NIH and Fast Grants Award $1M to the Crnic Institute to Study COVID-19 in People With Down Syndrome
DENVER, Sept. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Crnic Institute) have been awarded three grants totaling $1 million, two from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one from Fast Grants, to understand how the hyper inflammatory state of the immune system in people with Down syndrome may result in more severe complications upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studying both people and mouse models, the aim is to develop tailored COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals with Down syndrome.
Preliminary data suggests people with Down syndrome are more likely to be hospitalized and die at a younger age due to COVID-19 compared to the typical population. However, much more information is needed, and currently little is known about how COVID-19 affects individuals with Down syndrome.
"What our research has already shown is that people with Down syndrome have substantial dysregulation in their immune systems, which could impact not only their initial response to SARS-CoV-2 and their clinical outcome if they become ill with COVID-19, but also the development of potential long term side effects. Understanding each of these pieces is crucial for understanding the risks and developing proper medical care for people with Down syndrome who get COVID-19," explains Dr. Joaquín Espinosa, Executive Director of the Crnic Institute.
The NIH and Fast Grants awards build upon the following important coalescing factors:
More specifically, these awards will allow Crnic Institute researchers to create an unprecedented body of knowledge by aggregating information and samples from individuals with Down syndrome diagnosed with COVID-19 through its Human Trisome ProjectTM data set and the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). In addition, Crnic Institute researchers will also test the ability of JAK inhibitors to normalize the hyper inflammatory state in a mouse model of Down syndrome.
"We are grateful to the NIH for identifying people with Down syndrome as a high risk population for COVID-19, and for acting quickly to fund research that could help save the lives of our children and adults from this terrible virus," says Michelle Sie Whitten, President and CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, an internationally renowned advocacy non-profit and an affiliate of the Crnic Institute. "Global, and the people with Down syndrome we serve, are also fortunate to have our congressional champions and our Crnic Institute scientists who are both brilliant and compassionate."
About the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome
About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nih-and-fast-grants-award-1m-to-the-crnic-institute-to-study-covid-19-in-people-with-down-syndrome-301138275.html
SOURCE Global Down Syndrome Foundation