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Riley Hospital for Children will gain a new $8.4 million research facility as part of a $1 billion nationwide drive to upgrade America's scientific research capability.

The new facility will be home to clinical research trials designed for children, who often have been under-represented in past clinical trials. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins were on hand for the grant announcement this spring.

The funds will help convert a former research floor in Riley into the new pediatric clinical research center. The center will provide IU School of Medicine researchers with the tools “to conduct pathbreaking research into disorders that affect the health and lives of so many of our children,” says IU President Michael McRobbie.

Children “respond to therapeutics differently” than adults, says D. Craig Brater, dean of the IU School of Medicine. The new facility will “give us the ability to understand those differences” and develop more effective remedies. The space renovation should be finished by late 2012.

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