Center for Excellence in Child and Adolescent Health Research

With a mission of promoting the health of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults by advancing meaningful and innovative clinical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC created the Center for Excellence in Child and Adolescent Research. Through this website, our virtual Center brings participants, families, researchers, health care providers, and the community into our research home where we can learn from one another. Together, we can promote the health of children and youth by advancing meaningful and innovative clinical research.

A Research Home for Investigators, Clinicians, Families, and Communities to Promote Child and Adolescent Health

Based on years of experience, we have learned that conducting research in a pediatric setting requires a specialized approach. We achieve success by creating a partnership through a concept we call the “Research Home” (PDF).

This initiative is in concert with a recommendation to strengthen clinical and translational research relevant to child health made by the consensus committee of the Institute of Medicine (now known as the Health and Medicine Division) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Alejandro Hoberman, MD, recipient of the 2014 Academic Pediatric Association Research Award, discusses pediatric research.

Video Transcript

“All of us are familiar with the concept of medical home for providing personalized health care for children and their families. Care is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated with subspecialists, nurses, and other non-physician providers as well as with community agencies and schools. Drawing on that model, we introduce the concept of a research home. A community of research engaged participants and their families as well as a cadre of clinicians and their health care providers who receive additional training to carry out their research roles. In our model, children and their families become partners with the research team to help answer critical questions that will lead to the improvements in health of the participant and the community. This improved knowledge leads to more ready adoption of research-based practices and enhances trust in research and scientific behaviors.

As a fellow, I remember watching Dr. Jack Paradise allocating sufficient time to conduct a careful examination and sitting close to parents at eye level to discuss clinical findings, what we knew, what we did not know, and what we were trying to learn in order to provide better evidence-based care for their children and future generations of children. This personal touch and connection with families enable trust and understanding that the research team would hold the participants’ best interest paramount, would provide comprehensive medical care, and would be available 24/7 for any concerns they might have. These encounters always ended with the phrase: I have stolen from Jack and continue to use, ‘At the end of the day you, the parent, need to do whatever you feel most comfortable with for your child’.

Our goal in establishing this website and virtual Center for Excellence in pediatric research is to bring participants, families, researchers, and health care providers and the community into our research home where we can learn from one another. Together we can promote the health of children and youth by advancing meaningful and innovative clinical research.”