The Abigail Wexner Research Institute

The Next Step in Our Evolution: Research Building IV Now Open

Come Inside The Abigail Wexner Research Institute

Discovery and innovation drives everything we do here at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Research at Nationwide Children's

The Abigail Wexner Research Institute aggressively supports the discovery of new knowledge and its translation into novel therapeutics and diagnostic tests to advance pediatric research. Unprecedented investment and inspired leadership have paved the way for tremendous progress. The impact on children who previously had little hope has been truly remarkable.

Our investigators traverse the spectrum of pediatric research from discovery science to population health with the common goal of improving the health and quality of life for children and their families. We recruit and train some of the brightest and most innovative researchers and clinician-scientists in pediatrics. Our researchers’ dedication and commitment enable them to work together to accomplish more than could be imagined independently.

Here, discovery, translation and team science aren’t just ideals. They are our foundation as we seek answers on behalf of children everywhere. 

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World-Class Facilities for Life-Changing Research

Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital continues to grow and flourish. Over the last decade, as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding awarded to investigators at Nationwide Children’s quadrupled, the amount of child health research space on our campus tripled.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

The Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research (Research Building I) opened in 1987 with 136,580 square feet of dedicated research space. In the years since, we opened two additional research buildings. Now, with the addition of Research Building IV, a companion to Research Building III, dedicated research space across campus grows to 800,000 square feet. The two buildings function as one complex, connected on each floor and by a common entrance hall and central staircase.

Read more about why our expanded research facilities matter for kids everywhere in the latest issue of Pediatrics Nationwide.

Research Building IV Highlights

Support for interdisciplinary collaboration and changing research needs.

Lab, office and support modules are planned in “neighborhoods,” each containing tissue culture/ procedure rooms illuminated by natural light. Movable tables allow all spaces, including labs, to be adaptable. A dry lab hub is centrally located between and adjacent to wet labs, and a central staircase and elevator provide fluid access to all floors and areas.

Flexible space for effective meetings of any size.

Research Building IV is equipped with a variety of high-tech conference rooms, huddle areas, workspaces and break areas. An upgraded, state-of-the-art video wall enhances presentations in a larger, 35-person seminar room.

Inclusive design to welcome everyone.

Gender-neutral, single-stall restrooms are located throughout the building, and ablution rooms are available for performing cleansing rituals before prayers.

New campus green space where employees and their well-being can flourish.

An open, multiuse lawn framed by tree-lined walking paths is accessible from Research Building III, Research Building IV and the Conference Center. A large, covered entryway, outdoor dining area and power-equipped food truck parking space all face the expansive new “quad” — along with the windows providing natural light and beautiful views throughout the building.

Resources for spreading important news and highlighting accomplishments.

A video wall in the lobby showcases the research institute’s story, and digital displays on each floor facilitate sharing important updates for all research employees and for each center.

Energy-efficient features that keep research operations cost-effective and sustainable.

An independent heat recovery system for the vivarium and wet labs, independent air handling systems for the wet labs and office spaces, independent cooling system for closets that house servers, and special sensors in the lobby area allow for more energy efficient air flow and temperature control throughout the building.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Names Peter White, PhD, First Chief Data Sciences Officer

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical ProfessionalPeter White, PhD, has been named the inaugural Chief Data Sciences Officer (CDSO) of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children's. The CDSO will lead biomedical data science initiatives to support Nationwide Children's mission as a leader in pediatric health care innovation.

Dr. White will be responsible for building and executing a comprehensive data science strategy across AWRI, including the integration and analysis of disparate big data sources such as genomic and electronic health record data as well as using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to derive insights for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric diseases. He will oversee a team of data scientists, software developers, cloud engineers, data architects, analysts, and other professionals to support these efforts.

Dr. White is a research scientist and innovator with expertise in genetics and genomics, biomedical data sciences, precision medicine, big data and cloud computing. He is also the Battelle Endowed Chair in Quantitative and Computational Biology at Nationwide Children's and a tenured professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Prior to this new role, he held the position of senior director in the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s. In that role, he directed the Computational Genomics Group, leading the Institute’s efforts to develop a cutting-edge genomic medicine program.

Read the full press release here.

Dr. Patrick Gallagher of Yale University Named Director of Perinatal Research Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical ProfessionalPatrick Gallagher, MD, from Yale University became the new director of the Center for Perinatal Research in the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in April 2023.

Genetics have played a major role in Dr. Gallagher’s research and clinical interests. He and his colleagues at Yale discovered the genes responsible for hereditary xerocytosis — a rare inherited form of anemia. This finding allowed commercially available genetic testing for correctly diagnosing this rare disease. His work has also identified several new genetic mechanisms of human disease. Genomics work from Dr. Gallagher’s group has provided many insights into developmental erythropoiesis.

Dr. Gallagher is an active member of the American Society of Hematology and serves on many grant review panels including the Scientific Review Committee for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Cure Sickle Cell Initiative (CureSCi). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Perinatology, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Neonatal Perinatal Medicine, a member of the editorial boards for PLoS One, American Journal of Hematology and Frontiers in Physiology, and a contributing editor for Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases. Throughout his career, Dr. Gallagher has mentored more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and medical students, presented at more than 100 national and international meetings, and published nearly 250 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, chapters and books. He is currently a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous NIH grants.

Read the full press release.

Cynthia Gerhardt, PhD, Named Chief Clinical Research Officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Abigail WexnerCynthia Gerhardt, PhD, previously director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health in the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is now Chief Clinical Research Officer (CCRO) at Nationwide Children’s. She began her new role in April 2023.

As CCRO, Dr. Gerhardt will focus on the development and oversight of clinical research operations across Nationwide Children’s, with an overall goal of facilitating impactful clinical research throughout the organization. She will oversee the full life cycle of the clinical research process, with an emphasis on increasing quality, compliance and efficiency along with promoting a culture of excellence among investigators and clinical research staff. The Biostatistics Core, Clinical Research Services, and the Human Research Protection Program at Nationwide Children’s, which includes the Institutional Review Board (IRB) will report to Dr. Gerhardt as part of this role.

Dr. Gerhardt is also a professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at The Ohio State University and program director in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, a partnership between Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s to accelerate scientific discovery. She is the author of more than 185 peer-reviewed publications and is currently the principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $40 million in grant funding. She also holds the Janet Orttung-Morrow, MD, and Grant Morrow, III, MD, Endowed Chair in Pediatric Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s. She is president-elect of the Society of Pediatric Psychology and is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.

Read the full press release.

AWRI is Advancing the Conversation on Child Health on Instagram

Follow @NCHforDocs for the latest updates in pediatric research, clinical innovation and education opportunities. 

Where Passion Meets Purpose: Join Our Team to Support Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital is expanding its faculty and hiring staff and trainees in a variety of roles and experience levels.

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The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital has a wealth of resources available to our researchers to ensure they have the tools they need to continue our mission of enhancing the health of children by engaging in high quality, cutting-edge research according to the highest scientific and ethical standards.  We invite you to learn more about our resources below.

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The Abigail Wexner Research Institute is dedicated to enhancing the health of children by engaging in high-quality, cutting-edge research to generate novel ideas. For more than a decade, the Office of Technology Commercialization has played an essential role in ensuring these ideas and innovations find their way into the world.

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Research education and training are vital to the mission of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. As a top-ten free-standing pediatric research center and an academic affiliate of The Ohio State University, The Research Institute has an outstanding faculty, dedicated to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists in pediatric research.

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