important measure of the community’s support for the mission of the Institute,” said David F. Hale, Chairman of the Board of the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute. “It means that our most ardent supporters are in agreement that genomics is very important in the future of pediatric medicine and Rady Children’s is leading the way.”

“In 1954, the Auxiliary was the driving force behind creating a Hospital just for kids and has consistently supported its growth over six decades,” said Steve Jennings, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Now the Auxiliary is again taking a leadership role by being the first to heed Ernest Rady’s call to join him in launching the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.”

Auxiliary President Cheryl Steinholt leads the 22 units countywide.

“Our Auxiliary is one of a kind and together we truly make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community,” said Steinholt. “We are so excited to take that next step and support the Genomics Institute which has the potential to make a profound impact on healthcare for children worldwide.”

Every year the Auxiliary holds various events and activities that collectively result in funding a myriad of programs; some are existing programs that are greatly enhanced, and some would simply not exist without the Auxiliary’s philanthropy. The Auxiliary intends to maintain this strong philanthropic support while raising $2.5 million above and beyond its typical annual contribution.

“We honor the more than 1,300 members of Rady Children’s Auxiliary for their dedication, vision and support as they join us on this journey into the future of pediatric medicine,” said Dr. Donald Kearns, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rady Children’s.

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 520-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial Counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

Media Contact:

Ben Metcalf
619.822.8593