Boston Children’s Hospital today announced that it has received a donation of $25.45 million from Rosamund Stone Zander, through her J.P. Fletcher Foundation. The donation will establish the Rosamund Stone Zander Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital to fuel the development of targeted treatments for children affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. The new center will reach across all neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disciplines to improve the lives of children with brain disorders and their families by accelerating the translation of scientific research into widespread clinical practice.
The Rosamund Stone Zander Translational Neuroscience Center will transform the field as the first of its kind pediatric-focused translational neuroscience center. It will drive scientific discovery and future clinical trials in translational neuroscience, recruit world-class faculty, and train the next generation of leaders. It will expand on the gains made by its innovative predecessor, the Translational Neuroscience Center, which was founded by Dr. Mustafa Sahin in 2013 and has created an infrastructure including specialized clinical/translational research programs for individuals impacted by rare neurogenetic disorders, outstanding basic science, and the translation of novel ideas into practical tools for diagnosis and treatment.
“Through recent advancements in genetics and neuroscience, we’ve arrived at an inflection point. This new center deepens and accelerates our efforts to advance safe and effective therapies for children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism,” said Dr. Sahin, who is also the Rosamund Stone Zander Chair at Boston Children’s and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “We are uniquely qualified to capitalize on this opportunity through collaboration with academic, biomedical and pharmaceutical partners involved in different stages of the drug discovery pipeline. This generous donation will be instrumental in helping us drive our mission forward as we work to translate research discoveries into new treatments for pediatric nervous system disorders,” he said.
Dr. Sahin will lead the Rosamund Stone Zander Translational Neuroscience Center using a proven multi-pronged approach to treatment and cure development, partnering with industry and patient advocacy groups. Under his leadership, the new center will bring expertise and vision to first-in-human clinical trials and proof-of-concept studies in neurodevelopmental disorders research.
Dr. Sahin also developed and chairs the Developmental Synaptopathies Consortium, which is an NIH funded rare disease clinical research network focused on neurogenetic disorders associated with autism through collaborative research at 10 hospitals around the country. He has extensive experience leading multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional teams, aligning the expertise of team members to perform trans-disciplinary research and accelerating translational and clinical trials in neurodevelopmental disorders.
“As a former teacher and therapist who worked with children suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders for many years, Dr. Sahin’s undertakings and aspirations resonate with me in a profound way. His research opens entirely new avenues for collaboration and treatments, and in many cases for life itself,” said Ms. Zander.