About Us

Today at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh we are expanding our research programs as never before. Incredibly, our scientists are exploiting advanced technologies that enable investigation of disease all the way down to the molecular level to gain knowledge necessary to develop new therapies for our patients. Diabetes, heart defects, childhood cancer, and genetic disorders are just a few of the targets on which our investigators have set their sights.

When it comes to research, much distinguishes UPMC Children’s Hospital from other pediatric medical institutions.

  • Our pediatric research program is one of the largest in the United States, with more than $34 million in annual funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Research is fundamental to our mission, and it’s a mission that ties clinical care to both research and education. As such, each of UPMC Children’s investigators is a full-time member of the of the University of Pittsburgh faculty.
  • Our research heritage includes contributions to medical science dating back to Jonas Salk's historic polio vaccine.
  • We have more than 325 scientists and clinicians dedicated to research, with 16 endowed chairs supporting our groundbreaking research.
  • UPMC Children’s currently ranks among the top ten pediatric research units in the country in terms of funded research programs.
  • Our Department of Pediatrics alone has more than 500 funded research projects.
  • Children’s is home to the Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center (PCTRC) one of only a handful of NIH-funded centers in the nation devoted to pediatric research.
  • Helping our researchers and physician scientists to push the bounds of medical knowledge through innovative laboratory investigations, our John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center is a unique 10-story, state-of-the-art facility with 300,000 square feet of lab space and a conference center, situated directly on the hospital campus.
  • UPMC Children’s is home to the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research, a one-of-a-kind incubator dedicated to advancing and strengthening the field of pediatric research research.

Basic Research

About ResearchMajor leaps in pediatric healthcare begin with small steps in the laboratory, and often these occur on the microscopic level. The focal point for pediatric basic laboratory research at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center, where nearly 390 active protocols are being pursued by more than 125 principal investigators in 63 separate laboratories. Significant current programs include:

  • Stem cell biology/regenerative medicine
  • Developmental biology
  • Gene and cellular therapy
  • Infection and immunity research
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Novel strategies for treating pediatric cancer
  • Inherited metabolic disorders

Today, UPMC Children’s exceptional team of dedicated researchers use Core Facilities that are equipped with the most advanced tools, allowing them to conduct basic research and investigate the origins of disease down to the molecular level.

And while hundreds of individuals at UPMC Children’s are engaged in basic research programs, in some cases our studies include multidisciplinary teams that extend beyond the walls of our facility for example to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and local biotechnology start-ups.

Although laboratory research has been fundamental to UPMC Children’s for decades, in many ways we see ourselves in the early stages of our mission, thanks to new technologies and tools, a growing knowledge base and a cadre of experts who are building a foundation for the breakthroughs still to come.