Columbus ACS Feature Article - Spotlighting Chemistry in Ohio
   Nationwide Children's Hospital Research Institute

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest pediatric research centers in the country.  The Institute is home to over one hundred scientists, including eighty full-time principal investigators (PIs). 

The Research Institute is housed in two five story towers.  The first tower, the Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research,  was built in 1987 and the second tower, Research Building II, was occupied in 2004.  

Research Building II is a model of design.  It received an award from the American Institute of Architecture for functional efficiency.  The U-shaped facility is laid out in concentric rings.  The outermost ring, nearest the windows, is reserved for scientists' seating carrels.  Ring two is composed of laboratory bench space.  Ring three is heavy laboratory equipment, such as shakers, centrifuges, and freezers.  Ring four contains coldrooms, darkrooms, and sterile hood rooms to minimize drafts.  The fifth and inner-most ring is a shaft for communications cables, HVAC and similar infrastructure.

The Research Institute is organized into thirteen Centers of Emphasis.  The Centers of Emphasis located in the Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research are the Centers for Biobehavioral Health, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Perinatal Research.   The Centers of Emphasis located in Research Building II are the Centers for Gene Therapy, Vaccines and Immunity, Microbial Pathogenesis, Childhood Cancer, and Injury Research and Policy.  The Institute is also home to the Centers for Biobehavioral Health, Innovation in Pediatric Practice, and the Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine.  Each Center is composed of five to twelve PIs.

In Research Building II, an entire floor is dedicated to childhood cancer research.  The Institute has been the US repository for pediatric cancer tissue for all NIH clinical trials since the 1960s and maintains over 10,000 samples.  Another floor in Building II is involved in gene therapy research, principally for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  A new GMP facility for producing recombinant adeno-associated virus for gene therapy clinical trials is scheduled to open in 2009.  On another floor, an industry-backed study to develop a vaccine for otitis media, middle ear infection, is underway.  Otitis media is the reason for the largest prescription of antibiotics in children. Researchers from Children's have shown that two antigens from the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae can produce immune responses in chinchillas, which have inner ears similar to toddlers.  Antibodies to these antigens have been found in humans. 

A $1 billion expansion of Nationwide Children's Hospital is underway.  The Institute is part of that expansion, and a third research tower is planned for construction in 2012. 

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive
Columbus, OH  43205
(614) 722-2700



Marlin Linger, MS, MBA
Columbus ACS Web Page Feature Editor. Marlin is a biochemist and registered financial representative.

If you have a story for the Columbus ACS web site, please contact Marlin at:
614-302-2051 or 

Copyright 2008 Columbus Section of the American Chemical Society, Inc.












Daniel R. Mann, Vice President, has overseen a ten-fold growth in the Research Institute budget since 1995.

The Institute's scientists are dedicated to helping solve and prevent childhood diseases and injuries.

Cubicles in the Research Building II overlook the hospital construction site and the Columbus skyline.

Elegant, functional architecture is a hallmark of Research Building II.

The Institute's facilities provide an artful, inviting place to work.

A new GMP facility for the production of gene therapy adeno-associated virus.

A molecular genetics laboratory in Research Building II.

A large Christmas tree and an art glass mural by Christina Wallach adorn the atrium of Research Building II.

   Click on the images for a larger view.