As a Co-Principal Investigator, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene Newborn Screening Laboratory Co-Director and University of Wisconsin Professor of Pediatrics Mei Baker, MD, and the Principal Investigator UW Pediatrics Associate Professor Christine Seroogy, MD, received a three-year, $120,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant for their project, “Development and Implementation of Rapid Genetic Test to Improve Health Outcomes in Wisconsin Plain Newborns.”
Their project aims to develop and offer a new approach to early diagnosis of medically important genetic disorders in Amish and Old Order Mennonite – collectively referred to as Plain – children of Wisconsin through routine newborn screening along with development and implementation of a rapid and low-cost genetic test.
The objectives of this project are informed by the findings of the investigators’ community partnership collaboration with a rural family medicine doctor in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, Dr. James DeLine. In collaboration with the newly established Center for Special Children in LaFarge, WI, this project will engage Plain community members throughout Wisconsin to improve early diagnosis of genetic disorders now known to occur in Wisconsin.
Outcomes to be measured include assessment of health outcomes and family perceptions of genetic testing. Achieving the project goal will not only improve the health of this underserved population of children in Wisconsin but will be informative to newborn screening and genetic testing for all newborns.
The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment is a competitive grant program that fosters public engagement and the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the knowledge and solutions generated at UW-Madison will benefit the people of Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.
The grant program honors the legacy of Ira Baldwin and Ineva Reilly Baldwin and their deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea.
University of Wisconsin-Madison news story – https://news.wisc.edu/eight-projects-win-baldwin-grants/
Wisconsin Public Radio story (7/17/18) – https://www.wpr.org/genetic-screening-be-tailored-amish-newborns-wisconsin