Built for Team Science and Discovery

Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D. at his desk


The 2021-2022 Children’s National academic annual report

Having recently celebrated Children’s National Hospital’s 150th anniversary, our institution has focused in the last year on efforts to grow and build for team science and discovery. The opening of the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus (RIC) represents a landmark milestone in our efforts to help children grow up stronger through advances in pediatric research.

With our partners at JLABS @ Washington, DC and Virginia Tech we are advancing pediatric innovation, and this past year has been a shining example of how we have been able to do just that. Completing Phase 1 of the RIC now enables us to focus on the growth of the campus in Phase 2.

Our efforts have not only been focused on growing our physical infrastructure, but also on expanding our research capabilities and breaking new ground in our diversity and equity efforts. Of note this year, we are especially proud to showcase:

  • The official moving of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research into the RIC, marking the beginning of our new era in our vision to transform children’s health through genome-enabled precision medicine research, pre-clinical studies of experimental therapeutics and clinical trials.
  • The appointment of Monika Goyal, M.D., M.S.C.E., as the first endowed chair of Women in Science and Health (WISH) for her outstanding contributions in health equity research.
  • The introduction of hospital-based innovation involving clinicians.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to present daily challenges, our dedication to pediatric research ensured we achieved significant progress in several areas ranging from studying the effects of COVID-19 itself on children, to international collaborations on cancer therapeutics and the expansion of our developmental disabilities research program.

These achievements are what enables Children’s National to remain at the forefront of pediatric care as the no. 5 ranked children’s hospital in the nation and as one of the top-funded pediatric research institutions in terms of National Institutes of Health support. This year, our research funding reached $94 million, a record figure for our institution and a 20% increase from last year, all in support of the more than 300 research faculty and staff who work here.

In this year’s report we are excited to highlight the following stories from our outstanding research centers:

  • The establishment of the Pediatric Mendelian Genomics Research Center in partnership with Invitae at the Center for Genetic Medicine Research, through funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute, as part of the GREGoR (Genomic Research to Elucidate the Genetics of Rare Disease) consortium.
  • A new grant for cancer therapeutics awarded to a team lead by Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., funded by Cancer Grand Challenges in collaboration with Cancer Research UK and the National Institutes of Health.
  • The Growth of our developmental disabilities program at Children’s National, with new grants and postdoctoral training opportunities.
  • The Pediatric COVID-19 Outcomes Study in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
  • Our ranking among the top 10 recruiters for the Pfizer Phase 2/3 COVID-19 vaccine trials for 6- to 23-month-old children.
  • Marius George Linguraru, D.Phil., M.A., M.Sc., and his collaboration and publication with NVIDIA on the application of deep learning to help children’s health and rare diseases.

These highlights are but a small sample of all the incredible work happening at the Children’s National Research Institute and through our Innovation Ventures. We hope you enjoy reading these stories and continue to follow up on our progress through Innovation District — our research and innovation news site — and sign up for our newsletters.

Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Academic Officer and Interim Director of Children’s National Research Institute,Children’s National Hospital
Scientific Director, Children’s National Research Institute
Hudson Chair in Pediatrics
Associate Dean for Child Health Research
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences