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Research Institute

A Message from Jim Hendricks

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A Firm Foundation: Milestone Gifts, Collaboration and New Facilities Support Tomorrow’s Cures

Hendricks 220x130 The Seattle Children’s Research Institute is among the nation’s largest and most active pediatric research enterprises. Our more than 1,000 member workforce is advancing leading-edge discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention and bioethics. Our goal is that every patient at Seattle Children’s has the opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, our groundbreaking research.
Tackling critical childhood diseases takes collaboration, talent and funding. In 2011, we expanded greatly upon them all.

We opened two significant research facilities last year: the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research where Dr. Mike Jensen is leading the mission to replace conventional cancer therapies with genetically ”smart” therapies capable of eliminating cancer while leaving the rest of the body unharmed; and a highly specialized zebrafish aquatics facility, headed by Dr. Mark Majesky, to support his research on heart cell regeneration as well as work by others.

Last year, we also initiated discussions to develop a national network of top pediatric research hospitals that will identify new strategies for collaboration on research and philanthropy.

Philanthropy is always invaluable to the work of our researchers – especially in times like these when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget is facing significant cuts. In 2011, we received gifts from our Research Champions program totaling $25 million, and an unprecedented $50 million gift commitment from a long-time supporter. Funds from this unrestricted gift will be used to meet key needs and realize new opportunities.

Significant gifts like these underscore how many lives truly depend upon the innovative work of our research teams. We are fortunate to be able to provide hope for our patients and families with the generous support of our community, and through a strong partnership with our Foundation under the leadership of its president, Doug Picha.

Welcome to our 2011 Academic Annual Report highlighting the outstanding research activities and achievements that distinguish our world-class institution.