Pediatric Research Center

PRC Group Photo 2023

OverviewBirth defects facts

The Pediatric Research Center (PRC) is the basic science research division of the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. The PRC is home to leading research scientists whose work focuses on identifying the causes of birth defects/disabilities and developmental disorders. These conditions affect approximately 25% of newborns and children, inflicting significant morbidity, and are the leading cause of mortality in this group. Diagnostic, multiple medical, and long-term care interventions are needed to manage these newborns and children, translating into significant healthcare burdens for patients, families, and society. To alleviate these burdens, our researchers focus on basic and translational research to understand the causes of cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, kidney and cardiovascular malformations and disorders resulting from abnormal cartilage and bone growth. State-of-the-art technologies are used to identify the underlying abnormal genetic mechanisms and cellular pathologies that contribute to these conditions. The long-term goal of PRC investigators is to uncover the cause(s) of birth defects in order to develop both prevention strategies and treatments to cure sick children since not all birth defects can be prevented.