AURORA, Colo. – As the March of Dimes celebrates 75 years of working together for stronger, healthier babies, the organization recently recognized significant advances in related research.

Nanette Santoro, MD, and James McManaman, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the CU School of Medicine, accepted an award from the March of Dimes honoring the University of Colorado for Excellence in Research. The award, recognizing research in birth defects and premature birth, was presented during a ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science last Monday.

Since 2000, March of Dimes has awarded $4.3 million in Colorado research grants. Twenty-three of the 38 awards have come to the University of Colorado, totaling $3.2 million. Among the research projects funded are: Developing treatment to prevent or halt preterm labor and prevent premature birth; developing drugs to prevent or treat preeclampsia, which effects up to eight percent of pregnancies and accounts for 15 percent of preterm deliveries; understanding the causes of birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate and understanding the origin and development of various birth defects as a means of preventing or correcting them.

The March of Dimes Colorado Chapter funds programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. This includes providing financial support to research and education that will help moms before and during their pregnancies. It also includes working with local medical groups and organizations to improve prenatal care and newborn screening.

Support the effort, join the walk
The University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado and the March of Dimes have worked together for years to ensure babies have a healthy start. That partnership continues this year as the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus joins with its partner hospitals to become joint-presenting sponsors for the March for Babies walk on April 27, 2013 in Denver’s City Park. It’s easy to participate, just click here to join – Team Anschutz Medical Campus.

Thanks to the caring employees who work on behalf of babies on the Anschutz Medical Campus and grateful patients and families more than $150,000 was raised last year.

Not able to join the walk? You can still help, click here to support the cause.

March of Dimes history
President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at a time when polio was on the rise. Better known as the March of Dimes, the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines. Its original mission accomplished, the foundation turned its focus to preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy.

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