Shriners Children’s is committed to conducting research that will improve both the quality of care and quality of life of children and families. What began more than 40 years ago as a small effort with a $12,000 budget has become a strong, respected research program – especially in the areas of genetics and acquired musculoskeletal diseases, severe burns and spinal cord injuries – with a multimillion-dollar annual budget.
Improving lives by expanding knowledge
Shriners Children’s is committed to investing in clinically useful research and increasing the total body of medical knowledge. Although research conducted at our healthcare facilities primarily benefits children, it ultimately impacts people of all ages.
Researchers at Shriners Children’s have contributed to the following:
- Development of artificial skin and improved wound-healing techniques for severe burns
- Development of effective treatments for X-linked hypophosphatemia and osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)
- Refining the use of functional electrical stimulation to help some children with spinal cord injuries, as well as those with cerebral palsy, to stand, walk and use their hands more effectively
- Discovery that a mutation in the gene for fibrillin is responsible for Marfan syndrome
- Discovery of a protein (which has been named the biomarker CXM) that mirrors the child’s rate of bone growth. By using the biomarker CXM, physicians are able to quickly predict the rate of the child’s growth, and they can immediately make decisions about the medical care plan for their patients.
- Improving the survival rate and quality of life of persons with severe burns
- Development of a treatment for OI that involves infusion therapy and has become a standard of care
Continuing the work
Our research team continues to improve the care we provide. The scientific discoveries in our laboratories lead to new, effective medical treatments. Today, our researchers are breaking ground in some of the most innovative areas of health care, including genetics and motion analysis. This work advances our ability to provide precision care and allows us to develop more effective, personalized treatment plans for our patients.
In 2022, our research team will manage the following:
- 26 large-scale basic research and 23 large-scale clinical research grants
- 13 developmental grants
- 4 request-for-proposal projects
- 7 seed grants with Georgia Institute of Technology
- 11 special shared facilities
- 6 research fellowships, as well as multiple administrative awards