Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund

Improving the health of children takes visionary support. The Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund was established in 2014 to target strategic investments in pediatric and community health. Since its inception, the Innovation Fund has contributed $140 million to accelerate the most promising treatments and discoveries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The Innovation Fund supports several key clinical and research efforts, including behavioral health research, genomics, On Our Sleeves, population health, infectious disease, and clinical and translational research.

Carter’s Story: Lifesaving Research Provides “Precision Medicine at its Best”

Meet Carter

Carter Daggett’s life was nearly cut short by a rare brain cancer when he was just a toddler. When he was just a year old, physicians discovered he had a rare, cancerous brain tumor.

After mapping Carter’s entire genome, researchers discovered a rare gene mutation that caused his body to create an especially rare and aggressive cancer. Knowing the exact mutation helped his care team arrive at the best and most effective treatment for him.

Thanks to advanced genomic research and treatment available at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the 9-year-old is now entering his fourth year of being cancer free and will start fourth grade this fall. 

“I am forever grateful for the care we have received, and Carter is thriving today,” said Liz Daggett, Carter’s mother. “I am hopeful that with additional research in 10, 20, 30 years we can live in a cancer-free world, and no one has to go through what Carter went through.”

"The arrival of Genomics at Nationwide Children's I would hail as the most exciting event that I've yet witnessed in my 40 years as a physician." - Jonathan Finley, MD

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine (IGM) is one of the first ventures into pediatric personalized genomic medicine at any children’s hospital. It focuses on genomics as the root cause of many childhood diseases.

The human genome is the blueprint for what makes up a human being and can help us determine the cause and best treatment for virtually all medical conditions. Other institutions need 72 hours to sequence and analyze the human genome. At Nationwide Children’s, we have developed technology to do the same in 90 minutes. This breakthrough will change how we treat childhood diseases because for our children, their future is now.

The Innovation Fund has enabled transformational impact by helping make possible the recruitment in 2016 of world-renowned genomics researchers Richard K. Wilson, PhD and Elaine R. Mardis, PhD to lead the Institute for Genomic Medicine in the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's. Established in 2016, the IGM remains one of the few programs in pediatric personalized genomic medicine in the U.S. and focuses on genomics as the root cause of many childhood diseases.