Children’s Mercy Kansas City announced the opening of its new nine-story, 375,000-square-foot, pediatric research facility located in downtown Kansas City. The new building is home to the Children’s Mercy Research Institute, which was established in 2015 to accelerate precise diagnoses and treatments for complex childhood diseases and move kids to the forefront of research discoveries.
Currently, only 10 percent of the National Institutes of Health’s $37 billion annual research budget goes to support pediatric research, and only 5 percent of more than 7,000 rare pediatric diseases have a drug approved by the FDA.
“Pediatric research is underfunded nationally, which means kids are being left behind,” said Paul Kempinski, president and CEO of Children’s Mercy. “This is a world-class research facility dedicated exclusively to advancing the health and well-being of children right here in Kansas City and beyond,.”
As CMRI rapidly emerges as a leader in pediatric translational research, it has established the following areas of emphasis:
- Genomic medicine. This is one of the few pediatric genome centers in the world carrying out clinical whole genome sequencing and single-cell genomics.
- Precision therapeutics. Patient-specific information is used to optimize treatment for individual patients, which is supported by one of the largest pediatric clinical pharmacology programs in the nation.
- Population health. Research focuses on identifying the personal, social, economic and environmental factors that influence the health of a child.
- Health-care innovation. This identifies and advances products and processes that optimize the medical, surgical and therapeutic management of disease in children.
The CMRI would not be possible without the generosity of the community. In 2018, the Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation each donated $75 million to kickstart the construction of the new research building and the recruitment of top researchers. The combined $150 million donation is the largest one-time gift ever made to a children’s hospital for pediatric research. Since then, hundreds of members of the community have joined their generosity and made this research investment a reality.
–Dwight Wdaman | Metro Voice