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Bringing Curiosity to Life

Published on · Last Updated 2 years 6 months ago


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Imagine a future where all children reach their full potential.

Shaping that future is what motivates our scientific and administrative teams within the Research Institute at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as they strive to do more every day.

Hi, I’m Dr. Susan Furth, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. I work together with over 500 faculty and more than 2,000 support staff who perform novel, cutting-edge research and translate findings into real-world advances that directly benefit patients.

If we think of clinical care as the heart of what we do at CHOP, then research is the central nervous system. We form dynamic connections among scientific experts at the top of their fields. Fueled by questioning and curiosity, we keep searching — at the bench and at the bedside — to uncover the means to drive change that will improve children’s healthcare.

In the 2021 Research Annual Report, you’ll read about an unprecedented scientific approach, a novel therapy, a new technology, and other exciting ways the Research Institute is broadening the world of possibility for more and more children with chronic illness.

When I first came to CHOP and the Research Institute as a physician-scientist over a decade ago, I quickly realized it was a unique and special place. We have remarkable resources to support research which is completely dedicated to children: in administration, in core facilities. And we have a vibrant community of collaborative scientists working in facilities that are among the best in the world.

Now, as Chief Scientific Officer, my vision is to move our research enterprise forward and to catalyze discoveries and interventions that can promote children’s health and well-being. Our focus will be on patient-driven research that changes lives — both in the hospital setting and beyond our walls, in outpatient care and in the community.

Strategic investment in key areas will enable us to recruit and retain superb talent. We are developing a diverse and inclusive culture where investigators and staff at all levels, and from all backgrounds, feel welcome and respected.

As we expand our research program, I’m thrilled to help plan the communities of science that will inhabit the new 14-story research building on the Schuylkill Avenue campus that will elevate our commitment to scientific excellence and community engagement.

Cutting-edge research is a driver for CHOP’s growth, it differentiates us from our peers. Our Research Institute strategy builds on our well-established success in transforming healthcare for children. A few of the opportunities I’m focused on include:

  • Supporting strategic leadership recruitment for fast-evolving research programs
  • Accelerating the pace of clinical development in cell and gene therapy
  • Developing new omics-based diagnostics and therapeutics for children
  • And increasing opportunities for our scientists to partner with industry to translate our research innovations into clinical practice.

Our research teams go beyond what is known — asking the right questions and imagining all that can be — to create healthier futures for each generation. Supporting our scientific talent and continually improving the infrastructure that makes up the CHOP Research Institute will bring this curiosity to life.