Research at Boston Children's Hospital

The research enterprise at Boston Children’s Hospital, comprising more than 3,000 researchers, is the world’s largest at a pediatric center. Our work is fueled by a deep understanding of disease biology coupled with world-class discovery platforms, including genetics and genomics, gene editing, bioinformatics, proteomics, bioengineering, image analysis, biobanks, disease-specific stem cell lines, and a range of animal models. We have special expertise in rare disease discovery, a robust Translational Research Program and large, diverse patient populations for clinical research and trials.

More than 3,000 researchers and scientific staff

research space

1 million square feet of research space — and growing

Boston Children's research funding

$423 million in research funding in FY2020 — #1 in NIH funding for pediatric research

Boston Children's Journal articles

3,400 articles/year in peer reviewed journals — the most of any pediatric hospital

Boston Children's inventions

149 new inventions in FY2020 alone

iPSC derived airway infected with SARS-CoV-2. Image: Ruobing Wang, Boston Children’s Hospital

COVID-19 Research

As of March 2021, Boston Children’s Hospital had produced 1,127 COVID-19-related research publications, according to Erudera. These range from molecular investigations of SARS-CoV-2 and the immune response to large-scale clinical studies of the effects of COVID-19 in children.


Research Highlights

A coronavirus about to infect a cell. Image: AdobeStock

What makes the Delta variant of COVID-19 so contagious?

Bing Chen, PhD, and his colleagues compared Delta’s spike protein with spikes from five other SARS-CoV-2 variants. They showed that Delta’s spike is especially good at catalyzing membrane fusion, allowing the virus quick entry into cells.
Brain evolution concept - human accelerated regions of the genome. Image: Adobe Stock. Illustration: Sebastian Stankiewicz, Boston Children

'Human accelerated regions': How they make our brains uniquely human

Chris Walsh, MD, PhD, led the most thorough evaluation to date of human accelerated regions (HARs), parts of our genome that evolved rapidly after our evolutionary split from chimpanzees. About half of known HARs are involved in brain development, the study found.
Color coded blood stem cells showing healthy cells of diverse colors, and monochrome cells indicating clonal hematopoiesis. Credit: Jonathan Henninger, PhD, and Serine Avagyan, MD, PhD, Zon lab, Boston Children’s Hospital

Preventing leukemia by preventing rogue blood cells from taking over

Powered by zebrafish and molecular barcodes, researchers in the Stem Cell Program and Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s suggest a way to curb clonal hematopoiesis, a pre-leukemia condition where certain blood cells multiply unchecked.

An image worth 1,000 words?

The 2021 Science Media Exhibition solicited more than 40 science image submissions from research laboratories and programs throughout Boston Children’s Hospital. The images here were presented live during a virtual event held in June in conjunction with Dr. M. Judah Folkman Research Day.

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BCH Innovation News @BCH_Innovation 12/1/2021 10:00:01 PM
A new potential target for #leukemia or myelodysplasia in children: SEPT6 and the septin-6 protein, involved in chr…
BCH Innovation News @BCH_Innovation 11/30/2021 10:30:02 PM
Do dysfunctional follicular T cells make #Bcells turn against us? An #RNAseq look at #autoimmune disease by Mike Ca…
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Bar coding is giving researchers “a view of #cancer that we never had before” Learn more about the cutting-edge met…
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RT @nansonaham: A happy marriage of basic science and clinical research on disulfiram (Antabuse) for #COVID19. Clinical story below; basic…
BCH Innovation News @BCH_Innovation 11/23/2021 6:00:02 PM
Sound sleep, sound mind: powerful evidence from a large @BostonChildrens #computational #neuroscience study of 5,50…
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Congratulations to Novalia Pishesha who was named a 2021 Wunderkind by @statnews. Recognized for her cutting-edge r…
The commitment and compassion with which we care for all children and families is matched only by the pioneering spirit of discovery and innovation that drives us to think differently, to find answers, and to build a better tomorrow for children everywhere.

Kevin B. Churchwell, President and CEO