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).
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.
Institute is organized into thirteen Centers of Emphasis. The
Centers of Emphasis located in the Wexner Institute for Pediatric
Research are the Centers for
and Pulmonary Research,
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
Pathogenesis, Childhood Cancer, and
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
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