San Diegans Fighting to Eradicate Childhood and Neglected Diseases

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institute-for-childhood-and-neglected-diseasesYou have probably seen quite a bit of news coverage on the efforts to eradicate childhood diseases in developing countries. A lot of it relates to coverage of the 300 million people (the size of the U.S. population) being infected with malaria each year and a million of them dying from it. Our wealthiest countrymen, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, are directing a significant portion of their wealth to fighting childhood diseases. Their effort, along with our government’s effort to send aid to these third world countries, has garnered the U.S. 80%+ favorable ratings from countries such as the Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Ghana. (Ironically, they hold a higher favorable view of the U.S. than American citizens hold of themselves according to a 2007 State Department survey.)

The media coverage may be focused on the woes being suffered in developing countries and the money being donated to combat those woes, but we must not forget the unsung heroes … the scientists working to find new treatments. One such group of scientists are right here in our backyard at The Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases.

The Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases is a part of the Scripps Research Institute, which I covered in an earlier post on my Wednesday series about the research institutes that line the Torrey Pines Mesa.

The Institute is working to better understand the causes of malaria, mental retardation, neurodegenerative diseases, neuropathic pain, deafness, sleep disorders, migraines, and epilepsy in order to develop more effective treatments. Our researchers’ ability to study the causes of these diseases has been greatly enhanced with the recent advancements in the understanding of human genetics. I touched upon this subject in my post about Dr. Topol from Scripps Clinic.

To learn more about how the Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases was created in 1997, including the involvement of Padres owner John Moores, read the description overview on their web site.

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