Dallas, June 27, 2019 The Children’s Heart Foundation , the nation’s leading organization dedicated to funding congenital heart defect research, and the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, announce the newest recipients of the Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards program. This program is a collaborative investment of funds by the two organizations for medical professionals  to better understand and treat congenital heart defects (CHDs), the most common birth defect in the United States. The newest awardees are:

  • Ai Wern Chung, Ph.D, Boston Children’s Hospital: Exploring differences in brain structure among adults with CHD
  • Rafael Jaimes, Ph.D., the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System, Washington, D.C.: Research into the changes seen in metabolism after cardiopulmonary bypass.

This is the sixth round of co-funded research through the CHD Research Awards program, and the first year that The Children’s Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association are jointly requesting applications. Scientists who are conducting research to prevent and treat CHDs may submit applications for the next round of funding by September 19th. In addition, there are two award categories for early career investigators and transformational projects.

“We are honored and excited to continue our research funding partnership with the American Heart Association," said Barbara Newhouse, CEO of The Children’s Heart Foundation. "Through this collaboration and our ongoing commitment to research focused on congenital heart defects, we strive to make a lasting impact on the lives of those with CHDs. This new research will help bring innovative solutions to improve survival rates and care for all CHD patients.”

Both the latest round of awards and the new joint application process will advance the work of scientists seeking to understand why approximately 40,000 babies are born with CHDs each year and how to best treat them from childhood into adulthood. It is estimated that more than 2.4 million people in the U.S. are living with a CHD.

“Beginning this year, the new joint request for applications for the Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards will help attract the best and brightest applicants from the cardiovascular research community and evaluate them through a new peer review process,” says Jamie Lohr, M.D., F.A.H.A., Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at University of Minnesota Medical School. "This collaboration demonstrates the commitment of the American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation to improving the lives of patients and families impacted by congenital heart disease."

Individual donors may contribute to CHD research through the Hope and Jack Fund, which was ignited by American Heart Association volunteer Len Berenfield of Ohio who was so moved by the stories of young CHD survivors Hope and Jack that he made a significant donation to start a congenital heart defect research fund.  The fund is established and administered by the American Heart Association and is facilitated through the CHD Research Awards program.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About The Children’s Heart Foundation

The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) is the country’s leading national organization solely committed to funding congenital heart defect (CHD) research. The mission of CHF is to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects. Since its inception, CHF has funded more than $11 million dollars of CHD research across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit www.childrensheartfoundation.org. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:

Alexson Calahan, American Heart Association

515-994-0772; Alexson.Calahan@heart.org

Lauren DeVoe, The Children’s Heart Foundation

847-634-6474; ldevoe@childrensheartfoundation.org

Note: Vendor or solicitation inquiries will not receive a response


For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org