CHILDREN'S NATIONAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE ACADEMIC ANNUAL REPORT 2022
An innovation ecosystem built to improve child health globally
Laying the foundation
In the 2021-2022 academic year, Phase I of the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus (RIC) was completed. The campus development began in 2018 on 12 acres of land transferred by the U.S. Army as part of the decommissioning of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center Campus. The first phase includes the development of 160,000 square-feet of world-class biomedical laboratory research space in the historic Armed Forces Institute of Pathology building, which is now the new home of the Children’s National Research Institute.
As the only innovation campus focused on pediatric health, we built on a legacy of discovery and care, and have opened a state-of-the-art pediatric ambulatory care center that is fully integrated with research and innovation efforts. The Goldberg Center and Complex Care Services ambulatory care clinics with 24 exam rooms, the Division of Genetics and Metabolism and the Rare Disease Institute have also moved to the clinical building of the new campus. In addition, the 18,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art conference theater, which seats 299, is the perfect venue for meetings, seminars and conferences to support local, national and global collaboration. Our initiative with this campus also extends into the surrounding community, as exemplified by the ADA-compliant 960-space garage which features solar panels that help power low-income households in the surrounding area.
The innovation ecosystem will leverage our standing as the nation’s children’s hospital, and bring together stakeholders from the community, industry, academia, healthcare, city and federal agencies, startups as well international community representatives. In Phase 1, the Center for Genetic Medicine Research, the Rare Disease Institute, the Clinical Molecular Diagnostic Lab, our inaugural partners JLABS @ Washington, DC — a Johnson & Johnson Innovation incubator for up to 50 pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology companies — and investigators from the Virginia Tech Fralin Biomedical Research Institute have moved into the research building.
The opening of the campus has also spurred our role as a convenor for regional, national and international meetings. As a catalyst for new networks and partnerships focused on pediatric research and innovation, our vision is to improve child health globally. Already, the RIC has hosted The Economic Club of Washington, DC; the GREGoR National Meeting; Research, Education & Innovation Week 2022; the JLABS Investor Hub Event; the Virginia Tech Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Board Meeting and the DMV biotech community.
The next phase of development
Work on the next phase of the RIC has already begun. This next step will encompass the development of the remaining 170,000 square-feet of available space in the Children’s National Research Institute building and will enable us to further consolidate the research institute’s lab research programs into one location.
Already, we have secured a $6.7 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help us develop new research labs, marking the first secured grant funding for Phase II of the campus project, and signaling continued momentum for the first-of-its-kind pediatric research and innovation hub.
The additional footprint will host our Center for Neuroscience Research and the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, while expanding research support areas to open much-needed space at the Sheikh Zayed Campus. Our partners at Virginia Tech may also increase their research space, and together we will continue to expand our ecosystem and our vision for the new campus. Designed for flexibility and adaptability with open labs and advanced scientific cores, the Research Institute building will support collaboration and team science among researchers and innovators.
The role of partnerships
As we look to develop the Research & Innovation Campus into a 1 million-square-foot research facility, the power of partnerships has been essential. The campus will be a place that can change the world by reinventing health care for our children. In an era of rapid innovation, it offers every child the promise of a brighter future and the opportunity to thrive.
Our ambitious endeavor will require the foresight and commitment of many partners. This includes city and corporate leaders and philanthropists willing to invest in the future we envision. Through the power of partnership, we will transform how research drives pediatric medicine to improve children’s lives.
Children’s National and its partners will pursue pediatric breakthroughs, novel technologies and targeted treatments that promise better outcomes with fewer side effects. Now, we are proud to report that despite delays and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-2022 academic year saw Children’s National finally move into the first phase of the Research & Innovation Campus.