The Children’s Heart Foundation funds more than $1.4 million of congenital heart defect research

This new funding will help improve outcomes for children born with America’s most common birth defect.

Northbrook, IL – January 18, 2024 –  The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF), the nation’s leading organization dedicated to funding congenital heart defect research, has announced funding over $1.4 million of new research and scientific collaborations. Every 15 minutes in the United States, a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, or CHD, making them the nation’s most common birth defect. The Children’s Heart Foundation’s mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHDs by funding the most promising research.

This new funding spans four initiatives, including Independent Research Awards funded by The Children’s Heart Foundation. The researchers that received independent research awards are:

  • Hee Cheol Cho, PhD, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Human stem cell-derived pacemakers for pediatric cardiac pacing.
  • Juliet Emamaullee, MD, PhD, University of Southern California (USC), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Predictive biomarkers to inform transplant candidacy in Fontan-associated liver disease. This project was funded in part by the Cortney Gives BAK Foundation.
  • John LaDisa, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Mechanical stimuli as a predictor of adverse outcomes after pulmonary vein stenting.
  • Mark Rodefeld, MD, Indiana University, Self-Powered Fontan Pump. This project was funded in part by the Haley Foundation.

The Foundation’s other research initiatives are: 2. Collaborative funding with the American Heart Association (AHA) through the AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards, 3. Funding of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Award, and 4. Annual funding of Cardiac Networks United (CNU), a pediatric and congenital cardiovascular research network.

"We are so grateful to all of our donors and supporters who have helped fund over $1.4 million of critical research this year,” said Gail Roddie-Hamlin, President & CEO of The Children’s Heart Foundation. “Each of our research initiatives solidify our commitment to CHD families by funding the most promising research and raising awareness.”

Since 1996, The Children’s Heart Foundation has funded nearly $18 million of CHD research and scientific collaborations— driving breakthroughs that have improved survival rates and quality of life for individuals living with CHDs in life-changing ways. In many cases, we’ve provided start-up funding for research that’s gone on to earn support from larger entities such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the U.S. Department of Defense, along with pharmaceutical and medical device industries.