A Year of Breakthroughs and Planning for the Future

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Seattle Children’s Research Institute had a tremendous 2015, making rapid progress in our quest to improve the lives of children worldwide. Our scientists have made significant research breakthroughs in areas such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, HIV, Kawasaki disease and epilepsy. We also saw our best year yet for extramural funding, which increased 7.6 % over fiscal year 2014 to $99 million for fiscal year 2015. Here we highlight just a few of our accomplishments.

Dr. Michael Jensen and his team announced that 91% of patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with immunotherapy in a clinical trial achieved complete remission. Due to the success of our pediatric cancer immunotherapy research program, Seattle Children’s Research Institute was asked by the National Institutes of Health to host the 4th International Conference on Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology. We welcomed more than 220 researchers, clinicians and healthcare leaders from around the world to share data and discuss the latest scientific advances in the field.

Dr. Bonnie Ramsey’s research on cystic fibrosis led to FDA approval of a drug to treat patients with the most common form of this life-threatening genetic disease. In recognition of her contributions to cystic fibrosis clinical care and research, Ramsey was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the field of medicine.

We’ve opened the Seattle Children’s Research Institute Discovery Portal, an interactive space where visitors can learn about our work to develop lifesaving cures, accelerate clinical advances and address health issues affecting children and families around the world. We’ve also launched our clinical trials website. Our goal is for every patient to have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our research. Through our Office of Science-Industry Partnerships, we’re fostering collaborations with industry partners. A deal with bluebird bio Inc. will allow our researchers to develop potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic and rare diseases.

Even as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our research institute this year, we’re already looking to the future. We currently have more than 330,000 square feet of clinical and laboratory space and a workforce of nearly 1,500 people. We anticipate the need to triple our facilities over the next 10 years as we continue to explore, innovate and cure.

Dr. Jim Hendricks
President, Seattle Children's Research Institute