A rare, or “orphan” disease is defined as a disease or disorder that affects less than 200,000 people in the United States at any given time. However, the word rare seems somewhat unfitting when we realize that 30 million people in the U.S. are affected by a rare disease. While many people live with these rare or unknown conditions, a lack of scientific knowledge about their underlying causes can often lead patients through a journey complicated by misdiagnosis, poor treatment options, and lack of funding for research and advocacy.
Founded in 2008, the Manton Center is the first center in the world solely devoted to the study of rare diseases. The Center hopes to increase our scientific knowledge about rare diseases through supporting patient-focused research, building collaborations within the rare disease community, and funding existing research efforts focused on rare diseases. Through the various research projects, funding and awards, and outreach efforts, the Center facilitates the discovery and development of more effective diagnostic pathways and therapies for rare or unknown conditions.