Collaborations at The Research Institute :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

We appreciate that many minds are better than one.

Our discoveries are meant to help kids worldwide. So we work outside our walls. And we learn from others. Our scientists collaborate with doctors and researchers at other institutions across the country and throughout the world. We work together to tackle universal challenges in child health, like prematurity. And we share our knowledge.

Research Partnerships with OSU

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), The Ohio State University (OSU) and The Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC) have enjoyed a long-standing academic relationship built on a shared commitment to excellence in learning, discovery and collaboration. Nationwide Children’s is home to the Department of Pediatrics for OSU’s College of Medicine, with medical staff and research scientists holding faculty positions at OSU. Nationwide Children’s also serves as the training site for a large number of medical, nursing and allied professional students from a variety of academic departments at OSU.

Research Partnerships with OSU Beyond Training
Recently, partnerships beyond training have emerged, a trend that is expected to gain ongoing momentum fueled by strategic vision. The following examples demonstrate just some of the ways in which partnerships between Nationwide Children’s and OSU continue to grow.

The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS): Comparative Animal Core Changing the Pace of Pediatric Cancer Research

When The Ohio State University CCTS was established in 2006, one of its first initiatives was to partner with the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to create the Comparative Animal Core (CAC), a group of shared resources that included a companion animal tissue bank, comparative pathology and mouse phenotyping, and clinical trials services.

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“As an urban vet school, we see about 35,000 animals a year, which gives us access to an enormous amount of biological material with naturally occurring disease,” said Michael Lairmore, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. “The creation of the CAC allowed us to bring together researchers in new ways that we knew would accelerate research.”

What they weren't expecting is that in just two short years, the CAC would become the engine driving a team of researchers from Ohio State and Nationwide Children's Hospital closer to a novel treatment for the most common type of bone tumor, osteosarcoma.

“On a cellular level, canine and human osteosarcoma are identical. But osteosarcoma occurs rarely in humans compared to 10,000 plus canine cases a year,” noted Peter Houghton, Ph.D., director of the Center for Childhood Cancer, Nationwide Children's Hospital. “Access to this type and volume of animal models enables us to make smarter decisions about which therapeutics move into human testing.”

Working in collaboration with Ohio State pharmacologists and oncologists who had just developed STAT-3 inhibitors, a new class of therapeutics that target a key cellular protein known to contribute to tumor cell growth, researchers at Nationwide Children's and the Ohio State CVM began collaborative studies with animal and human tissues. A streamlined IRB process and reciprocity agreements helped researchers at both institutions, which are located just a few miles apart, exchange information more quickly.

Four recent studies on osteosarcoma and STAT-3 inhibitors have been published (Investigational New Drugs, 2011; BMC Cancer, March 2011, April 2011; and BMC Cancer, 2009) joining a collection of more than 16 publications from Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s that have helped establish the link between tumor growth and STAT-3, and the ability of STAT-3 inhibitors to stop tumor growth. Additionally, the CAC is serving as a tissue clearinghouse for members of the National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Program, helping speed the search for cancer cures in multiple labs across the nation.

Cheryl London, D.V.M., Ph.D., one of the primary STAT-3 inhibitor researchers at Ohio State, estimates that the CAC has not only helped shave several years off the development process, but that it's also helping evolve the research culture as well.

“Using multiple animal models is critical in testing new treatments,” Dr. London said. “I think we'll start to see innovative animal model work — such as animal and human clinical trials that run concurrently — become a key feature of successful translational research.”

For more information, visit WOSU Television.


NIH-Funded Center for Clinical and Translational Science

In 2008 the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) brought together OSUMC, OSU’s seven health science colleges and Nationwide Children’s to create the OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS).

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At 34 million dollars, the CTSA is one of the largest grants ever received by The Ohio State University. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Rebecca Jackson, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, OSU College of Medicine. Not only did this award set the stage to transform clinical and translational research, it also created an opportunity to intensify collaborative research between Nationwide Children’s and OSU.  The Research Institute serves as subcontractor and receives about $200,000 annually in support of the CCTS. In addition, faculty members on the Nationwide Children’s campus are eligible to compete for pilot and training grants originating from the CCTS. A dedicated website:, includes information about upcoming seminars at each institution, available resources and funding opportunities.    

Thanks to the CTSA, Nationwide Children’s and OSU both will participate in, a secure, electronic volunteer recruitment registry designed to allow individuals from around the country an opportunity to be considered for participation in research studies, including clinical trials.  The CCTS on the main OSU campus and Clinical Research Services on the NCH campus offer Clinical Trial Recruitment/Retention Services to help research teams achieve their recruitment goals.    


NCH/OSU Reciprocity

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) and The Ohio State University (OSU) has an IRB Authorization Agreement that permits NCH and OSU to collaborate in the review and oversight of human subjects research that would otherwise require review by both organizations.

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This Agreement applies when:
•    An OSU investigator performs a study at NCH
•    An NCH investigator performs a study at OSU
•    An OSU or NCH investigator performs a study involving both locations
For most studies, IRB review (or exemption) will be provided by only one organization.  The organization responsible for review is determined by the location of the research (NCH or OSU) and the primary population involved.  Efforts will be made to avoid duplicative review.



Coordinated Faculty Recruitment

When a joint position between pediatric and adult care is needed, Nationwide Children’s and OSUMC leadership combine their recruitment efforts to select candidates that will best match the needs and goals of both organizations.

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Since 2005, John Campo, MD, has served in a joint position between Nationwide Children’s and OSUMC as professor and chief of the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at OSU and medical director of Behavioral Health and chief of Psychiatry at Nationwide Children’s.

Most recently, Peter Houghton, PhD, was hired as director of the Center for Childhood Cancer at The Research Institute and also plays an integral role with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

Ninety percent of all infants born with a congenital heart defect are expected to survive into adulthood, creating the need for cardiac care throughout their entire lifespan.

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The Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Nationwide Children’s and OSUMC exists to fulfill this need. A multi-specialty clinic held at Nationwide Children’s and at Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital combines the comprehensive resources of OSUMC with the expertise in congenital diseases of Nationwide Children’s. The group also facilitates a combined adult and pediatric cardiology fellowship program. 


Combined Cardiovascular Training

The National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, awarded researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Medical Center a five-year, $1.4 million grant to provide in-depth training to clinicians and basic scientists in congenital and acquired heart disease.

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This training program is the first in the country that focuses on cardiovascular disease as a continuum from fetal life to senescence, allowing Nationwide Children’s and Ohio State to be well-positioned to have a measurable impact on cardiovascular disease, and to foster new collaborative opportunities between the institutions.

Pamela A. Lucchesi, PhD, director of the Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Terry S. Elton, PhD, interim director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute at OSUMC, are co-principal investigators for the grant.


Collaboration to Prevent Preterm Birth

Reducing the incidence of prematurity and prematurityassociated morbidity and mortality is a major strategic priority for The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s and collaborators on the main OSU campus.   [read more...]

The Research Institute, Nationwide Children’s, OSUMC and OSU have developed the Ohio Perinatal Research Network (OPRN), a research collaborative involving dozens of faculty members dedicated to a better understanding of preterm birth and its complications. A major initial effort of the OPRN will be a research repository for clinical data and specimens from infants delivered prematurely and their mothers. These initial efforts will facilitate large grant applications to the NIH and other agencies that will be available to researchers at the collaborating institutions. The groups are also partnering to recruit additional scientists to the program. Nationwide Children’s and OSUMC are also teaming with OhioHealth, Mt. Carmel and additional community partners in the Ohio Better Births Outcome project (OBBO). OBBO is a community outreach program aimed at mothers and physicians to prevent preterm births.

Shared Intramural Funding

An intramural research award jointly sponsored by The Research Institute and The Ohio State University College of Public Health exists to stimulate collaboration between the respective campuses.

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These shared grants are awarded as clinical grants, laboratory grants or public health grants and provide winners with up to $50,000 in funding annually for two years. 


Center for Microbial Interface Biology

Despite recent progress in its worldwide management, infections remain the leading cause of death globally and are the third leading cause of mortality in the United States.

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In hope of improving these statistics, members of Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and the Center for Vaccines and Immunity at The Research Institute interact with the larger microbial pathogenesis community at OSU through the Center for Microbial Interface Biology (CMIB). An official academic center of The Ohio State University, the CMIB is led by Lauren Bakaletz, PhD, from The Research Institute and Larry Schlesinger, MD, from OSUMC’s Division of Infectious Diseases. It includes more than sixty local investigators who share and discuss their current research and look for collaboration opportunities and grant submissions. The CMIB is funded by a T32 training grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Other Research Collaborations

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