New cancer target, let-7, unifies theories on neuroblastoma’s origins

A study in Nature finds that the microRNA let-7 is key in curbing neuroblastoma, and could provide a targeted, nontoxic alternative to chemotherapy.

Beyond appearances: Molecular genetics revises brain tumor classification and care

A look behind the World Health Organization's updated brain tumor classification scheme, which includes, for the first time, molecular and genetic features.

When antibiotics fail: A potential new angle on severe bacterial infection and sepsis

Reporting in Nature, scientists detail the final cellular events necessary for both sepsis and stemming the bacterial attack that may provoke it.

A vaccine of one’s own: Precision medicine comes to immunization

The Precision Vaccines Program seeks to tailor vaccines to the populations that need to be protected: newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and others.

Short telomeres, myriad diseases: The complex mystery of dyskeratosis congenita

The chromosome tips known as telomeres can be compromised by many different mutations. Dyskeratosis congenita is just one of the diseases that result.

‘Hotspots’ for DNA breakage in neurons may promote brain genetic diversity, disease

DNA's tendency to break in certain spots may help brains evolve, but also can lead to disease, find Boston Children's Hospital researchers.

Could Burmese pythons shed light on diabetes?

Burmese pythons can go 4 to 6 weeks between meals. Their unusual metabolism may shed light on the intestines' role in controlling blood sugar in diabetes.

Age-related macular disease: Is energy starvation a cause?

Wet macular degeneration and MacTel are thought to stem from retinal oxygen deprivation. A study in Nature Medicine suggests another cause: fuel starvation.

Personalized medicine for kidney stones

The treatment for kidney stones has remained the same for decades. Lifestyle factors are typically blamed, yet twin studies suggest a genetic component.

Science seen: Stealthy beta cell transplants for diabetes

Researchers at MIT and Boston Children's want to make beta cell transplants a viable option for diabetes by hiding the cells from the immune system.

Genetic analysis backs a neuroimmune view of schizophrenia: Complement gone amok

A collaborative study in Nature implicates overactive complement C4 genes in schizophrenia, providing new leads for treating the devastating illness.

Featured Researchers + Innovators

  • Jean Connor, PhD, RN, CPNP
    Connor, who has her PhD in nursing, directs nursing research at the Boston Children’s Heart Center. Her work translates industry research into actionable lessons and innovations that improve care at the bedside.

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  • Katherine Janeway, MD
    “It’s all about the patients,” when asked about the motivations behind her efforts to bring precision medicine to pediatric oncology. But it’s more than that; the drive to combine science and care is in her blood. 

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  • Ken Mandl, MD, MPH
    Mandl is used to seeing the world through a different lens. In high school, he began clicking photographs and developing them in a darkroom in his basement. Now, he frames subjects through the lens of epidemiology and informatics.

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  • John Brownstein, PhD
    Boston Children’s Hospital’s new chief innovation officer is an epidemiologist by training and a founding father of the growing field of digital epidemiology—the use of digital data from a variety of sources to detect and track disease and promote health.

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  • Bruce Zetter, PhD
    Though he has had a lifelong passion for science, he once toyed with an acting career. But he stuck with science and pursued a career in academic medicine. Countless patients, students, business partners and mentees have benefitted.

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  • Michael J. Docktor, MD,
    Boston Children’s Hospital’s clinical director of Innovation and director of Clinical Mobile Solutions, is also a practicing gastroenterologist, a proud father of two and a passionate mobile-and-digital health trailblazer.

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  • Gena Koufos

    Gena Koufos, RN, MS, MBA, is program manager in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Innovation Acceleration Program. Her role entails designing new programs to support innovation acceleration across the institution

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  • David G. Hunter, MD, MPH

    David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, dreamed of a career as a rock star. Instead, he became Boston Children’s Hospital’s ophthalmologist-in-chief and invented the Pediatric Vision Scanner.

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  • Visner Lab
    Kaifeng Liu, MD, a research fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital, takes his inspiration from ants. Liu has taken this inch-by-inch approach in a radical redesign of the conventional suturing needle: “I started to play with the surgical needle in graduate school in 1986.”
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  • Martha Murray, MD has been on a 30-year quest to devise a better way to treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

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  • William Pu

    With all of the recent buzz about precision medicine, it’s no wonder that William Pu, MD is gaining recognition for his innovative application of stem cell science and gene therapy to study Barth syndrome, a type of heart disease that severely weakens heart muscle. Pu’s research was recently recognized by the American Heart Association as one of the top ten cardiovascular disease research advances of 2014.

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  • Daniel S.  Kohane, MD, PhD

    He’s a big thinker focused on harnessing the hyper-small. Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, is a leading drug delivery and biomaterials researcher, leveraging nanoparticle technology and other new vehicles to make medications safer and more effective.

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  • Susan Faja, PhD

    Improbable as it sounds, autism researcher Susan Faja, PhD, likens her job to improv. “I really like Tina Fey’s description of her days as an improv comedian,” says Faja, who joined ...

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Featured Research Laboratories

  • Beggs Laboratory: Current studies are aimed at identification of new nemaline myopathy genes, understanding the basis for the variability observed, and determining how these mutations affect muscle function and lead to weakness.

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  • The Lencer Laboratory is located in the GI Cell and Developmental Biology Laboratories in the GI Division at Boston Children's Hospital.

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  • Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
    Led by principal investigator Dr. Martha M. Murray, focuses on sports medicine injuries, including those of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), knee meniscus and articular cartilage.

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  • Sankaran Laboratory
    Utilizing rare and common human genetic variation to improve our understanding of red blood cell production and globin gene regulation with application to numerous blood diseases.

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  • The Zon Laboratory focuses on the use of the zebrafish model for research into hematopoiesis and as a screen for oncogenic genes and proteins.

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  • The Gaab Laboratory
    Our multidisciplinary team of researchers brings together curious scientists from the basic and applied sciences, such as neuroscience, psychology, and education.
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