• With a generous gift from Additional Ventures, Packard Children’s is launching high-impact research toward cures for children, like Tyler, with single ventricle heart defects.


With Visionary Gift from Additional Ventures, Packard Children’s Joins Research Initiative on Single Ventricle Heart Defects

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford University School of Medicine have received a $1 million grant from Additional Ventures to accelerate scientific discoveries and development of treatments for single ventricle heart defects (SVDs). We are joining four other research institutions in a large-scale coordinated effort focused on identifying new avenues to eliminate the impact of SVDs, functionally cure patients, and ultimately prevent SVDs.

Single ventricle heart defects are rare and incurable, and among the most challenging and costliest congenital heart defects to treat. They affect roughly five in 100,000 newborns each year.

“Forty years ago, children with single ventricle heart defects didn’t survive past infancy,” says Erin Hoffmann, president and co-founder of Additional Ventures. “While surgical advancements have vastly improved the chance of survival for these children, it also means that we must now focus on high-impact research to provide new treatment options that allow them to live long, normal lives.”

Packard Children’s is the only hospital on the West Coast to offer comprehensive clinical care for patients with SVDs. Launched in 2017 through a visionary gift from Additional Ventures, the Comprehensive Single Ventricle Program aims to improve survival, optimize outcomes, and help children and young adults live life to the fullest. A team of specialists supports children and families in achieving long-term well-being, including academic performance, social and emotional health, nutrition and exercise, and liver and kidney health.

The new grant launches the Additional Ventures Innovation Fund Single Ventricle Disease Research Awards Program to complement the clinical program. Stanford’s Maternal and Child Health Research Institute will award the funds as seed grants to investigators at Stanford for novel, out-of-the-box thinking and high-impact studies relevant to SVD. The Fund is led by a Scientific Advisory Board that includes Christopher Almond, MD; Daniel Bernstein, MD; Katsuhide Maeda, MD; Alison Marsden, PhD; and Stephen J. Roth, MD.

The Fund will support a wide range of scientific approaches, new methods, or ideas from basic, clinical, translational, engineering, informatics, and other biomedical sciences to better understand the fundamental causes of SVDs and to develop cures for the condition. Interdisciplinary partnerships, cross-center collaborations, early-career and new entrants into the field are highly encouraged to apply.

“We are grateful to Additional Ventures for this gift to fund innovative, multidisciplinary, high-risk research at Stanford University School of Medicine,” says Frank Hanley, MD, the Lawrence Crowley, MD, Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford School of Medicine and chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Packard Children’s. “In tandem with our Comprehensive Single Ventricle Program at Packard Children’s, we can help children not just survive, but thrive.”

In addition, Packard Children’s and the School of Medicine will work together and share knowledge with four other institutions receiving grants:

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University
  • Gladstone Institutes
  • The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

The group will convene this year to share project learnings and research data to date.

Please join us in thanking Additional Ventures for this visionary gift! 

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