How do we create breakthroughs in scientific discovery and medical treatment?

We believe it takes the courage to ask difficult questions, the creativity to develop ideas, the intellect and talent of our faculty and staff, and the discipline and dedication to continue our history of scientific discoveries. This is how we have produced the breakthroughs that have benefited children over the 85 years since the founding of our Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation (CCRF).

Photo of Arnold W. Strauss, MD.

Arnold W. Strauss, MD
Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation // Rachford Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

This year’s research report summarizes the work of our exceptional research divisions. More detail is available online. In selected stories, we profile the efforts of a few extraordinary scientists and clinicians who have joined forces to tackle some of the most perplexing childhood diseases.

For all of the physicians and scientists here at CCRF, there are countless problems to be solved. Too many of the children cared for at Cincinnati Children’s have diseases, conditions and disorders for which treatments do not exist or are far from ideal. The challenge to find novel therapies and improve current ones sparks, focuses and inspires us. It generates conversations between scientists in our laboratories and physicians on the front lines of the hospital, always asking, “How can we do better?” The challenge encourages collaborations that merge perspectives, experience and ideas to bring about answers.

You will find some of the results described in these pages. For example, advances in organ transplantation that are transforming outcomes; potentially game-changing treatments for children with cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease; breakthrough findings in restoring stem cell function and reducing the inflammation that causes cancer and other diseases.

All these discoveries are possible because of the collaboration encouraged here. We are privileged to have such an exceptional clinical facility – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – as our living laboratory. Here, researchers see first-hand the challenges doctors and families face as we care for children from around the world. Within CCRF, we provide the environment and resources to seek answers.

The relationship between the Research Foundation and the Hospital is a major factor in our success. Our collaborative, multidisciplinary approach has helped attract the best and brightest to our research divisions. This year:

  • We appointed 68 new investigators to the Research Foundation, bringing our total to 631 full- and part-time faculty.
  • We received $107 million in funding from the NIH, placing us once again among the nation’s top-funded pediatric research institutions.
  • Overall, we received more than $173 million in research funding, a nearly 13 percent increase from last year.
  • Our faculty published more than 1,400 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • And to keep up with our continuing growth, we began construction of a 425,000-square-foot Clinical Sciences tower that will bring our total research space to 1.4 million square feet.

These achievements come from combining the right talent with the right resources in the right environment. Take a look at what people who are extraordinarily talented and motivated can do. This is how we answer the challenge and create medical breakthroughs.