Research Horizons


From the Director

2023 Research Discoveries Photo of Tina Cheng, MD, MPH

Dear colleagues,

One of the perks of my job is sharing the Research Annual Report on behalf of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. It is quite a proud moment, as each edition boasts our health system’s highest achievements in science, research and discovery over the past year.

And, we have much to be proud of, having achieved several firsts. In addition to emerging from the COVID pandemic as one united institution that helped to address a major public health problem, Cincinnati Children’s was named No. 1 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals 2023-24 rankings. This remarkable honor recognized our organization’s dedication to “changing the outcome together,” but while it’s a privilege to be No. 1, we remain attuned to the incredible responsibility it brings to always be the best. That means providing the best possible, innovative care for our patients, pushing the boundaries of research and discovery, training the next generation of science and medicine, and continuing to be strong advocates for children and adolescents.

This year, we also set another all-time record for external research awards and contracts, which, for the first time, exceeded $300 million. More than $170 million of that total was funded by the NIH, which places us at No. 2 among all children’s hospitals and pediatric departments. These firsts reflect the incredible work of our faculty, lab teams and researchers.

Cincinnati Children’s continues to be a cradle for great discoveries. Remarkable breakthroughs in the past year include collaborations to advance next-generation organoid medicine, creating a driver’s training program that is reducing crash risks among teen drivers with ADHD, designing novel viral fusogenic proteins that may someday transform care for muscular dystrophies, and so much more.

Meanwhile our focus on health equity grows. We launched the Fisher Child Health Equity Center, expanded our Health Equity Network, and saw positive outcomes in asthma, diabetes and behavioral health. We addressed social determinants of health in the community by reducing food insecurity and increasing legal advocacy, adding two new primary care practices and opening a new primary care location. We also expanded our Government Relations Office and published the book Child Health Equity, An Issue of Pediatric Clinics of North America.

Today’s science is tomorrow’s care and promise for the future. Through these accomplishments, we are envisioning what’s possible for future generations and we’ll continue to lead this change moving forward on behalf of the children and families we are so fortunate to serve.

Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH

BK Rachford Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati
Director, Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation
Chief Medical Officer, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

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