Research

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Areas of focus

Behavioral Medicine


From obesity research to bullying prevention to stress management tools for children and families coping with chronic illness, Boston Children’s is leading the way in the application of behavioral medicine. By building an understanding of the underlying causes of disease, we're uncovering relationships between behavior and disease and developing tools to improve patient management.

Care Delivery Models


From accountable care organizations to virtual visits to innovative patient engagement tools, care delivery models are evolving to better meet the needs of an expanding and changing patient population. Boston Children’s care teams are collaborating with each other, with external partners and with patients and their families to break down traditional barriers and find new ways to bring superior, cost-effective care to patients everywhere—whether they live in Boston or Bermuda.

Cognitive Neuroscience


The coming decade is poised for an explosion of discoveries in neuroscience. Our growing understanding of the brain and nervous system have spurred many opportunities to improve diagnosis and treatment for children diagnosed with or at risk for diseases ranging from autism to dyslexia to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and epilepsy.

Boston Children’s is focused on taking bench research to the bedside. Our pre-clinical toolset includes a specialized mouse facility, rich stem cell expertise and infrastructure and zebrafish models for drug discovery. On the clinical end, we leverage advanced, very high-resolution neuroimaging revealing the brain’s circuitry

Diagnostics Prognostics


Accurate, sensitive and minimally invasive tools for detecting and monitoring disease can help diagnose disease early—when it’s most treatable—track patients over time and help select the right treatment at the right time. Molecular, imaging and other studies of disease biology are opening the door to improved methods of diagnosis and means for assessing a patients' prognosis before, during and after treatment.

Boston Children's physicians and scientists bring a unique mix of clinical and biological expertise to the search for diagnostic and prognostic technologies for diseases of children and adults.

Drugs and Devices


Children are not small adults. Their growing bodies have different physiologic and metabolic requirements, necessitating a different perspective on safety and efficacy in drug and device development. With the largest research enterprise at a pediatric hospital in the United States, access to unique patient populations and extensive engineering, scientific, and technological resources, Boston Children's takes a collaborative approach to device and drug development that puts children first.

Informatics mHealth


The informatics and mHealth markets are broad and booming, and both promise to improve patient care. Boston Children’s researchers are developing informatics tools to inform decisions about individual patients, allowing them to apply personalized medicine strategies. They also are using these tools to make predictions and glean new insights about patient populations. Meanwhile, mobile health tools hold tremendous potential to improve patient engagement, allowing patients to interact with health data, providers and each other in new and meaningful ways.  

Rare Diseases


“Rare” diseases, when taken together, aren’t rare at all: They affect 10 percent of the world’s population. More importantly, they hold lessons for doctors, researchers and patients trying to understand more common conditions, and they increasingly are providing a launch pad for treatments that could benefit larger numbers of patients. New technologies are enabling us to find causes for many rare, previously undiagnosed diseases and allowing us to test new approaches to treating them.

Transplantation


Transplantation has evolved rapidly since the 1960s, yet it still presents unique risks and challenges, such as infection or graft rejection. Boston Children's physicians, surgeons and clinical investigators are dedicated to addressing these issues to make transplantation safer and more efficient.

Using an interdisciplinary approach that leverages a breadth of expertise, Boston Children's is devising new methods to enhance the safety and long-term success of transplanted organs; refining anti-rejection drugs with the ultimate goal of reducing their use entirely; identifying new sources of organs and cells for transplantation; and working with legislators and policy makers to ensure the youngest and sickest patients have access to grafts in time. 

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