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ACHRI Awarded More Than $3 Million to Lead National Children's Study in Open Source Information Management System Consortium

LITTLE ROCK, AR (May 10, 2012 ) - The Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) announced this week that the Arkansas Study Center of the National Children's Study (NCS) has been awarded $3.3 million over two years to lead an Open Source Information Management System (IMS) Consortium for six National Children Study Centers. In addition to the Arkansas Study Center, the other study centers include Case Western Reserve University, University of California-Davis, University of Miami, University of Texas-Southwestern and Saint Louis University.

ACHRI researcher Charlotte Hobbs, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator for the Arkansas Study Center of the National Children's Study. Dr. Hobbs is also the Pamela D. Stephens Professor of Birth Defects Research and section chief of Birth Defects Research and Prevention in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine.

"I am very pleased that Drs. William Hogan and Umit Topaloglu's work has been recognized at a national level within the National Children's Study," Hobbs said. "This contract award is an opportunity to build the capacity of UAMS's information management systems and extend the use of open source information management systems within the National Children's Study."

Under the leadership of Drs. Hogan and Topaloglu, the Arkansas Study Center will serve as the IMS hub using the Comprehensive Research Informatics System (CRIS) both have developed. William Hogan, MD, MS, is an associate professor at UAMS and the inaugural chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics. Umit Topaloglu, PhD, is an assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics and the Director of Research Systems for the Department of Information Technology at UAMS.

Dr. Hogan was honored for his "Outstanding Contribution to the National Children's Study" during the executive steering committee meeting of the National Children's Study in August 2011 on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Recognized by Steven Hirschfeld, MD, PhD, associate director for Clinical Research, acting director, National Children's Study, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, "Dr. Hogan is a leader in the field of bioinformatics and helped us take our vague understanding of open source informatics systems and begin to operationalize them."

Developed by Drs. Hogan and Topaloglu to support the needs of UAMS Cancer Institute and Translational Research Institute, CRIS utilizes an open source, flexible approach to support innovation, accommodate evolving technology and extend functionality to multiple researchers. "Leading these NCS Study Centers through the CRIS system is a great honor and is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the UAMS Informatics team," says Hogan.

"We are delighted that ACHRI researchers have this opportunity to collaborate with the UAMS bioinformatics team on this exciting project," said Richard F. Jacobs, MD, FAAP, ACHRI president and the Robert H. Fiser, Jr., MD, Professor and chairman of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine. "Since our institution began participating in the NCS in 2010, the ACHRI Center has had enormous success, which is a tribute to the team's ability to build partnerships with not only members of the community, but also with their scientific colleagues from other institutions."

For more information about the National Children's Study, visit ncsbentoncounty.com or call 877-KID-STDY.

Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) is a collaboration between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH). ACHRI provides a research environment on the ACH campus research scientists at ACHRI conduct clinical, science and health services research for the purpose of treating illnesses, preventing disease and improving the health of children everywhere.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children. The campus is celebrating 100 years of providing Care, Love and Hope in 2012. Over the past century, ACH has grown to span 29 city blocks and house 316 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org.

UAMS is the state's only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state's only Level 1 trauma center. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 medical residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS' Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com .

The National Children's Study (NCS) is the largest long-term study of children's health ever conducted in the United States, and will follow 100,000 children from before birth to age 21 to learn how the environment influences children's health, development, and quality of life. The NCS Benton County Study Site is the only site in Arkansas chosen to participate in the national study and is funded by a contract through Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute in partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The Study is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with a consortium of federal government partners. Study partners include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Visit www.ncsbentoncounty.com.

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