Pediatric Research at IUSM

The primary facility for basic science research at IUSM is the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, located in the 750,000 sq. ft. interconnected state-of-the art research complex on the IU School of Medicine campus in Indianapolis. The Wells Center comprises almost one-fourth of the research complex. Since opening in 1991, the Wells Center has grown from four investigators and three employees to 36 investigators and over 270 technicians and staff members. Work in the Wells Center focuses on basic science research discovery and translational studies, and seeks to rapidly move basic or bench research findings into the clinical setting. Pediatric faculty research programs have achieved national recognition and have an outstanding record for attaining peer-reviewed, external research funding totaling approximately $41 million in 2011, including funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Heart Association, and the Department of Defense. Of ranked Pediatric Departments, IUSM has consistently been in the top 5-8% nationally in NIH funding during the last 8 years.

In 2009, the addition of the 7-story Walther Hall (R3) was added to the medical campus research complex bringing the total adjoining research space to 516,000 sq/ft. Walther Hall added over 125 basic laboratories positioned in the center of the triplex of the multidisciplinary laboratories associated with cancer research, the National Gene Vector Laboratory, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute’s specimen storage facility, the laboratories of the Center for Immunobiology, and the Stark Neurosciences Center, as well as some recruitment space for future research programs, BSL3 laboratory capability, and an animal support facility. Research Building 2 (R2), on the east end of the research complex, houses imaging for small animals, such as micro CT and MRI, plus clinical research facilities, including a 64-slice CT scanner, PET scanner, and MRI. The building also contains a microscopy facility funded in part through an NIH O’Brien Center grant, with multiple confocal, dual photon, and immunofluorescence capabilities. Additional research laboratories include those of the Stark Neurosciences Center and the Cancer Center.

Morris Green Scholars Program

The Morris Green Scholars Program was created to identify and support pediatric residents and fellows who want to develop careers as pediatric researchers, physician-scientists, and future academic leaders. It provides additional support for research training for Scholars through seminars, mentorship and funding.

Children’s Health Services Research

Our Children's Health Services Research section (CHSR) is one of the largest and most productive research sections of its kind, with a dozen research faculty and a research budget of over $4M. CHSR investigators study pediatric informatics, decision sciences, health policy and health geographics. Children’s Health Services Research also manages a Pediatric Research Network which enrolls primary, secondary, and tertiary care sites that can efficiently recruit patients from a broad range of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds for general and subspecialty protocols.

Regenstrief Institute

The section of Children’s Health Services Research in the Department of Pediatrics works in close collaboration with the Regenstrief Institute, an internationally-recognized informatics and healthcare research organization, which is part of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Regenstrief’s ability to search large databases to identify patient populations for research is an unparalleled research tool. The Institute receives $2.8 million per year in core support from the Regenstrief Foundation and has an annual budget of approximately $19.5 million generated by Institute investigators, largely derived from federal grants and contracts.

Pediatric Research Network

The section of Children’s Health Services Research in the Department of Pediatrics manages a Pediatric Research Network which enrolls primary, secondary, and tertiary care sites that can efficiently recruit patients from a broad range of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds for general and subspecialty protocols.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at Indiana and Purdue Universities, funded by a 5 year $25 million NIH grant, was created in May 2008 and renewal in 2013 with strong collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics. The goal of the Indiana CTSI Translational Cycle is to facilitate the conduct of clinical and translational science research: to begin at the bench, progress through to the bedside via clinical trials, expand to the community, then return to the bench for further research. The program has created research acceleration programs and supports pilot projects. The Indiana Clinical Research Center also provides clinical resources needed to conduct cutting-edge research including clinical outpatient and inpatient facilities, research nurses, lab facilities, DEXA, etc.

M.D./Ph.D. Program

Our MD/PhD program was designated an NIH Medical Scientist training program in 2009. It is one of the most competitive programs in the nation and includes 10 graduate programs in biomedical sciences at Indiana University and in the Purdue University Biomedical Engineering (BME) program, a potential area of future growth and a unique strength of the proven IU/Purdue partnership.

Pediatric Clinical Research Center

In 2010, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and the Director of NIH Francis Collins, visited the IUSM campus and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and held a news conference to announce that IUSM would be one of the awardees of NIH funding for construction and renovation of scientific research laboratories. The $ 8.4 million grant for the construction of a new section of Riley Hospital is for an area dedicated solely to pediatric clinical trials. The grant has enabled IUSM to begin transforming a former research floor of Riley Hospital into the Pediatric Clinical Research Center. After renovations are completed in 2013, the 18,500-square-foot center will house laboratory, bio-storage, offices and other research-related space specifically designed for flexibility to accommodate the growing emphasis on collaborations between basic and clinical researchers and among researchers at different institutions. The facility will also enable researchers to conduct comprehensive phenotyping to identify more clearly how genetic versus environmental factors contribute to the appearance and ongoing manifestations of a disease.