Duke University Medical School researchers were among grant recipients announced Monday by the National Institutes of Health to improve and accelerate the diagnosis of rare and undiagnosed conditions.
The grants are part of the second phase of the NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN), which will expand the UDN from seven to 12 clinical sites, increasing the geographical distribution of the nationwide network and the number of people with access to a UDN clinical site.
The Duke grant is a renewal of funding and will total $5.1 million over four years; Vandana Shashi, MBBS, MD, is the principal investigator. Total NIH investment planned over the next four years will be approximately $100 million, pending the availability of funds.
Since opening to applications in 2015, the network has already diagnosed over 200 cases that had long been mysteries to the medical community.
Duke’s site has partnered with researchers at Columbia University to successfully evaluate nearly 150 patients as a part of Phase I of the UDN, resulting in diagnoses for nearly 40 percent of participants. Duke will continue to work collaboratively with specialists across the university and the network to apply expertise and experience towards diagnosing patients with complex medical challenges.