Children’s National Hospital is creating a one-of-a-kind research and innovation hub that will drive discoveries that save and improve the lives of children.
This exciting development is located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and will open in 2020.
On a nearly 12-acre portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Campus, Children’s National will combine its strengths with those of public and private partners, including industry, universities, federal agencies, start-up companies and academic medical centers. Together, we’ll create an ecosystem for nurturing innovation from discovery to commercialization.
With the 2020 opening of over 160,000 sq. ft. of research and innovation space, we’ll pursue new high-impact opportunities in pediatric genomic and precision medicine, anchored by our Center for Genetic Medicine Research and our Rare Disease Institute. The campus has significant space for expansion, giving us the runway to rapidly pursue the most promising research directions.
A critical component of success is the co-location of Children’s National research with key partners and incubator space. This creates the broader ecosystem on-site for innovations that will span new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies. Our location near the National Institutes of Health and other relevant federal agencies is an important asset.
The Promise of Precision Medicine
A hallmark of precision medicine is that it identifies more precisely the unique genomic features of an individual’s disease; then matches these features—called biomarkers—with targeted treatments that produce better outcomes with fewer side effects.
- Precision medicine brings new hope for a wide spectrum of diseases spanning rare disorders; complex subtypes of cancer; and chronic health challenges including asthma, autism and sickle cell disease.
- In the past decade, precision medicine has produced some major breakthroughs, including new treatments for several inherited conditions and subtypes of cancer.
- As we pursue new genomic and epigenetic discoveries in our labs, we’re using the latest knowledge and advances in our patient care settings. Using advanced genomic assessments, we are increasingly able to design treatment programs for our patients based on a child’s unique biology.
- An expanded molecular lab will support both our research efforts and our clinical diagnostic and screening programs.
The Power of Partnerships
Collaboration is critical to our ability to more rapidly push new discoveries into the world so we can save and improve more children’s lives.
- Universities and academic medical centers offer opportunities to fuse diverse disciplines and areas of expertise. This often results in faster, more comprehensive solutions.
- Working with federal agencies will create shared understanding and approaches to the nation’s pediatric health priorities. It will also highlight how to best align regulatory processes for unique aspects of pediatric medicine.
- Biomedical industry partners bring critical experience in facilitating the large-scale testing, high-quality production and many complex processes involved in commercializing health innovations.
- In addition to launching start-up companies through our own discoveries, we will offer incubator space to early-stage biotech, medical device and health technology companies. This further diversifies the knowledge and expertise housed on-site, sparking new ideas and synergies.
Built for Team Science
As scientific understanding has increased, so has its complexity. Solving big health challenges requires experts in many different scientific disciplines and highly trained specialists in the advanced methods and technologies of leading edge research. Our new research and innovation facility is being designed to support this type of team approach.
- The new facility will include flexible, well-integrated space for wet labs, computational labs, workspaces and conference rooms.
- Shared equipment, training and resources will further foster interaction among the approximately 150 Children’s National team members who will work in this facility.
- Our teams of scientists will be supported by professional experts in regulatory science, bioethics, research operations, contracting, and finance, helping navigate the path from discovery to commercialization.
Children’s National will build on its strong history of innovation to create a place for transformative ideas to thrive.
- Building on the success of identifying and supporting high-potential early stage pediatric surgical innovations, this new site allows us to do the same for a much broader range of pediatric innovation start-ups, offering incubator space to the most promising efforts. For example, the JLABS @ Washington, DC site will be open to pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology companies that are aiming to advance the development of new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies, including applications in pediatrics.
- Incubator space allows start-up companies to rise above the significant barriers in guiding new advances through the commercialization pipeline.
- Co-locating diverse start-up companies with Children’s National research will create a one-of-a-kind environment for pediatric research and innovation through cross-fertilization of knowledge and skills.