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Bench To Bassinet Program logo

The Bench to Bassinet Program is a major effort launched by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to learn more about how the heart develops and why children are born with heart problems. This information will be used to develop new ways to help infants, children, teenagers, and adults born with heart disease.

OUR MISSION: The Bench to Bassinet's mission is to accelerate scientific discovery to clinical practice by fostering collaborations of basic, translational and clinical researchers through a flexible program designed to improve outcomes for individuals with congenital heart disease while supporting the needs of the pediatric heart disease research community.

2014 Breakthrough Prize In Life Sciences for Dr. Richard Lifton

Dr. Lifton was recognized for the discovery of genes and biochemical mechanisms that cause hypertension at an exclusive ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA. The event will be broadcast on the Science Channel on January 27, 2014. Dr. Lifton is a PI in the PCGC Center at Yale University. Click for details.

New Features

New features and datasets have been added to the For Researchers pages.
(1) A database is now available of all mouse ENU mutations detected through whole-exome sequencing of mouse lines screened for congenital heart defects. The database is searchable by gene, mouse line, and phenotype.
(2) CvDC datasets have been organized by Topic on the Datasets page and links are provided to the related Topic in the CvDC Data Repository.
(3) The Bioinformatics Tools page provides links to three novel tools developed within the CvDC.


The Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium launches its prospective cohort study
Subjects Enrolled: 7,660
Relatives Enrolled: 10,052
as of 03/17/2014
Learn more

Spontaneous Mutations Cause Some Congenital CHD

The PCGC investigators recently reported findings from the first large-scale sequencing analysis of congenital heart disease. The results of this study suggest that at least 10% of cases result from genetic mutations that weren't inherited from their parents. The analysis found that spontaneous, or de novo, mutations affect a specific biological pathway that is critical to aspects of human development, including the brain and heart. Read the complete article in Nature, and highlights in the NHLBI press release and at NIH Research Matters, and a recent Wall Street Journal article (subscription required).

The Congenital Heart Disease Genetic Network Study

Investigators from several leading U.S. medical schools, supported by the NHLBI, initiated the Congenital Heart Disease Genetic Network Study (abbreviated CHD GENES) in 2011. The study is using state-of-the-art DNA analyses to uncover the genetic causes of heart defects with which children are born. The early results in recruitment and banking of DNAs have been highly successful. Read the complete article in the February 15, 2013 issue of Circulation Research.

Braveheart, a Long Noncoding RNA Required for Cardiovascular Lineage Commitment

MIT investigators have discovered a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that is critical for the in vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells toward the cardiovascular lineage. These findings provide the basis for the identification of a new class of molecules that regulate cardiac transcriptional networks and for achieving a greater understanding of heart development. Read the complete article in the January 2013 issue of Cell.