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 schematic of tetrodotoxin delivery to nerve sodium channels via bioinspired nanofibers. The nanofibers carry two peptides (shown as arrays of blue and violet dots) that are modified from peptides on tetrodotoxins’ natural binding site on voltage-gated sodium channels. These adapted peptides bind to tetrodotoxin (shown as gold hexagons) and release it when the nanofibers are injected near the nerve, providing prolonged local anesthesia. Illustration: Fantastic Color, Nature Biomedical Engineering, DOI 10.1038/s41551-021-00793-y.

A bio-inspired approach to delivering local anesthetics

Site 1 sodium channel blockers like tetrodotoxin are powerful local anesthetics and could substitute for opioids. This clever slow-release system, mimicking the body’s receptors for these anesthetics, may allow them to be given safely.

Cancerous cell transformation concept. Images: AdobeStock/Illustration: Sebastian Stankiewicz, Boston Children

RNA-modifying protein offers a possible lead for treating aggressive cancers

A protein that modifies RNAs, called METTL1, could be a druggable target for treating some aggressive cancers. Blocking it selectively kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Fragile newborn. Image: AdobeStock

A promising new antiseizure drug tailored to newborns

Seizures in newborns are fundamentally different from those in older children and adults, yet they’ve been treated in much the same way for decades. But that could soon change.

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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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