Research at Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest children's hospital in the nation, spans one of the largest and most diverse pediatric patient populations in the country. Together, with our partners at Baylor College of Medicine, we have a responsibility to push the boundaries of science and work toward better care for tomorrow.
Adolescent Medicine and Sports Medicine
The adolescent medicine program seeks to advance the knowledge of adolescent health problems through research and other scholarly work, and serves as an advocate for adolescent health issues locally, regionally, and nationally; our aim is to empower youth and families by arming them with the knowledge and behaviors associated with improved health outcomes.
Along with excellent patient care, our team is also actively involved in clinical research to advance the understanding of the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of aerodigestive disorders. Current research initiatives include: Understanding the role of the microbiome (microbes that inhabit the human body) in disorders of aspiration and swallowing dysfunction.
Autism Program Research Investigators at the Autism Program understand the importance of autism research and actively pursue a wide range of studies focused on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is frequent collaboration among researchers both within Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and with other renowned centers across the country. This includes cooperation on several network studies aimed at understanding the causes and course of ASD.
Bone Marrow Failure
Our program was awarded a Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Exploration- Hypothesis Award in the area of bone marrow failure and received an award from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). This research is part of our larger efforts to uncover new pathways and molecular mechanisms contributing to bone marrow failure in children.
Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant
As one of the top programs for cell-based therapies, our research focuses on improving transplantation outcomes by reducing or avoiding infection or relapses. Another component of our research looks at viral-specific cells to see how we can ensure patients’ cells have short and long term immunity.
Texas Children’s Cancer Center has the largest and most comprehensive bone tumor research program in the United States. The program is designed to integrate the work of laboratory researchers and translational researchers with clinicians who are directly involved in the care of patients with bone tumors.
Physicians on the pediatric neuro-oncology research program work closely together to improve the cure rates for children with brain tumors by using the latest treatments available.
Cancer and Blood Disorders
As a recognized research leader in the fields of pediatric hematology and oncology, we translate breakthrough findings from the laboratory into the clinic. We are currently conducting over 250 clinical trials – more than the majority of pediatric cancer centers in the nation.
Cancer Genetics and Genomics
The Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program at Texas Children’s Hospital is focused on providing clinical services and conducting research related to pediatric cancer. Our goal is to develop novel strategies for understanding, diagnosing, treating and preventing cancer.
Translational research takes laboratory information and “translates” it into the clinical setting. The program’s current research focuses on identifying survivors at risk for medical problems, such as heart or hormonal disturbances. A major focus of the program is also directed at early diagnosis and intervention for survivors with psychosocial and neuropsychological concerns.
The vision of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research group is to optimize the outcomes for patients with congenital heart disease, and reduce the burden of such disease on them, their parents and society.
The Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic team is conducting research in patients with Marfan syndrome and related disorders to help determine how best to predict adverse events in young people with these disorders, and how best to improve outcomes.
Cell and Gene Therapy
The Center for Cell and Gene Therapy provides an infrastructure to rapidly translate novel cell and gene therapy protocols from the laboratory to the clinic. The comprehensive approach of the center brings a wide variety of scientists and clinicians together to develop strategies for the treatment of pediatric cancer and other diseases.
Center for Advanced Innate Cell Therapy
The Center for Advanced Innate Cell Therapy (AICT) is a component of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. The AICT was established in 2021 with the overarching goal of developing safe and effective therapies for childhood cancer using natural and engineered properties of the immune system.
Clinical Research Center
The Clinical Research Center (CRC) provides a clinical research infrastructure for investigators who want to conduct patient-oriented clinical research at Texas Children's Hospital. The CRC conducts innovative research studies that cut across all disciplines. Many of the studies evaluate the effects of new therapies in children and are intensive in terms of obtaining blood and other biologic samples to learn as much as possible about these therapies.
Congenital Heart Surgery
From being the lead institution on the Berlin Heart study to bioengineering involving tissue and cells in the lab, we lead the way in cardiovascular research. The Division of Congenital Heart Surgery at Texas Children’s has a variety of research endeavors in both clinical and basic science areas. We have achieved national recognition for our studies and are continuing to break new ground in some of the most exciting research areas to date.
Scientists do medical research to better understand what happens in cystic fibrosis (CF) and ways to prevent and treat its complications. Research has given us many advances in CF care and will continue to do so in the future. Promising treatments have to be tested with patients who volunteer to take part in clinical trials. You and your child can help make a difference by taking part in research.
The Developmental Therapeutics Program has achieved national recognition as a major center for the development of novel chemotherapy approaches to pediatric cancer treatment.
Diabetes and Endocrinology
The Texas Children's Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Research Program is dedicated to leading cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research to prevent diabetes and endocrine disorders and improve the life and well-being of all youth affected with these diseases.
Ear, Nose, Throat (Otolaryngology)
We are investigating many important clinical problems that face neonates and children, including projects concerning hearing, cochlear implantation, swallowing, sleep disturbances and vocal fold mobility.
Epidemiology (Cancer and Hematology)
The Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center is a research program, rather than a treatment program. Discoveries resulting from research in the program will be shared with doctors and hospitals.
Through our patient-derived xenograft protocol, we strive to identify and understand aberrant molecular changes in Ewing sarcoma that are common to all patients and determine those that are distinctive and relevant in specific individual patients.
The Texas Children’s Food Allergy Program is a division of the Department of Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology. The program is part of the FARE Clinical Network Centers of Excellence. The mission of this program is to provide personalized, high-quality patient care and increased access to cutting-edge research, innovative treatment advances and quality patient support groups for infants, children and adolescents with food allergies.
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
With the full scope of tertiary and quaternary expertise within the Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (GHN) section at Texas Children’s Hospital, our mission has always been to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.
Heart Center Tissue Bank
The Heart Center Tissue Bank (HCTB) at Texas Children's Hospital is the largest pediatric tissue bank in the Texas Medical Center and houses a variety of tissue samples of patients with congenital heart defects. Our mission is to advance the research of congenital heart defects by fostering research collaborations with investigators not only within Texas Children’s Hospital, but globally.
Hemostasis and Thrombosis
Renowned for our research and therapies for blood disorders, we conduct state-of-the-art clinical and scientific research aimed at increasing our understanding of bleeding and clotting disorders and developing new, more effective therapies for children who suffer from them.
Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disease of white blood cells in which an overabundance of abnormal dendritic cells causes damage to the skin, bone and other organs. The disease affects both children and adults, with peak incidence occurring in children between 5 and 10 years old. The incidence in children is approximately five per million, and in adults, approximately half that.
We are actively researching the causes and treatments of these disorders as well as collaborating with leading centers around the country to offer our patients the best treatments available. We are also researching various aspects of ITP diagnosis and therapy. Upcoming projects include development of ITP and AIHA registries to understand the natural history of these disorders in children.
Researchers in the Immunotherapy Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center specialize in translating exciting preclinical developments from the laboratory to the clinic—moving therapies literally from bench-to-bedside.
Our Leukemia Program is the largest in the country and leads the nation in the development of an innovative approach to treat infants with leukemia that has improved the survival rate from 30% to 75%.
The Liver Tumor Program's principle areas of research span from basic science to clinical research, with particular emphasis on tumor biology and the identification of new targets for therapies.
The Lymphoma Program is dedicated to the integration of laboratory and clinical research to increase our understanding of lymphoma and to develop new, more effective therapies for these conditions. The principal areas of research focus on understanding the genetic determinants of tumor biology, exploiting the relationship of lymphoma with the immune system to develop immunotherapy and in new drug development.
Menorrhagia and Young Women's Bleeding Disorders
Our research focus is aimed at improving the reproductive health of girls and women throughout their life span. Our researchers are studying areas as diverse as congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract, disorders of sexual differentiation, paratubal cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), labial adhesions and lichen sclerosis. We also have special interest in bleeding disorders, adolescent hormonal disorders, genital warts in children and minimally invasive pediatric surgeries.
Neuroblastoma remains a therapeutic challenge and there is an urgent need for additional research to develop more effective and less toxic treatment options for children with this disease. We recognize that standard treatment options will not work for all children. Therefore, we are actively investigating new sequencing and genomic approaches to better characterize neuroblastic tumors.
Texas Children's Hospital's neurologists are faculty in the section of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, our academic partner. Our department has some of the world’s finest scientists and physicians who are actively investigating childhood neurological diseases with the goal of improving the standard-of-care for our patients by finding new treatments for devastating neurological conditions that are currently incurable.
The neuroimaging research mission is to improve the ability to diagnose pediatric neurologic diseases and to advance our understanding of how diseases affect the brain. We also hope to use neuroimaging to track measurable indicators that predict neurodevelopment, cognition and behavior in children.
The physician-scientists of the Neuroscience Center are noted leaders in clinical and basic science research and have helped pioneer much advancement in the neurological and neurosurgical fields. The research efforts in the departments of neurology and neurosurgery of Texas Children’s are among the best in the world.
Gene therapies for rare diseases, epilepsy and hydrocephalus are just a few of the research areas in Neurosurgery at Texas Children's Hospital.
The Texas Children’s Hospital Division of Orthopedic Surgery Research Team seeks to improve pediatric orthopedics through quality clinical and basic science research. We currently have more than 25 projects evaluating hip deformities, musculoskeletal infections, trauma, clubfoot, bone cysts, spinal deformities and a full range of orthopedic abnormalities.
Pediatric Surgical Oncology Lab
In the Pediatric Surgical Oncology Lab, our studies are primarily focused on two devastating forms of pediatric cancer, liver cancer and neuroblastoma. Patients with both types of high risk disease have a long-term overall survival rate of less than 50% and are therefore desperately in need of additional therapeutic strategies. Liver cancer is fairly rare in pediatric patients with hepatoblastoma most commonly seen in patients younger than 5 years of age and hepatocellular carcinoma seen in teenage patients.
Our surgeons are leaders in the field of plastic surgery and they continuously research and analyze the conditions your child may face as a patient. Here you will find an extensive collection of articles and book chapters on a wide variety of plastic surgery topics that our surgeons have published.
Portal Vein Thrombosis Program
Our team of multidisciplinary experts meet regularly to refine surgical techniques, create and perfect clinical care protocols for our patients and participate in groundbreaking research. For example, we’re refining the surgical technique for the MesoRex shunt, the portosystemic shunt and the modified Sugiura technique to treat portal hypertension, a disease manifested by GI bleeding, portal biliopathy, splenomegaly with thrombocytopenia, neurocognitive defects and growth retardation.
Pediatric cancer researchers have recently discovered that each child’s tumor is unique; the tumors do not have the same genetic mutations and sequences. Based upon these recent discoveries, researchers at the Center for Precision Oncology aim to ultimately discover the genetic make-up of each child’s tumor.
There are currently several Pediatric Primary Care Psychology research projects underway. Unlike more traditional psychological research projects, these studies focus primarily on program development and evaluation, quality improvement, and monitoring of the utilization of behavioral health services.
Our research is focused on understanding the genetic basis of rare tumors and identifying novel treatment targets. We collaborate with other pediatric treatment centers—both nationally and internationally to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare tumors. We also actively participate in national registries for individual tumors and are developing registries for tumors, which do not have a dedicated registry.
The goal of the Renal Laboratory at Texas Children's Hospital is to understand the mechanisms of kidney disease and to determine the best diagnostic and management strategies for the care of children with kidney diseases. We do this with a combination of basic science, translational and clinical research projects.
At Texas Children’s Cancer Center, retinoblastoma research is currently focused on ocular gene therapy. The Ocular Gene Therapy Group is investigating various gene transfer approaches to treat and prevent eye diseases.
Our physicians are involved in multi-center studies coordinated by the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA). We have active clinical research programs in therapeutic evaluation/intervention, neurologic manifestations of autoimmune diseases, and health care services utilization.
Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia
The Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Program conducts state-of-the-art clinical and laboratory research aimed at gaining a better understanding of the diseases, preventing their complications and ultimately finding a cure. The center’s research funding is provided by government grants and the philanthropic support of a variety of community-based organizations.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Sarcoma research at Texas Children’s spans from epidemiologic and basic science research investigating causes of tumor development and metastasis to translational research aimed at discovery of new therapies to inform future clinical trials, to development of institutional and multi-center clinical trials. Our research teams have expertise in translating our laboratory-based findings into new therapeutic approaches for treatment.
Our comprehensive program also focuses on the genetic composition of osteosarcoma and potential of osteosarcoma cells to spread to distant organs. We are also examining how genome sequencing can eventually lead to better outcomes for children with solid tumors.
The research mission of the Department of Surgery is to conduct basic and translational research to move the field of Pediatric Surgery forward and improve the care of children.
At Texas Children’s Hospital, we are interested in understanding the biology of thyroid cancer with the goal of offering more successful therapies for pediatric patients. We have established the North American Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Registry to collect information on children with thyroid cancers.
Translational Imaging Group
The Translational Imaging Group (TIGr) is a rich mixture of engineers, clinicians, biologists, and mathematicians, ranging from early career scientists and graduate students to mature researchers with 30+ years of professional experience. We design, build, and test novel imaging methods, devices and materials that could become the medical imaging technologies of the future.
A study investigating the influence of the Materna Prep device in first-time moms on pelvic muscle injuries with delivery and the length of the labor.
Pediatric Urology Research at Texas Children’s Hospital focuses on translational, and clinical research designed to improve the treatment of disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract in children.
William T. Shearer Center for Human Immunobiology
The Texas Children’s Hospital William T. Shearer Center for Human Immunobiology was established to bring together world-class expertise in immunology in order to discover, investigate, and develop novel therapies for patients with immune disorders. We strive to improve the quality of life and outcomes for patients with immune disorders through cutting edge, multidisciplinary research.