Throughout its history, Shriners Hospitals for Children® has followed a three-pronged mission of medical care, teaching and research. Early on, the organization made a commitment to supporting basic scientific research, the very foundation of science that allows us to understand how and why things happen. As the health care system has grown and its areas of care have expanded, the research focus has also expanded. Today’s Shriners Hospitals for Children are also centers for ongoing clinical research, with staff actively engaged in finding ways to improve a child’s quality of life on a daily basis.
In a typical year, research efforts at Shriners Hospitals for Children will include:
- More than 100 different research projects
- More than 30 research fellowships
- 20 shared research facilities
Shriners Hospitals for Children is known worldwide for its commitment to and quality of research. In fact, many medical practices that are common in health care today were first discovered and practiced at Shriners Hospitals for Children. As with any research, solutions to today’s medical problems are not discovered in a day, a week or even a year. This important work takes time. Shriners Hospitals for Children is committed to the sustained investment in clinically useful research so that fundamental knowledge can be acquired, improving the quality of life for children with orthopaedic problems, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.
Our close affiliations with colleges and universities across the country allow us to enhance the quality and scope of our research. Relationships like those with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Oregon Health Sciences University, Temple University, the University of California and many others help us meet our goals of improving clinical practice and pursuing fundamental scientific theories.
Here are just some of the research projects underway throughout our health system.
Spinal cord injury:
- The Effect of Spinal Instrumentation on Seating Balance in Neuromuscular Scoliosis
- Support from Caregivers and the Community Improves Social Participation and Quality of Life for Children and Adolescents with Spinal Cord Injuries
- Long-Term Outcomes and Life Satisfaction of Adults with Pediatric-Onset Spinal Cord Injuries
- Defining Molecules and Interactions Involved in Spinal Cord Function and Regeneration
- New Approaches to Treating Excitotoxic Injury to the Central Nervous System
- Determining Ways to Prevent Damage to Neural Cells Caused by Inflammation
- Understanding how Cell Adhesion Involving Tensins Enhance Cell Migration and Tissue Regeneration Can Lead to New Approaches in the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
- The Applicability of the International Neurological Standards for Spinal Cord Injury, Which Were Developed for Adults, to Children and Adolescents
- Developing a New Model for Studying Spinal Cord Injury in Children
- Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury: Patient’s Own Bone Marrow Seems to Offer an Efficient Source of Stem Cells
- Electrically Stimulated Cycling Exercise Improves Muscle, Bone and Cardiovascular Health of Children with Spinal Cord Injury
- Matthew Dobbs, M.D., (St. Louis) published significant findings regarding genetic links to clubfoot, identifying the specific cause in nearly 10 percent of familial, or inherited, clubfoot cases tested.