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About Us

The Kawasaki Disease Research Center is a joint collaboration between the Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Family and Preventive Medicine and Sociology at UC San Diego, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. The Program was created to help foster excellence in care for patients with Kawasaki Disease (KD) and to support clinical, laboratory, and epidemiologic investigation into the etiology, pathophysiology, and natural history of the disease. The Program brings together investigators from Asia, Western Europe, Russia, and the United States with diverse research interests and expertise to work together to further our understanding of this enigmatic disease.

Kawasaki Disease (KD) is:

  • Most common cause of acquired heart disease in developed world.
  • Acute illness symptoms include fever, rash, red eyes, red lips, red hands and feet.
  • Symptoms will cease after 1-3 weeks, even without treatment.
  • When untreated, 1 in 4 children will develop irreversible, potentially fatal, damage to the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle (coronary arteries).
  • The weakening of the blood vessel wall causes a ballooning out of the wall called an aneurysm.
  • If caught early, KD is treatable with a high dose of intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG (the protein fraction of human blood that contains the antibodies).
  • Most children in the world with KD are never treated because IVIG is expensive and/or is not readily available in many countries.
  • If not diagnosed in childhood, the coronary artery aneurysms remain silent until adulthood when a clot may form in the aneurysm causing a heart attack.

Supporting Research, Discovery and a Cure is just a click away:

If you are an individual interested in making an immediate difference through philanthropic support, please donate now through the UC San Diego Fund.Your gift will be immediately deposited into the UC San Diego Foundation account for the KDRC after a one-time fee of 6% is deducted for indirect costs. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible and you will receive a formal acknowledgement and receipt of your gift for tax purposes.

If you represent a foundation interested in supporting KD research, you may negotiate a contract through the UC San Diego Office of Grants Administration. If your foundation has a policy not to pay overhead costs, then no indirect costs will be charged to the grant.