New Center for Pediatric Heart Research Launched with $15M Gift

Babies Heart Fund Gala
Katrina Armstrong, Lawrence Neubauer, and Jordan S. Orange at Columbia’s Babies Heart Fund Gala. (Jenny Gorman)

Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has launched a new center to develop innovative treatments for pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD), which afflicts some forty thousand babies born in the US each year.

Supported by a $15 million gift from Lawrence Neubauer and named in honor of his young son, who passed away from CHD in 2001, the Garrett Isaac Neubauer Center for Cardiovascular Innovation aims to improve outcomes for patients through groundbreaking research and to help find a cure for the condition.

The center is led by Jordan S. Orange, chair of Columbia’s Department of Pediatrics and physician in chief of NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital; Christopher Petit, chief of the pediatric department’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology; and Emile Bacha, chief of the department’s Division of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery. Among the center’s goals is to discover why CHD develops in some infants and to identify the best treatments.

“After we lost Garrett, we wanted to help other families avoid our situation,” says Neubauer, who chairs the children’s health board for Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “We know that our work with Columbia will support new research and care that will aid so many other families and patients facing congenital heart disease. His memory is our inspiration.”