Empowering research leaders of tomorrow to make groundbreaking discoveries for the world’s smallest patients.

The combined strengths of the University of Southern California, the Keck School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital and the Saban Research Institute are making an enormous difference in children’s lives.

Research at the Department of Pediatrics is primarily conducted through the Saban Research Institute, a freestanding research laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The institute oversees basic, translational and clinical research programs, including a robust program of Health Outcomes and Community Health Research. An active General Clinical Research Center located within the hospital offers support for clinical studies.

Through a broad range of leading-edge research projects, the Department of Pediatrics aims to develop new treatments for diseases and disabilities that affect children, locally and globally. Los Angeles provides an ideal research setting, with its multinational population of young patients with extraordinarily diverse genetic, environmental and socioeconomic backgrounds, and equally diverse illnesses.

The department’s faculty, fellows, residents and staff researchers work with the Saban Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to pursue basic, translational and clinical research that is making a difference for children. In fact, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is one of the few freestanding pediatric hospitals in the country where scientific inquiry is combined with clinical care devoted exclusively to children.

Our pediatric clinician-scientists seek ways to explore the potential of stem cells, unlock the mysteries of cancer cells, understand the basis for birth defects, discover influential genes, and develop new tools to diagnose, prevent and treat illnesses in children, and promote child health.

The Saban Research Institute’s interdisciplinary research focuses on three synergistic areas that together fully explore the developmental origins of health and disease and address the most pressing national child health issues:

The institute’s priority programs include:

The institute also maintains robust programs in:

Current Research

Soft drink consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they are led to believe by nutrition labels, according to a study led by Michael Goran, PhD, director of the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC). The research team analyzed 34 popular beverages and found that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite, contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, a “concoction that could increase one’s risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease,” said Goran.

Featured Publication

In a recent publication in the journal Pediatrics, Thomas D. Coates, MD, detailed his team’s study of a child on chemotherapy who had too much iron in his liver, pancreas and heart after blood transfusions. The study, “Early Cardiac Iron Overload in a Child on Treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” is helping advance his pursuit of innovative treatments in pediatric hematology.