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

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December 18, 2012

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 Research Institute

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 and bioethics, among others. As part of Seattle Children’s Hospital, the research institute brings together leading minds in pediatric research to provide patients with the best care possible. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which consistently ranks as one of the best pediatric departments in the country. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org/research.

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