About Cincinnati Children's

  • We’ve Been Changing Outcomes for Children for More Than a Century

    Cincinnati Children’s began providing specialized care for children 130 years ago. In that time, we’ve grown from a small children's hospital to a large, multisite medical center that cares for children from across the globe. Learn more about our history and our discoveries and breakthroughs that have changed the way the world’s medical providers care for children.

  • History of the Medical Center

    The Mount Auburn location.
    Children in hospital beds.
    Image of Albert Sabin.
    Image of Convalescent and Services Pavilion.
    Image of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center today.
  • Major Medical Breakthroughs

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    The Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation opened in 1931. From early work on congenital birth defects, the heart-lung machine and Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine to today’s discoveries in genetics and disease treatment, Cincinnati Children’s has been a leader in medical innovation for more than 80 years.


    • Research Foundation scientists investigate the effect of high-altitude flight on humans. Scientists develop a method of preserving and transporting whole blood, which saves lives on the battlefields of World War II.
    • Josef Warkany, MD, links certain birth defects to nutritional deficiencies. This work forms a foundation for the field of teratology, the study of birth defects.


    • Samuel Kaplan, MD, James Helmsworth, MD, and Leland Clark, PhD, develop the first functional heart-lung machine, opening the door to open heart surgery.
    • Albert Sabin, MD, develops the oral polio vaccine. Worldwide adoption of the vaccine nearly eliminates the crippling disease.


    • William Schubert, MD, and John Partin, MD, identify the unique morphological symptoms of Reye syndrome, a deadly disease that can damage the liver and brain.


    • Scientists led by Jeffrey Whitsett, MD, identify and clone proteins in surfactant, a substance that’s critical to lung function. This work made possible the routine use of surfactant therapy to improve lung function in premature babies.


    • Scientists identify – and find a way to treat – enzyme defects that cause liver failure.
    • Researchers create a compound that appears to provide total protection against the genital herpes virus.


    • Researchers discover that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke and childhood exposure to lead account for more than one-third of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cases among children in the United States.
    • A rotavirus vaccine developed and tested by two Cincinnati Children’s researchers is approved for use in Mexico in 2004. Since then, it has been approved in more than 100 countries around the world, including the United States.

  • A Better Future

    The long history of scientific exploration at Cincinnati Children’s is on course to thrive well into the future. Learn about the current research in our institutes, divisions and centers that is improving the lives of children. Also, keep up with our research news and publications.

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