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ATLANTA (January 14, 2016) – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has received a generous grant of $1,000,000 from the Enduring Hearts Foundation to fund cardiac research to enhance the lives of children needing heart transplantation. Some of the research funded will be that of Michael Davis, Ph.D., Director of the Emory-Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes (HeRO) Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine. His research focuses on bioengineering and stem cell approaches to treating pediatric and adult heart disease, with the goal of strengthening hearts to avoid transplantation and improving post-transplantation outcomes. Davis is an associate professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

“We are extremely grateful for this grant from an amazing foundation like Enduring Hearts, whose important funding will enable us to research the next generation of therapies for children with congenital heart defects. If we can prevent children from needing to be on the transplant list or find a way to extend the life of existing transplants, it will have a tremendous positive effect on the lives of these patients, many of whom spend months in the hospital waiting for their first or second hearts. Building stronger relationships with local philanthropic organizations like Enduring Hearts is critical to funding the research that will give children with heart disease, and their families, a better quality of life,” says Davis.

Each year in the US approximately 400 children are placed on a waitlist for heart transplantation. Many more have heart failure that requires medical treatment. Children’s cardiothoracic surgeons have performed more than 325 heart transplants since the transplant program’s inception in 1988, “While the outcomes following pediatric heart transplantation have gradually improved over the last 40 years, the rate of change has been too slow. This funding can catalyze the types of discoveries in heart transplantation that dramatically advance the field and improve the lives of the thousands of children needing heart transplants,” says William Mahle, M.D., Chief of Children’s Sibley Heart Center, Director of Sibley Heart Center Cardiology, Medical Director of the Children’s Heart Transplant Program, Medical Director of Cardiac Clinical Research, and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory.

“There is much work to be done in the research areas of cardiac transplant prevention and post-transplant longevity, and this grant will make real progress toward solving the various challenges facing pediatric transplant candidates and recipients,” says Ankur Chatterjee, President & Executive Director of Enduring Hearts. “We are excited to support this esteemed organization, and wish Dr. Davis and his team continued success with their valuable research.”

For more information on the Emory-Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes Center (HeRO), please visit http://www.pedsresearch.org/centers/detail/pediatric-cardiac-research.

For more information on Enduring Hearts, please visit http://enduringhearts.org.

For more information about the heart transplant program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, please visit: http://www.choa.org/hearttransplant.

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About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.

About Enduring Hearts Foundation 

Atlanta-based Enduring Hearts’ mission since 2013, has been to fund research that both increases the longevity of pediatric heart transplants and improves the quality of life for transplant recipients. The results of funded research projects contribute to the clinical and scientific knowledge about many important aspects of organ transplantation, e.g. the mechanisms of long-term organ deterioration, the consequences of tissue injury, and opportunities to intervene, postpone, and eliminate these rejection processes. Enduring Hearts also has a research co-funding alignment with the American Heart Association, and was ranked as a 2015 Top Rated Charity by Great Nonprofits. For more information, visit http://enduringhearts.org.