The CHOP Research Institute has numerous research programs and centers, some of which are internal and other that are multi-institutional. Most of these centers and are supported by a combination of federal and private research funding.


Here are our current Research Centers and Programs:

Asthma Network

The Asthma Network initiative was launched at Children's Hospital in December 2000 with a $2 million pledge from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The initiative aims to improve the delivery of healthcare for children with asthma; educate children and families about how best to manage asthma; promote asthma research; and measure the impact of the initiative on outcomes for children with asthma. There is no one point of entry into the network – children with asthma are seen in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, the allergy Section of the Division of Immunologic and Infectious Diseases, the Division of General Pediatrics, the Division of Emergency medicine, the four urban Primary Care Centers and the 27 Kids First pediatric and adolescent practices. The coordination of services is a crucial component of the mission to improve the delivery of care.

The Asthma Network initiative is guided by a steering committee composed of physicians and nurses representing a wide variety of medical specialties and practice locations. This committee coordinates care for children with asthma by studying the strengths of each clinical area that treats asthma patients, determining best practices and implementing standardized treatment plans that emphasize family education.


Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies

The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center that focuses exclusively on making children and adolescents safer. Through CChIPS, researchers from CHOP, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Ohio State University work side by side with industry members to conduct translational research that is practical to industry. Of the more than 60 I/UCRC designated centers nationwide, CChIPS is the only one that focuses solely on child injury prevention. This synergistic collaboration between industry and academia creates an ideal environment for generating ideas for new research projects and to leverage shared expertise and resources.

The CChIPS method applies the science of biomechanical epidemiology to the analysis of crash-related data. A unique and comprehensive approach, biomechanical epidemiology integrates the principles of engineering, behavioral science, and epidemiology into study designs.

Center for Outcomes Research

The Center for Outcomes Research (COR) aims to improve healthcare by using healthcare outcomes research and by teaching and mentoring clinicians. The COR works closely with other health services researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, including the Wharton School of Business, the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.

The COR, directed by Jeffrey H. Silber, MD PhD, serves as the central resource in outcomes research methodology for researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. COR faculty serve as investigators on numerous studies from many clinical divisions and departments at both institutions. Children's Hospital faculty collaborating with the COR include members from the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and the Divisions of General Pediatrics, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Disease, Oncology, Hematology, Pulmonary Medicine and Neonatology. University of Pennsylvania faculty include members from the School of Medicine (Medical Oncology, Surgery, Anesthesiology, General Internal Medicine), the Wharton School of Business (Statistics and Health Care Systems), the School of Arts and Sciences (Psychology and Sociology) and the School of Nursing.


Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress

The Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress (CPTS) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia develops and evaluates empirically-based interventions for children who have experienced traumatic stress due to medical illness or injury, as well as their families. This includes developing manualized "best practice" protocols for preventing and treating traumatic stress and establishing service delivery models to integrate prevention and treatment into healthcare and school-based systems. Current areas of intervention development focus on traumatic stress related to life-threatening illness, acute injury and critical care.

The Injury Center team is currently working with CPTS on projects looking to improve communication about traumatic stress post-injury between acute and follow-up care settings. Click here to download informational materials for parents and healthcare providers developed by CPTS and the Injury Center.

Clinical and Translational Research Center

In response to an NIH RFA in 2006, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania in an application for an NIH roadmap initiative to develop a transformational clinical research enterprise. The purpose of the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) is to create an "academic home" for translational research, to foster collaboration and lower barriers between disciplines, and to train new generations of clinical scientists. Under the CTSA Program the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital is funded to provide the resources and environment to support high-quality clinical research by qualified investigators. The CTRC supports the facilities in which the research is conducted, the trained personnel necessary to support the research protocol and the investigator, as well as scientific leadership and training to new clinical investigators under the direction of Carole Marcus, MBBCh, and Thomas Cappola, MD. Ronnie Kain, MBA, serves as the administrative director for pediatric services and can be reached at or by calling 215-590-2215. Charles Molli serves as the administrative director for adult services and can be reached at or by calling 215-898-7335.

Detailed information regarding CTSA/CTRC resources available at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia can be found both at our CHOP web site and on the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics ITMAT web site.


Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Center for Pediatric Liver Disease

The Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Center for Pediatric Liver Disease is a world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pediatric liver diseases. This unique "hospital within a hospital" was created from the belief that excellence in individual disciplines, while essential, is not enough. The center’s aim is to provide the most skilled, compassionate and state-of-the-art care available, which is done in a highly specialized environment that focuses on children and families and puts patient care and safety first.

Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center physicians and scientists are internationally recognized leaders in laboratory and clinical research on pediatric liver disease. The Center is a leading recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. As a major referral center caring for a large number of children each year, the center is able to draw upon a vast pool of data for it's research efforts. The presence of leading researchers in all areas of pediatrics at Children's Hospital encourages cross-collaboration.

Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Center of Excellence

The Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Center of Excellence supports shared resources and facilities for use by multiple investigators to enhance multidisciplinary approaches and collaborative research efforts focused on a common research problem or goal. The core grant is used by independently funded research projects.

Led by Mitchell Weiss, MD, PhD, the center is maintained as a multi-investigator, collaborative program on benign human hematopoiesis and associated diseases. Scientific efforts involve advancing the understanding of normal hematopoiesis and of BMF syndromes, using such knowledge to develop novel therapeutic approaches for disorders such as the hemoglobinopathies and BMF syndromes, and using the knowledge gained to develop novel cellular-based therapeutics for the treatment of hematologic disorders.


Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center (IDDRC)

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center (IDDRC) at Children's Hospital/University of Pennsylvania was established in 1990 with the support of the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The rationale for the Center was to establish core laboratory services to support research into the causes and treatment of the developmental disabilities; encourage young investigators to enter the field through the New Program Development Award; sponsor seminars, lectures and visiting professorships; and enhance inter-disciplinary research. The Center augments existing NIH or NSF awards so that qualified investigators can expand their research horizons beyond the scope of their grants. At present, Center membership includes more than 70 projects from more than 55 investigators drawn from the School of Medicine, the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. It is comprised of five research cores and an administrative core. The research cores include: Neuroimaging, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Analytic Neurochemistry, and Cellular Neuroscience. An Administrative Core oversees the educational program and New Program Development Award.

Pathobiology of Lung Development


A SCOR program on the Pathobiology of Lung Development represents a multidisciplinary, highly integrated and thematic research program tightly focused on the investigation of key subcellular and molecular events of lung development related to pathogenesis and prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The program consists of basic and clinical studies to address events in early lung development and mechanisms involved in pathogenesis and prevention of BPD. The overall hypothesis of the SCOR program is that BPD is the result of injury and abnormal repair in the immature lung, and that basic studies related to processes of normal lung growth and differentiation will provide new knowledge related to the pathogenesis of BPD that can be translated into improved therapeutic strategies. The SCOR involves 20 investigators from the School of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and consists of four basic science projects, each with a clinical component, one clinical project and three cores. Investigators involved in the program have expertise in neonatal lung disease, clinical trials, pulmonary surfactant, matrix proteins, immunology, gene expression and cell ultrastructure.

The goals of the basic projects are to investigate subcellular and molecular events regulating differentiation of lung epithelial cells, cell replication and composition of interstitial matrix in the developing fetal lung and in BPD. The clinical project aims to determine benefits, risks and long-term infant outcome in an ongoing trial of prenatal thyrotropin releasing hormone plus corticosteroid therapy for prevention of newborn lung disease, and will continue a multi-center collaboration for further study of BPD. The large database and clinical samples (blood, lung lavage and lung tissue) collected from infants in these trials will be utilized by all investigators in the SCOR program for studies of the pathogenesis of BPD and mechanisms of hormonal therapy. A Tissue Culture Core prepares and provides cultures of lung tissue and a Vector Core, located within the Institute for Human Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania, prepares recombinant viral vectors for the basic studies. The program is highly interactive with collaborations between most projects and a direct relationship between each of the basic projects and the clinical project.


Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Unit

Children's Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children (SCHC), currently linked through the Circle of Care, a HRSA Pediatric AIDS Demonstration Project, formed a Philadelphia Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. The two institutions will enroll at least 50 HIV-infected children per year in phase I, phase II and phase III trials. Subjects are recruited from existing patient populations and through community outreach efforts by culturally sensitive individuals. Obstetrical and perinatal research is conducted at hospitals allied and/or associated with the two pediatric hospitals: Temple University Hospital with SCHC, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with Children's Hospital. Pregnant women and children of minority groups, predominately African-Americans and Latinos, comprise close to 90 percent of the patient population and hemophiliac children are included in clinical studies. The Philadelphia Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Unit facilitates basic as well as clinical research and provides ancillary services for HIV-infected children and their families in addition to fulfilling its primary mission as a clinical trials unit.

Regional Autism Center

Regional Autism Center (RAC) is a multidisciplinary center for assessment, management and research related to children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders. The core team includes developmental-behavioral pediatricians, psychologists, nurse practitioners, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists and social workers. Patients are seen for diagnostic evaluation and second opinion regarding diagnosis, recommendations for services and treatments, and consultation for treatment program design. Staff provides case- and program-centered consultations, in-service workshops for community-based service providers, and community-based treatment programs (e.g., social skills training for young children with Asperger's disorder). The RAC and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing recently were selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be one of four new sites designated as Centers for Excellence for Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Epidemiology.

Vaccine Education Center

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Vaccine Education Center provides complete, up-to-date and reliable information about vaccines to parents and healthcare professionals. The center provides videos, informational tear sheets, and information on every vaccine. Resources provided by the Vaccine Education Center explain how vaccines work, how they are made, who recommends vaccines, when they should be given, if they are still necessary, and, most importantly, if they are safe.