The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has a long and distinguished tradition of research that has spanned nearly a century. The research breakthroughs at Children's Hospital have improved the lives of countless children throughout the world and put the institution on the course to pediatric research preeminence.

Research at the Hospital had modest beginnings. The Hospital established its first research laboratory in 1922 as a single room in its basement. By 1931, the Hospital founded the “Society of Pediatric Research” for its expanding base of investigators, who conducted their experiments wherever space permitted.

These beginnings gained significant momentum in 1972 when Children's Hospital designated 70,000 square feet to research and established the Research Institute, the first pediatric research department in the country.

Today, the Hospital's entire research enterprise is organized under the aegis of the CHOP Research Institute and constitutes a separate organizational, administrative and financial entity within the Hospital.


While Research Institute investigators have academic homes in one of the Hospital's six departments and hold faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers also belong to designated Centers of Emphasis and interdisciplinary, cross-divisional Research Affinity Groups.

These groups, as well as investigators and their research programs, are supported by more than a dozen Core Facilities that substantially enhance basic and clinical research programs. The cores provide investigators with sophisticated research equipment, knowledgeable advisors and experienced support staff. The Research Institute invests annually in refreshing the cores and acquiring new cutting-edge resources to ensure that investigators have access to the best tools available.

Today, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute is home to one of the largest pediatric research programs in the country with more than $138 million in total federal awards and an annual budget of more than $329 million (FY14).

Innovation to Intervention

Among the historical research breakthroughs that have made Children's Hospital an international pioneer in pediatric medicine are vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella, the development of a balloon catheter for use in cardiology, and the generation of methods for changing sickle-shaped red blood cells.

By fostering collaborations between clinical and basic scientists the Hospital's traditional “bench to bedside” philosophy has resulted in an array of other major scientific achievements.

Building upon its solid foundation in both clinical and laboratory investigation, the Hospital and its Research Institute continue on the course to pediatric research preeminence.

Research today at Children's Hospital reflects the institution's commitment to improve child health and concentrates on basic, translational and clinical research on issues of importance and relevance to child health. With more than 525 investigators and a research staff in the thousands, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute continues its groundbreaking research on diabetes, neonatal seizures, childhood cancer, hemophilia, pediatric heart disease, cystic fibrosis, nutrition disorders, hypercholesterolemia, intellectual disabilities, AIDS, sickle cell disease and numerous other diseases and disorders that affect children. Among its distinguished investigators are numerous members of the Institute of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, Pew Scholars in Biomedical Sciences, and NIH Merit Scholars.