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Research Labs


As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute has pioneered groundbreaking cystic fibrosis treatments and cutting-edge cancer therapies and has made other major contributions to pediatric medicine. With a workforce of over 1,100, our labs and research groups are working toward the next wave of discoveries for hundreds of diseases and disorders.

Alphabetical Listing of Research Labs

NameResearch CenterDisease or ConditionDescription
Burns LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchCystic fibrosisThe Burns lab studies the pathogenesis and treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung infections.
Christakis LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentAttention problems, behavioral disordersThe Christakis lab investigates the impact that early experiences, including television exposure, have on children’s cognitive, social and behavioral development.
Cox LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineCleft lip and palate, midface hypoplasiaThe Cox lab investigates the genetic and nutritional causes of clef lip and palate, midface hypoplasia and other common craniofacial disorders.
Crane LabBen Towne Center for Childhood Cancer ResearchBrain tumors, neuroblastoma The Crane lab is pursuing therapies that use the immune system to wipe out brain tumors, neuroblastoma and other solid tumors.
Craniofacial Outcomes Research and Epidemiology (CORE) GroupCenter for Clinical and Translational ResearchCraniofacial microsomia, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and other craniofacial conditionsThe CORE group collaborates to understand the epidemiology of craniofacial conditions and to identify treatments to improve outcomes for those conditions.
Cunningham LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineCraniosynostosis and other craniofacial conditionsThe Cunningham lab investigates the fundamental mechanisms behind craniosynostosis and other malformations, pursuing discoveries that improve patient care.
Evans LabCenter for Clinical and Translational ResearchRobin sequence and other craniofacial conditionsThe Evans lab investigates sleep and breathing in children born with craniofacial conditions, with the goal of improving outcomes.
Frenkel LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchHIVThe Frenkel lab is working to prevent mother-infant HIV transmission by studying the mechanisms behind that transmission; developing practical, affordable ways to prevent it; and developing tests and treatments for drug-resistant HIV.
Heike LabCenter for Clinical and Translational ResearchCraniofacial microsomia, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and other craniofacial conditionsThe Heike lab aims to improve care by unraveling the causes of craniofacial conditions, developing new evaluation tools and assessing treatment outcomes.
Hevner LabCenter for Integrative Brain ResearchLissencephaly and other neurodevelopmental disordersThe Hevner lab studies transcription factors and neurogenesis, the process by which neurons are formed in the developing brain. Neurogenesis holds great scientific and medical interest because of its significance for human brain development and disease.
Hing StudiesCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineCleft lip and palate, midface hypoplasia, craniosynostosis and other craniofacial conditionsDr. Anne V. Hing investigates the genetic causes of craniofacial disorders and specializes in recruiting patients for studies.
James LabCenter for Immunity and ImmunotherapiesLymphoma, autoimmune diseasesThe James lab investigates how genetic variation and pharmacological treatments alter cellular signaling.
Jensen LabBen Towne Center for Childhood Cancer ResearchLeukemia, lymphoma and neuroblastomaThe Jensen lab is pursuing innovative treatments that reprogram a child’s defense system to eliminate cancer cells, without chemotherapy or radiation – or their debilitating side effects.
Katzenellenbogen LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchHuman papillomavirus (HPV)The Katzenellenbogen lab studies the mechanism by which human papillomavirus (HPV) activates telomerase in order to understand how HPV drives cells to become malignant. Telomerase is an enzyme found normally in stem cells and is almost categorically activated in cancers.
Kean LabBen Towne Center for Childhood Cancer ResearchCancer, graft-versus-host disease, autoimmune diseasesThe Kean lab is working to solve the mystery of immune recognition and immune tolerance. Its researchers are pursuing new techniques that overcome transplant rejection and prevent graft-versus-host disease.
Kolker LabCenter for Developmental TherapeuticsBioinformatics, health informaticsThe Kolker lab focuses on bioinformatics, health informatics and integrative analyses. It uses high-throughput technologies to examine and model molecular mechanisms of biological processes.
Luquetti LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineMicrotia, craniofacial microsomia and other craniofacial conditionsThe Luquetti lab studies the genetics and epidemiology of craniofacial malformations, with the goal of identifying their causes and developing research methods that can apply to a variety of birth defects.
Maga LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineFetal alcohol spectrum disorders, craniofacial malformationsThe Maga lab investigates the mechanisms responsible for human malformations, specifically craniofacial disorders, and normal phenotypic variation.
Majesky LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineCongenital heart defects and other cardiac abnormalitiesThe Majesky lab is studying the embryonic development of the heart and vascular system, with the goal of developing cell-based therapies for congenital heart defects and other cardiac abnormalities.
Maves LabCenter for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineHeart defects, muscular dystrophy The Maves lab is investigating heart and muscle cell development, and pursuing new treatments for muscular dystrophy and heart disorders.
McCarty LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentAdolescent behavioral healthThe McCarty lab's mission is to improve the emotional and behavioral health of children and adolescents through enhanced scientific understanding, promoting social-emotional competencies and disseminating evidence-based treatments.
Mendoza LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentObesity and related health problemsThe Mendoza lab focuses on preventing childhood obesity and its long-term health effects, especially among minorities and low-income groups.
Millen LabCenter for Integrative Brain ResearchDandy-Walker malformation and other cerebellar malformationsThe Millen lab studies the genetic and developmental basis of structural birth defects of the brain both in humans and mice.
Morgan–Sedensky Lab     Center for Developmental TherapeuticsMitochondrial disease, aging, C. elegans genetics and anesthetic sensitivityThe Morgan–Sedensky lab investigates the mechanism of action of volatile anesthetics. Current research includes translational studies to understand mitochondrial disease.
Myers LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and Development Telemental healthThe Myers lab is focused on providing evidence-based mental healthcare services through telemental health to rectify current disparities in access to mental healthcare.
Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies (NeoRest)Center for Developmental TherapeuticsInfant respiratory distressThe NeoRest team is developing simple, affordable technologies that provide respiratory care to infants in developing countries for a fraction of the cost of conventional ventilators.
Ojemann LabCenter for Integrative Brain ResearchEpilepsyThe Ojemann lab is interested in using electrocorticography (ECoG), a technology for long-term clinical monitoring of epilepsy patients, to answer basic neuroscience questions as well as to develop tools for clinical and rehabilitative applications.
Palermo LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentChronic painThe Palermo lab studies pain in children, particularly the interrelationships of pain, sleep and behavioral/psychological factors. The lab also studies psychological and family treatments for pediatric chronic pain management; technological and Internet-based innovations for pain assessment; and health risk factors and chronic pain.
Portman Research GroupCenter for Developmental TherapeuticsHeart defects, Kawasaki diseaseThe Portman Research Group discovers ways to protect children’s hearts from damage related to surgery and leads major research on Kawasaki disease.
Rajagopal LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchStreptococcus, Staphylococcus aureusThe Rajagopal lab uses genetic, molecular, biochemical and proteomic approaches to study infectious diseases caused by bacteria. The human pathogens that we study are Group B Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.
Ramirez LabCenter for Integrative Brain ResearchEpilepsy, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sleep apnea and other neurological disordersThe Ramirez lab is making fundamental advances in our understanding of the brain and building toward potential cures for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), epilepsy and other disorders. The lab is currently focusing on how periods of hypoxia, such as those experienced by sleep apnea patients, alter the neuronal network that controls respiration.
Saelens LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentPediatric overweightThe Saelens lab investigates how environmental factors influence physical activity, eating behaviors and the psychosocial factors that influence individual choice for weight-related behaviors.
Speltz LabCenter for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentCleft lip and palate, single-suture craniosynostosis, deformational plagiocephaly, hemifacial microsomia and other craniofacial disordersThe Speltz lab focuses on the neurobehavioral development of children with craniofacial disorders, including cleft lip and palate, single-suture craniosynostosis, deformational plagiocephaly and hemifacial microsomia.
Webb LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchAutism, fragile X, developmental delay and other developmental disabilitiesThe Webb lab studies how infants, children and adults learn about their environment, and how that learning is impacted by developmental disruptions.
Weissman LabCenter for Global Infectious Disease ResearchAntibiotic-resistant infectionsThe Weissman lab studies how antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerge and develops innovative ways to identify and monitor them.

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