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
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center embraces the concept that discovery through innovative research is essential to develop medical and treatment breakthroughs that improve child health. Since he establishment of our Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation (CCRF) by William Cooper Procter’s 1931 gift, this philosophy has been incredibly successful and continues today.
Mr. Procter required that CRF review the quality of our research and that is accomplished in part by our comprehensive annual Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) review process. The SAC process and outcomes are the theme of this 2013 Annual Report.
In this report, you will learn how our research strategic plan, encouraged by SAC derived recommendations, has shaped and supported our research divisions. We focus on several of our rapidly developing research divisions, including Infectious Diseases, led by Peggy Hostetter, MD, who was recruited in 2010 to lead the effort in microbial pathogenesis, molecular virology, and vaccine development. We highlight the well-established collaborative approach within our Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, led by Lori Stark, PhD, that addresses critical issues related to patient adherence to medical treatments, chronic pain, and behavioral response to chronic and complex diseases. In Emergency Medicine, long-time Director Richard Ruddy, MD, attests that SAC reviews have affirmed and altered the Division’s patient-oriented research and focus and have stressed the need for education and training. During the Pathology SAC review with Director Dave Witte, MD, the need to develop more specific, individualized therapies and to assess pharmacogenomics for this purpose was apparent. The review supported using rapidly evolving and highly sensitive mass spectrometry approaches toward these applications as well as for measuring biomarkers and diagnosing rare disorders. The SAC review of our growing Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) was prompted by our understanding that the application of innovative discoveries into real-world therapies and tools to improve clinical care can be facilitated by forming start-up companies or licensing technologies to biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry partners.
As our featured accomplishments, divisional brief highlights, and “by the numbers” fact section illustrate, these innovative research efforts are productive, with more than 1,900 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and other publications. Within CCRF, more than 3,000 faculty, students, clinical and post-doctoral fellows, and dedicated staff ask and answer questions, funded by more than $171 million in external sponsored research grants and contracts and about $85 million in internal funding. Our successes allow continued recruitment of clinical and research faculty, more than 100 in fiscal year 2013, and demonstrate the need for expansion of our research space through construction of our new Clinical Sciences Building, slated to open in 2015.
Innovative discovery, whether in the bench laboratory or in patient-oriented clinical and outcomes studies, drives change that improves child health worldwide. Cincinnati Children’s is an international leader dedicated to this lofty goal. We thank our Medical Center and Board leadership and all of the CCRF team for dedication and commitment to these critical discoveries.