Department of Pediatrics

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The Department of Pediatrics has a long and distinguished track record in child health research, reflecting the fact that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was established in 1855 and was the first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children.

Notable accomplishments by faculty in the Department include the development of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine, development of the rubella vaccine, discovery of the relationship between Epstein Barr virus and infectious mononucleosis, development of chimeric antigen T cell receptor technology for treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and identification of genetic determinants of numerous childhood conditions, including single gene disorders and complex diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to structural abnormalities of the heart and kidneys.

Observational studies by members of the Department have contributed to improved understanding and management of diseases such as autism spectum disorder, cystic fibrosis, eosinophillic esophagitis, blood clotting disorders, childhood kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. 

Today, the Department has robust programs that encompasses the full range of basic laboratory, translational, and clinical research, led by a diverse group of talented faculty spanning all 18 pediatric divisions. Areas of particular emphasis include cell and developmental biology, genetics and genomics, cancer biology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, systems pharmacology, health services research, clinical epidemiology, clinical trials, informatics, and public health, among many others.

Faculty, trainees, and staff collaborate with other investigators, departments, programs, and schools across Children’s Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania campus. Examples of major collaborative programs include the Roberts Collaborative for Genetics and Individualized Medicine, the Lifespan Brain Institute, the Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology, the PennCHOP Microbiome Program, and the Orphan Disease Center

Investigators capitalize on the robust research at core facilities, with examples including cell culture, flow cytometry and cell sorting, proteomics and biochemical analysis, DNA and RNA analysis, crystallography and NMR, microscopy and imaging, biospecimen processing, immune monitoring, high-throughput screening, transgenic and chimeric animal, gnotobiotic animal, CRISPR Cas9 mouse targeting, neurobehavioral testing, stem cell and xenograft, vector development, and biostatistics and bioinformatics cores as well as the Center for Human Phenomic Science

Additional important resources include the Pediatric Research Consortium and the Recruitment Enhancement Core, which facilitate patient recruitment and retention for clinical studies.  Investigators are housed in several research buildings on the CHOP campus, including the Abramson Pediatric Research Building, the Colket Translational Research Buidling, the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research, and the Main Hospital.