The Children’s Discovery Institute is the result of a shared vision
to change the way pediatric research is conducted and an intense commitment to bring
about dramatic results in pediatric care.
Our history is remarkable. For more than a century, the partnership between St. Louis Children’s Hospital
and Washington University has
consistently produced remarkable advances in pediatric medicine. Development of
protocols for the treatment of childhood diabetes, unraveling genetic causes of
congenital heart disease and
nutritional disorders, and establishment of a premier
pediatric lung transplant center are some of the results of this
In 2000, the human genome was sequenced. The
Genome Center at Washington University, one of three leading centers in
the world, played a key role in this unprecedented achievement.
In 2004, the leaders of Children’s Hospital and Washington University
began to envision the potential for a high-speed connection between the fundamental
knowledge of the genetic code and the patient’s bedside by focusing the collaborative
power of each institution to discover cures for many of the most serious disorders
In 2005, a gift of $20 million for
pediatric brain cancer research given by the McDonnell family established
the first of the Institute’s four Centers of research.
In 2006, the Children's Discovery Institute became a reality. Since then,
generous donors have invested millions of dollars in
pediatric research projects, and the collaboration has expanded to include
faculty from Washington University Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering
& Applied Science as well as Medicine. The most recent partner is the Donald
Danforth Plant Science Center.
Today, the Children’s Discovery Institute is the engine that drives
the focus on pediatric research,
promotes collaboration between clinicians and investigators, and leverages new intellectual
resources into the effort through funding specific programs and projects.
This open and interactive structure is a unique model that has become an incubator
for the innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives needed to answer the big questions
in pediatric medicine.