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CHARGE Research

Clinical Database Project


Research - History

The first cases of what is now known as CHARGE syndrome were published in 1979. Between 1979 and 1985 little research was done. In 1985 there were six articles published. In 2005, there were 33, thanks in part to a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics 133A(5), which was devoted to CHARGE syndrome. Since then more research has been conducted and published. In July 2010 CHARGE Syndrome: A Volume in the Genetics and Communication Disorders Series was published by Plural Publishing, edited by Timothy S. Hartshorne, Margaret A. Hefner, Sandra L. H. Davenport, and James W. Thelin. This volume summarizes   research performed between 1979 and 2009 that spans the full spectrum of CHARGE syndrome’s impact on the physical, emotional, behavioral, and intellectual lives of those born with CHARGE and their families.  We are pleased to advise that there are now dozens of research projects which involve CHARGE syndrome.  Despite increased interest in CHARGE, much more research is needed to better understand the causes, treatment and management of this complex syndrome. 

The CHARGE  Syndrome Foundation is dedicated to the support and promotion of scientific and clinical research.  A Scientific Advisory Board has been established to provide the Foundation with advice and guidance on the review, administration and implementation of scientific research grants.  Our Research Committee concentrates its efforts on clinical and survey-based research projects.  Together, the Scientific Advisory Board and Research Committee hope to promote and fund increased research in CHARGE.  

Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 2011 to serve as a scientific resource, assisting in the identification, funding and development of scientific research projects.  The formation of this new advisory board demonstrates our commitment to high quality scientific research.  Members of SAB consist of leading scientists and medical doctors with extensive research experience.  We are fortunate to have such a wealth of knowledge and experience help guide the Foundation.

The SAB is chaired by Donna Martin, MD, Phd.  Other members are Brian Brooks, MD PhD, Daniel Marenda, PhD, Peter Scacheri, PhD, Seema Lalani, MD, and Conny M.A. van Ravenswaaij-Arts, MD, PhD

CHARGE Syndrome Foundation Research Grant Program

The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation, Inc. announces the availability of research grants of up to $50,000 each.

The purpose of these grants is to promote:
a) new biomedical research into the etiology, genetic and molecular mechanisms and
treatment of CHARGE syndrome or
b) new research into clinical and medical diagnosis and treatment of CHARGE syndrome.

Both established and new investigators are encouraged to apply. Proposals are for funding from July 15, 2016 through July 15, 2017 and may be in any area of basic, clinical, translational or epidemiological research. Preference will be given to investigators who are new to CHARGE research and/or to new
projects with clear potential to lead to future funding from other agencies.

2016 Grant Application


Previous Grant Recipients

2015 Pilot Grant Recipients:

Philip Gage, Ph.D. at University of Michigan

Project Title: Analysis of ocular functions of CHD7 in mouse modes of CHARGE Syndrome

Faith Liebl, Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University

Project Title: Assessing the role of Kismet and CHD7 in synapse development and function using the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

Kathrin Schmeisser, Ph.D. at Université de Montréal

Project Title: Rapid drug discovery in genetic models of CHARGE Syndrome

Kai Jiao , M.D., Ph.D. at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Project Title: Regulation of gene expression by CHD7 in embryonic cardiomyocytes

2014 Pilot Grant Recipients:

Dr. Ruchi Bajpai at University of Southern California

Project Title: Identifying negative regulators of CHD7 as potential therapeutic targets for CHARGE

Fumiaki Imamura, Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University

Project Title: Role of CHD7 in Nerve Formation

Allison Bardin, Ph.D. at Institut Curie

Project Title: Exploring the link between CHD7 and the COMPASS-like complex

Dr. Conny van Ravenswaaij-Arts at University Medical Center Gronigen

Project Title: Neurological Functioning and Cerebellar Anomalies in CHARGE syndrome

2013 Pilot Grant Recipients:

Peter Scacheri, Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University

Project title: Human iPS cells as a model for the study and treatment of CHARGE syndrome

Mats Ljungman Ph.D. at University of Michigan

Project title: Use of Bru-Seq to explore the role of CHD7 in gene expression

Michael E. Talkowski, Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School:

Project title: Cryptic Genetic Causes and Modifiers of CHARGE syndrome

2012 Pilot Grant Recipients:

Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D.   Stanford University School of Medicine 

Project title:  Heart development and CHARGE syndrome.


Kelvin Y. Kwan Ph.D.  Rutgers University 

Project title:  Identification of Molecular Markers to Determine Cochlear Implant Candidacy in CHARGE syndrome.


Robert Hevner, M.D., Ph.D.  University of Washington

Project title:  Cerebral cortex development in a mouse model of CHARGE syndrome


Elizabeth A. Hurd, Ph.D and Adam B. Stein, M.D.  University of Michigan

Project title:  Investigating the role of Chd7 in neural crest lineage cells.

Research Committee

The Research Committee (RC) was formed in 2009.  Its primary purpose is to review survey-based and clinical research proposals.  The RC also helps connect researchers with appropriate information and/or participants.  In addition, the RC helps keep track of existing research and advises the membership of  new developments, research studies and research related information.

The RC is chaired by Ms. Meg Hefner, Genetic Counselor, Associate Professor Saint Louis University, Special Advisor, CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. Membership currently consists of members of the Foundation who have an interest in encouraging and expediting research projects that support the mission of the Foundation. The membership consists of parents and professionals and is open to any member of the Foundation.


CHARGE Syndrome Foundation Request for Proposal

The Research Committee published its initial version of a formal (RFP) in October 2010. We invite professionals interested in performing research related to CHARGE Syndrome to download this
RFP and submit a proposal.

Past Research

Click on the link below to review a summary list of research presented at the 2007 and 2009 conferences.

Topics for Consideration for Future Research for CHARGE syndrome

Click on the link below to review a list of suggested topics.