Driving Pediatric Breakthroughs

Interim Chief Academic Office Catherine Bollard

From the Interim Chief Academic Officer

Welcome to the 2022-2023 Children’s National Research Institute Academic Annual Report

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you to present the 2022-2023 Academic Annual Report. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated team of researchers, clinicians and staff.

Catherine Bollard, Vittorio Gallo and Kerstin Hildebrandt
Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D., and Kerstin Hildebrandt, M.S.H.S., at Dr. Gallo’s farewell reception.

I would like to take a moment to thank Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D., for his leadership during the 2022-2023 academic year. His contributions to the institute have been invaluable, and we wish him all the best in his new role at Seattle Children’s.

As we move forward, I am excited to share with you some of the incredible stories that have emerged from our research this year. These stories are a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at the Children’s National Research Institute.

First, we celebrate five decades of leadership and mentorship of Naomi Luban, M.D., and her incredible accomplishments in the W@TCH program, which have been instrumental in shaping the future of pediatric research.

We also celebrate innovation, highlighting our recent FDA award to lead a pediatric device consortium, which recognizes our commitment to developing innovative medical devices that improve the lives of children.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the breakthroughs at the Research & Innovation Campus. Our researchers are working tirelessly to develop new treatments and therapies that will transform the lives of children and families around the world.

Taking a look at the breakthroughs happening in our now six research centers, we have spotlighted the following stories:

  • Reflecting on decades of progress in the blood, marrow and cell therapy programs at Children’s National. Our researchers have made significant strides in this field, and we are proud to be at the forefront of these life-saving treatments.
  • In genetic medicine, we continue to be a beacon of hope for families facing rare and complex conditions. Our researchers are making incredible breakthroughs that are changing the landscape of pediatric medicine.
  • We are also proud to share the $90 million award received from an anonymous donor to support pediatric brain tumor research. The predominant focus of this award is to develop new treatments that will improve outcomes for children with this devastating disease.
  • This year, we opened a new Center that enhances our research capabilities in the field of Prenatal, Neonatal & Maternal Health Research. We are excited about the possibilities this new center will bring and look forward to the discoveries that will emerge from it.
  • In addition, we are driving future pandemic readiness with the NIH funded Pediatric Pandemic Network. Our researchers are using cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches to prepare for the next pandemic and protect children.
  • We are also exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in pediatric breakthroughs. Our researchers are using machine learning and other AI techniques to develop new treatments and therapies that will transform the lives of children.
Michelle Riley-Brown visits the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Michelle Riley-Brown, M.H.A., FACHE, visiting the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research.

As we move forward, we are excited to work with our new CEO and President, Michelle Riley-Brown, M.H.A., FACHE, to continue pushing the boundaries of pediatric research and improving the lives of children worldwide.

Thank you for your incredible dedication and support. Together, we continue to drive research and innovation to develop the next generation of pediatric breakthroughs to enhance outcomes for the patients we serve.


Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B.

Interim Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer, Children’s National Hospital

Interim Director, Children’s National Research Institute

Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics & Associate Dean, Pediatric Academic Affairs, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Director, Center for Cancer & Immunology Research