CHoR's research institute is improving care for kids today and in the years to come
“Research is where new ideas come from,” said Dr. Henry Rozycki, professor of pediatrics and vice chair for research. “It’s also a critical part of our mission to provide exceptional care and helps us attract outstanding physicians and providers.”
This summer, we launched the Children’s Health Research Institute to encourage research and collaboration between specialists, ultimately making life better for kids by providing the best care today and paving the way for healthy futures.
The goals of the CHRI include bringing investigators together to create integrated projects that are attractive to funders like the National Institutes of Health, creating opportunities for enhanced education and providing patients with opportunities to access the latest advances in care.
With funding from the community, the CHRI builds on the success of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Fund, which was established in 2014 to improve research among CHoR faculty. Since its inception, the CHF Research Fund has provided nearly $240,000 through more than 30 grants of $10,000 or less. These grants allowed faculty to apply for additional research support, in turn receiving $4.5 million in funding from the NIH, the Department of Defense and other organizations. Research from funded grants has focused on infectious diseases, dental heath, prematurity, and neurological and pulmonary function in children in Virginia, the nation and the world.
Development of the CHRI began four years ago. It currently offers administrative, marketing, and regulatory and grant support for researchers. The institute’s five-year goals include increasing external funding from $11 million to $31 million, NIH funding from $1.4 million to more than $6 million, clinical trials and participants by 50%, and publication of academic papers by 50%.
At the end of the day, we conduct research because we know that is how we’re going to improve care for children today and for future generations, not just in Central Virginia but worldwide.
Children’s Health Research Institute focus areas
- Includes human development, education, linguistics, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, rehabilitation sciences
- EPIC (emergency, pulmonary, intensive care and cardiology)
- Includes prehospital care, pulmonary, cardiology, emergency medicine, NICU, PICU
- Health and health care equity
- Includes health disparities, social determinant of health, community-engaged research, community provider-engaged research, patient-centered outcomes, health services research
- Translational and personalized medicine
- Includes diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, oncology, transitions in chronic care, mental health, community engagement
“There are many researchers at VCU that are focusing on neurosciences research in children, but these are dispersed across multiple departments. We want to identify collaborative opportunities between the Monroe Park and health system campuses.” - Dr. Nicholas Johnson, Neurosciences leader
“We will propose projects that develop and evaluate evidence-based solutions to health differences that are driven largely by social, economic and environmental factors.” – Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse, Health and health care equity leader
“We’ve always talked about the ‘triple threat,’ which is taking a question generated from the bedside, taking it back to the research bench and then going back to the bedside. The idea of having one single person do that has shifted over time. We are evolving into a team of collaborative specialists. It’s exciting to think about innovations we can bring back to children to improve their lives in multiple ways.” - Dr. Bryce Nelson, Translational and personalized medicine leader
“We can work with engineering and pulmonary for a better device to administer aerosols. We can work with music and the NICU to improve brain development in extreme preterm infants. There are multiple ways we can build bridges across divisions within CHoR but also across the School of Medicine and many different schools including nursing, engineering and arts.” - Dr. Oliver Karam, EPIC leader