HOUSTON, Aug. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A dedication ceremony today at Texas Children's Hospital announced the establishment of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center with a gift from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, a global non-profit organization dedicated to primary immunodeficiency (PI) research, physician education, patient support, public awareness, advocacy and newborn screening. The center will service the Houston area and South Texas region and offer advanced diagnostic evaluation to patients with a suspected PI, a group of disorders arising from defects in the immune system carried by the genes and characterized by infections that can be recurring, persistent, debilitating and chronic. Dr. Jordan Orange, chief of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Texas Children's Hospital and director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Human Immunobiology, will serve as the center's inaugural director.
"The Jeffrey Modell Foundation has helped make incredible strides in the invaluable early testing and advanced diagnosis of children with Primary Immunodeficiency," said Orange, also a professor of pediatrics, pathology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. "I'm honored to be part of the research and testing that will be conducted at Texas Children's Hospital through the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center in order to benefit patients affected by PI."
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation was established after Fred and Vicki Modell lost their son, Jeffrey, at the age of 15 in 1986 from complications of his PI. Since Jeffrey's death, the Modells have successfully testified before U.S. Congress on numerous occasions to put PI on the national research agenda and have sponsored physician education conferences in cities around the world. The center that is being opened at Texas Children's is one of many that the Modell Foundation is developing internationally for clinical care and research to find treatments and cures.
"It is with great pride and pleasure that Fred and I establish this Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research center with Dr. Orange at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston," said Vicki Modell. "While we have many goals for this new center, one of the most important is for the earliest and most precise diagnosis, followed by appropriate and meaningful treatments of primary immunodeficiency."
The Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic & Research Center at Texas Children's will be part of The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN), which comprises 125 Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Centers worldwide and more than 556 expert immunologists at 234 academic teaching hospitals and medical schools in 78 countries, spanning six continents.
About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation, Texas Children's has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children's has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children's, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children's by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.
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