Who We Are
Early Check is a research study offering free additional screening tests in North Carolina. The study is being led by well-known research institutions across the state.
Early Check is led by RTI International, a nonprofit research institute whose mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. RTI's headquarters are in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Early Check grew out of research on improving the lives of individuals and families affected by special healthcare needs by RTI and our partners. Read more about our story.
Who are our partners?
Our team brings multiple perspectives that will help us achieve our goal to improve the well-being of babies and families across the state and beyond.
We are working with the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health (NCSLPH) to make Early Check possible. Early Check uses the same blood sample taken from a newborn’s heel in the hospital. NCSLPH conducts the tests on these blood samples for all babies born in the state.
"The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health is excited to be advancing the science of newborn screening through our partnership with RTI."
– Scott J. Zimmerman, DrPH, MPH, Director of NCSLPH
Early Check is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences program. It will receive $1 million per year over 5 years to launch and sustain the program statewide.
Other support is provided by:
- The John Merck Fund
- North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS)
- National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
- Asuragen, a biotechnology research company
Our team brings a range of expertise to newborn screening, including medical genetics; laboratory testing; genetic counseling; health communication; public health; informed decision making; ethics; family adaptation; special education; and child assessment.
Click the links below to meet the RTI team and our partners.RTI International
Dr. Zimmerman is a career public health laboratory director with a long-standing history of commitment to innovative public health programs and diagnostic laboratory solutions. In his current role, Dr. Zimmerman is directly responsible for the technical and scientific oversight of existing laboratory programs and for new initiatives, including the development, validation, and implementation of technologies and algorithms to detect and report genetic and inborn metabolic disorders. For Early Check, he serves as the primary liaison between RTI and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health to ensure that the laboratory component of project development and implementation is well orchestrated.