research quick links
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the fastest growing pediatric research centers in the United States and is ranked in the top 10 for National Institutes of Health funding among free-standing children’s hospitals.
The Research Institute encompasses more than 500,000 square feet of dedicated research space on the Nationwide Children’s campus. The Institute is organized into 12 Centers of Emphasis that allow traditional academic boundaries to be crossed and merged to facilitate interdisciplinary research:
|Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine||Injury Research and Policy|
|Biobehavioral Health||Innovation in Pediatric Practice|
|Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research||Microbial Pathogenesis|
|Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases||Molecular and Human Genetics|
|Clinical and Translational Research||Perinatal Research|
|Gene Therapy||Vaccines and Immunity|
Centers are structured to encourage collaboration, team science and the free flow of ideas.
Our investigators also have access to cutting-edge shared resources, which provide a cost-efficient way to keep advanced technology available to all faculty. Through partnerships and collaborations at the local, national and international level, they share knowledge and learn from others to improve child health.
The Research Institute engages in high-quality, cutting-edge research according to the highest scientific and ethical standards. The goal is simple: improved health for all children and their families.
On an October 21 Columbus Biz Insider report, Business First describes the advancement of gene therapy by The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital as on the vanguard of U.S. research centers.
“We clearly have done more gene therapy trials for muscle disease than any place in the world,” said Dr. Jerry Mendell, director of the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
AveXis and BioLife, synthetic biology platform companies, today announced that The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its scAAV9.CB.SMN gene therapy product for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This new gene therapy product created by scientists at The Research Institute was granted Fast Track status after demonstrating preliminary effectiveness in mouse models of SMA, potentially addressing this unmet medical need. Read more.
In the first study to closely examine the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake among U.S. children under the age of 5, Sarah Keim, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has found what might be a troubling deficit in the diet of many youngsters. The study, published online today by Maternal and Child Nutrition, used data on nearly 2500 children age 12 to 60 months from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Read more.
Studies of a therapy designed to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggest that the treatment dramatically slows onset and progression of the deadly disease, one of the most common neuromuscular disorders in the world. The researchers, led by teams from The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ludwig Institute at the University of California, San Diego, found a survival increase of up to 39 percent in animal models with a one-time treatment, a crucial step toward moving the therapy into human clinical trials. Read more.
Parents do everything they can to protect their children against all of the nasty germs floating around classrooms across the country this time of year. Doctors and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, however, are looking into how those same types of common viruses can actually help treat a child who is diagnosed with certain cancers. Read more.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $25.4 million grant to the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), a collaboration between The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital created to accelerate basic science discoveries into life-saving medical advances.
The NIH’s endowment is funding of a multi-million dollar Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) that was originally given to the CCTS in 2008. Since then, the center has helped connect hundreds of researchers across the state of Ohio with the resources needed to discover new techniques and treatments for today’s deadliest and costliest diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, as well as a variety of disabling childhood illnesses like muscular dystrophy. Read more.
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces Award Nominees for Innovative Solutions to Prevent Infant/Maternal Deaths
The Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development recently shortlisted 53 finalists from around the world from more than 400 entries. Only 22 teams were awarded grants for their bold, new ideas to save the lives of mothers and newborns in developing countries. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital was one of the four institutions in the competition to be awarded transition-to-scale grants (up to $2 million for four years) for the development of a low-cost paper-based urine test for early diagnosis of preeclampsia to reduce preeclampsia-related morbidity and mortality in resource-limited areas. Read more.
Results from a clinical trial of eteplirsen, a drug designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, suggest that the therapy allows participants to walk farther than people treated with placebo and dramatically increases production of a protein vital to muscle growth and health. The study, led by a team in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is the first of its kind to show these results from an exon-skipping drug—a class of therapeutics that allows cells to skip over missing parts of the gene and produce protein naturally.
“I’ve been doing this for more than 40 years and this is one of the most exciting developments we’ve seen,” says Jerry Mendell, MD, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s. “It offers great hope to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their families.” Read more.
Choking is a leading cause of injury among children, especially for children 4 years of age and younger. A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined nonfatal food-related choking among children 14 years of age or younger from 2001through 2009. During the nine-year study period, more than 12,000 children were treated each year in U.S. emergency departments for injuries from choking on food, which equals 34 children each day. Read more.
Kim McBride, MD, MS, principal investigator in the Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and colleagues followed up with families enrolled in a genetic biobank—a storage facility for DNA, genetic data, and tissue samples—after their initial consent, to find out whether they were fully aware of the nature of their agreement. The results were alarming: more than half of all parents misunderstood key concepts of the study. Read more.
A mutation in a gene crucial to normal heart development could play a role in some types of congenital heart disease—the most common birth defect in the U.S. The finding, from a team in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, could help narrow the search for genes that contribute to this defect, which affects as many as 40,000 newborns a year. The findings were published in a recent issue of Human Mutation. Read More.
Nanofiber Solutions, LLC, in collaboration with Gail E. Besner, MD, chief of Pediatric Surgery, program director of the Residency in Pediatric Surgery and co-director of the Burn Program all at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recently was honored with the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund award. Read more.
Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will use a $6.3 million grant to further their study of pediatric sarcomas, a rare form of the disease that affects bone or soft tissue and accounts for 11 percent of all childhood cancers. The project, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, will be led by Peter Houghton, PhD, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Read more.
Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis—VAT for short—is a lower respiratory infection caused by a buildup of bacteria in the airway. Ordinarily, these small organisms are easily cleared, but being on a ventilator with an artificial airway in place disrupts the body’s natural defenses. This, along with other factors, increases the risk of VAT, says Jennifer Muszysnki, lead study author and a critical care physician and principal investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Read more.
A new global collaborative project aims to help identify and report abuse-related traumatic brain injury among Chinese children. Researchers of the International Program in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are collaborating with researchers at several institutions in China to conduct the project, funded by the International Affairs Gateway Research Grant from the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Research at The Ohio State University. Read more.
Measuring blood flow in the brain may be an easy, noninvasive way to predict stroke or hemorrhage in children receiving cardiac or respiratory support through a machine called ECMO, according to a new study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Early detection would allow physicians to alter treatment and take steps to prevent these complications—the leading cause of death for patients on ECMO. Read more.
In the first study of its kind in the United States, researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will examine the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy alone to treat appendicitis in children, research that could allow patients to avoid a surgery many may not need. The $1.6 million project also will explore the impact that involving children and their parents in medical decision-making may have on a child’s response to treatment. Read more.
Three major Ohio universities and four hospitals have joined with the March of Dimes Foundation to establish a new collaborative research program aimed exclusively at finding the unknown causes of premature birth. The March of Dimes intends to invest $10 million in the program over five years. Read more.
Poisonings in young children have increased over the past decade, mainly due to medications in the home. A new study led by the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that medication-related poisonings in children younger than 6 increased by 33 percent during the 11 year study period. Read more.
Hydrocarbons, a chemical compound commonly found in household items from cleaning products to gasoline, are among the top 10 causes of pediatric poisoning deaths in the United States. A new study by researchers at the Central Ohio Poison Center and the Center for Injury Research and Policy, both at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found these injuries are most likely to occur during months when the weather is warm and are associated with activities such as mowing lawns, use of Tiki torches and use of lighter fluid for outdoor cooking. Read more.
A new study by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined injuries to children related to amusement rides, which included rides at amusement parks (fixed-site rides), rides at fairs and festivals (mobile rides) and rides found at local malls, stores, restaurants or arcades (mall rides). Read more.
Brian Kaspar, PhD, was named the first recipient of the Grant Morrow, III, MD, Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This endowed chair is supported by Arthur E. Shepard and Dorothy D. Shepard, who chose to fund the chair to honor the tire¬less service and long commitment of Grant Morrow, III, MD, to research at Nationwide Children’s. For clinicians and researchers working in academic-medical institutions like Nationwide Children’s, endowed chairs represent the most prestigious and significant recognition of their work. Read more.
Collaborating scientists from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified an important mechanism for stimulating protective immune responses following seasonal influenza vaccinations. The study was published in Science Translational Medicine, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read more.
Legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes taught those he coached to “pay forward.” Joey Galloway, former wide receiver on the 1991-94 Ohio State football team, is doing just that by accepting the honorary chairmanship of the 37th Annual Woody Hayes Celebrity Classic slated for Monday, June 10, 2013 at the New Albany Country Club. Organized by the Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the golf outing will raise funds to further pediatric research in central Ohio. Read more.
Three parent-run foundations have awarded investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital a $550,000 grant to support a natural history study of Sanfilippo Syndrome Types A & B.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy announce the award of a multi-million dollar cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to advance a gene therapy development program for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
A new study, published in the March 12, 2013, issue of Molecular Therapy and led by Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Nationwide Children’s, is shedding additional light on how viral therapy combined with a suppressed immune response could be more effective against solid tumors.
Center for Gene Therapy investigators Doug McCarty, PhD, and Kevin Flanigan, MD, were recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal article, “Families Push for New Ways to Research Rare Diseases.” Our researchers will soon launch a study related to the rare disorder, Sanfilippo Syndrome, a disease where the child is missing or has insufficient amounts of one of four enzymes needed to break down sugar molecules. Children with Sanfilippo Syndrome will ultimately lose their ability to walk, talk and eat.
Read the article here.
Peter Giannone, MD, and John Bauer, PhD, principal investigators in the Center for Perinatal Research, have been awarded a five-year, $3 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The project, titled “Indomethacin and Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamp for Preterm Infant Intraventricular Hemorrhage,” will investigate the clinical value and mechanistic effects of delaying umbilical cord clamping in extremely premature infants, particularly in relation to intracranial bleeding.
The study, published in the March 11, 2013 issue of Pediatrics, was led by Jonathan Slaughter, MD, MPH, an investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research and a neonatologist at Nationwide Children’s. He and his colleagues found significant variation in how infants receive these medications at hospitals across the nation.