Collaborative Connections

Sheik Zayed Institute has a wealth of collaborative initiatives and programs designed to improve care for children. Its Second Annual Symposium on Pediatric Surgical Innovation brought together leaders, and advocates of pediatric surgical and device innovation to form consensus and achievable tasks to accomplish its mission. Its targeted areas of care, from fetal and translational medicine, to heart, and blood transplantation, and its links with academic institutions universities enable it to achieve its goals.

Institute + Advocacy

On March 4, 2014, the Sheikh Zayed Institute’s faculty and staff visited Capitol Hill and held an all-day event highlighting the latest in pediatric surgical innovation at the Rayburn House Office Building of United States House of Representatives. Members of the Congress and visitors were invited to stop by the Institute’s stations.

FDA Pediatric Device Consortia Program

Funded through the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia Grant Program in 2013, the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) is a partnership of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Entrepreneurs In Residence

The gap between innovations and commercially viable technologies that enter the market is not an unfamiliar concept. The Sheikh Zayed Institute, in consultation with its Business Advisory Council, partially attributed this gap to the absence of resources such as resident entrepreneurs. 

Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation

In this reporting period, Catherine M. Bollard, MD, Russell Cruz, MD, PhD, and Patrick Hanley, PhD, joined the Immunology team of the Sheikh Zayed Institute. Dr. Bollard is a senior scientist and a member of the Division of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation and co-directs the Immunology Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

Cardiology & Children’s National Heart Institute

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect. About one percent of newborns are born with a heart condition. The Heart Institute at Children’s National assesses and/or treats thousands of babies, children, and young adults each year. The Heart Institute includes a robust cardiac fetal imaging program with specialized care for newborns diagnosed in utero. Identifying and repairing heart defects in children or infants requires overcoming unique challenges, such as working on a smaller and more delicate heart, the difficulty in having children lie still or hold their breath for imaging procedures. There also is increased sensitivity to radiation damage from X-rays, and the need for devices like incubators.

Oncology, Hematology, & Solid Tumor Program

A collaboration of the Sheikh Zayed Institute and the Oncology group at Children’s National, the Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) program aims to improve the quality of life and outcomes for pediatric patients through the development and clinical introduction of novel minimally invasive and noninvasive surgery technologies and combination therapy approaches.

Bear Institute

The Bear Institute for Health Innovation

The Bear Institute is a first-of-its-kind health information technology institute dedicated to improving clinical pediatric outcomes. It is a collaboration of Children’s National Health System and Cerner, with the goal of utilizing innovation in electronic health information technology to advance evidence-based pediatric care, research, and education.

Genetics & Metabolism

Down syndrome, the most common single cause of human birth defects, produces alterations in physical growth and mental retardation. If missed before birth, the early detection of Down syndrome is crucial for the management of patients and disease. 

American University Kogod School of Business

The Sheikh Zayed Institute collaborated with full-time MBA students from American University Kogod School of Business and students from the International Design Business Management (IDBM) program at Finland’s Aalto University to develop the concept and prototype for a medical device to collect data from the pupil and send diagnostic information to a smart phone. 


The Sheikh Zayed Institute’s raison d’être is to translate its research and discoveries to the patients. As stewards of government and donor funds, the Sheikh Zayed Institute is committed to being responsive to market forces by promoting entrepreneurial efforts of its researchers, clinicians, and engineering staff. In the past 18 months, spinoff startup companies were formed to commercialize Sheikh Zayed Institute’s inventions that are subject to the intellectual property polices of Children’s National.