Seattle Children’s Research Institute Appoints New Director for Tissue and Cell Sciences Research

Beier, David

Seattle Children’s Research Institute today announced the appointment of David Beier, MD, PhD, as the new director of the Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences. Dr. Beier returns to Seattle after almost 30 years, having received his medical degree and his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Washington. He completed an internship at Seattle Children’s in 1985.

Dr. Beier was previously at the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. He served most recently as associate chief of the division, which included 25 investigators whose work was supported by $25 million a year in research grants and awards.

Dr. Beier is a leader in the fields of developmental biology and genetics, having dedicated his career to understanding the process of organ formation and why things can go wrong as a fetus develops. His research focuses on the genetics and biology of developmental diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease and birth defects.

“This is a challenging time scientifically—funding is tight, scientists are dismayed and the future is uncertain,” said Beier. But I am very hopeful that Seattle Children’s Research Institute —with its excellent investigators and a supportive community—will continue to be successful. And I aim to leverage those components and contribute to the ultimate goals of the Research Institute.”

By understanding the body's response at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole-organ levels, researchers at the Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences are developing innovative therapeutic interventions that will ultimately help the body repair itself. The knowledge gained from the center's investigations is applied toward finding ways to heal damage caused by childhood developmental abnormalities and acquired illnesses, such as chronic kidney disease, heart disease, asthma and craniofacial malformations.

“Dr. Beier brings exceptional leadership skills, knowledge of developmental biology and genetics and true dedication to basic science research,” said James Hendricks, PhD, president of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “His knowledge and skills, along with similar attributes from center investigators, will help us attain the goal of finding therapies that help the body repair itself.”

Dr. Beier will also hold the title of professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, and he will report to Bruder Stapleton, MD, senior vice president and chief academic officer at Seattle Children’s. The Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences is one of nine interdisciplinary centers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute that address areas central to pediatric health and use an open lab format to foster a rich collaborative environment.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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