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Kathy Mahdoubi, Senior Correspondent | November 17, 2009
Funding for a new
pediatric research facility
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has received a financial boon in the form of a $30 million grant to help break ground on a new pediatric research facility and to aid in the development of the hospital's Marcus Autism Center.

The grant comes from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation and is the largest that the pediatric health care center has ever received.

"Funding like this from the Joseph P. Whitehead Foundation is just the type of grant that really fuels a top notch pediatric research program, one of which Children's is currently building," commented Dr. Paul Spearman, chief research officer for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine. "Over the past years, Children's and Emory have further solidified a cohesive relationship aimed at medical discovery, quality-care improvement and health care innovation - and this grant speaks to all of that."

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The new facility will be built on the existing Emory University campus. Prospective research in pediatric oncology, vaccines, cardiology and new drugs will be conducted in partnership between Children's and the Emory University.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is one of the largest and highest ranking pediatric centers in the country and offers more than 30 pediatric specialties. The non-profit organization hopes to draw in talented new physicians and researchers as a result of the new research facility and the new and improved Marcus Autism Center, which is devoted to advancements in research and specialized care for children with autism and related disorders.

"We are profoundly grateful for this grant, which will further the collaboration between Children's and Emory University and our efforts to find cures for some of the most common and devastating childhood diseases," said Donna W. Hyland, president and CEO of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, in a release.

The Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded by one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola. Monies donated by the foundation are mainly geared toward citywide programs for children and youths.