Children's Hospital Boston

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Main entrance (on Longwood Avenue) to Children's Hospital Boston.

Children's Hospital Boston is a children's hospital located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts.

Located at 300 Longwood Avenue, Children's is adjacent both to its teaching affiliate, Harvard Medical School, and to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (Dana-Farber and Children's jointly operate Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Care, a 60-year-old partnership established to deliver comprehensive care to children with and survivors of all types of childhood cancers.) In 2007, for the 18th year in a row, U.S. News & World Report rated Children's Hospital Boston one of the nation's top hospitals specializing in pediatric care. As of 2007, U.S. News & World Report ranks it within the top 3 best hospitals for pediatrics.[1]

One of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States, Children's offers a complete range of health care services for children from birth through 21 years of age. Its Advanced Fetal Care Center can begin interventions at 15 weeks gestation, and in some situations–e.g. congential heart disease and strabismus–Children's treats adults.

The hospital's clinical staff includes approximately 875 active medical and dental staff, 775 residents and fellows, 1,235 nursing and patient personnel and 4,613 other full and part-time employees. A trained team of more than 764 volunteers devote thousands of hours each year to support the hospital staff and patients.

The International Center at Children's Hospital Boston serves patients from more than 100 countries worldwide including coordination of visits, medical records, travel, accommodation and immigration.

Children's is part of the consortium of hospitals which operates Boston MedFlight.


Children's was founded in 1869 as a 20-bed facility at 9 Rutland Street in Boston's South End neighborhood and became affiliated with Harvard Medical School in 1903. Below is a partial list* of historic milestones:

1891 - Children's establishes the nation's first laboratory for the modification and production of bacteria-free milk.

1920 - Dr. William Ladd devises procedures for correcting various congenital defects such as intestinal malformations, launching the specialty of pediatric surgery.

1938 - Dr. Robert Gross performs the world's first successful surgical procedure to correct a congenital cardiovascular defect, ushering in the era of modern pediatric cardiac surgery.

1947 - Dr.Sidney Farber,Pediatric Pathologist, requested Dr. Yellapragada Subbarow of Lederle lab and formerly his friend and colleague in Harvard Medical School, to supply Aminopterin and later Amithopterin( Methotrexate) to conduct trials on Acute leukemic children. He achieves the world's first partial remission of acute leukemia. He goes on to co-found the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1950.

1954 - Dr. John Enders and his colleagues win the Nobel Prize for successfully culturing the polio virus in 1949, making possible the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines. Enders and his team went on to culture the measles virus.

1971 - Dr. Judah Folkman publishes "Tumor angiogenesis: therapeutic implications" in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is the first paper to describe Folkman's theory that tumors recruit new blood vessels in order to grow.

1983 - Children's physicians report the first surgical correction of hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a defect in which an infant is born without a left ventricle. The procedure is the first to correct what previously had been a fatal condition.

In the last twenty years:

1986 - Children's surgeons perform the hospital's first heart transplant. Later in the year, a 15-month-old patient becomes the youngest person in New England to receive a heart transplant.

1989 - Researchers in Neurology and Genetics discover that beta amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, is toxic to neurons, indicating the possible cause of the degenerative disease.

1997 - Endostatin, one of the most potent inhibitors of angiogenesis, is discovered by Drs. Michael O'Reilly and Judah Folkman. In mice, endostatin has shown promise in slowing some cancers to a dormant state. Phase I clinical trials began at three centers in 1999.

1998 - Dr. Evan Snyder clones the first neural stem cells from the human central nervous system, offering the possibility of cell replacement and gene therapies for patients with neurodegenerative disease, neural injury or paralysis.

1999- Children's establishes its Advanced Fetal Care Center to provide diagnostic services, genetic and obstetrical counseling, and prenatal or immediate postpartum intervention for fetuses with complex birth defects.

1999 - Larry Benowitz, PhD grows nerve cells in the damaged spinal cords of rats, a significant step in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The next year, Benowitz discovers inosine, an important molecule in controlling axon regeneration in nerve cells.

Since 2000:

2000 - Children's performs its 100th heart transplant.

2001 - Children's performs the world's first successful fetal repair of hypoplastic left heart syndrome in a 19-week-old fetus.

2002 - Dr. Scott Pomeroy and Dr. Todd Golub use microarray gene expression profiling to identify different types of brain tumors and predict clinical outcome. This allows radiation and chemotherapy to be tailored to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue alone.

2003 - Dr. Heung Bae Kim and Dr. Tom Jaksic develop, test and successfully perform the world's first-ever serial transverse enteroplasty procedure, a potential lifesaver for patients with short bowel syndrome.

2004 - Children's surgeons perform New England's first multivisceral organ transplant when 11-month-old Abdullah Alazemi receives a stomach, pancreas, liver and small intestine from a single donor.

2005 - In the best-documented effort to date, Felix Engel, PhD, and Dr. Mark Keating successfully get adult heart-muscle cells to divide and multiply in mammals, the first step in regenerating heart tissue. They are now investigating whether their technique can improve heart function in animal models of cardiac injury.

2006 - Dr. Dale Umetsu, Dr. Omid Akbari and colleagues report that a newly recognized type of immune cell, NKT, may play an important role in causing asthma, even in the absence of conventional T-helper cells. Moreover, NKT cells respond to a different class of antigens than are currently recognized to trigger asthma.

2006 - Dr. Larry Benowitz and colleagues discover a naturally occurring growth factor called oncomodulin that stimulates regeneration in injured optic nerves, raising the possibility of treating blindness due to optic-nerve damage and the hope of achieving similar regeneration in the spinal cord and brain.

  • A more complete list of milestones is available here.

Clinical Services

Children's records approximately 17,000 inpatient admissions each year. Clinicians practicing in more than 160 outpatient programs care for more than 450,000 patients annually, while those in Children’s Department of Emergency Medicine treat more than 50,000 annually. The hospital performs 22,000 surgical procedures and 170,000 radiological examinations every year.

Among the hospital's features are:

Most inpatient rooms include accommodations for a parent to stay overnight and have wireless Internet access; all floors have lounges and activity areas for patients and families.

The more than 160 outpatient programs at Children’s range in focus area from general pediatrics to subspecialty programs. Key clinical programs and facilities include:

A complete list of department, programs and services is available here.

Children’s is also an active participant in a number of cooperative programs, including the Boston Center for Heart Transplantation and the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Care Program.


With more than 680,000 square feet (63,000 m²) of state-of-the-art laboratory space, Children's is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 741 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and nine members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, comprise Children's research community. Children’s current initiatives have attracted a record US $120 million in funding, which includes more federal funding than is awarded to any other pediatric facility.

In the John F. Enders Pediatric Research laboratories, named for the Children's researcher and Nobel Prize recipient who cultured the polio and measles viruses, hundreds of laboratory researchers and physician investigators search for answers to some of the most perplexing diseases.

In 2003, Children's dramatically increased its research capacity with the opening of the 295,000 square foot (27,400 m²) Karp Family Research Laboratories. The Karp family gift is just one of many important gifts that support Children's vital research enterprise.

Through the years, scientists at Children’s have set the pace in pediatric research, identifying treatments and therapies for many debilitating diseases, including those of adulthood.

Nobel Prizes

Children's Hospital scientist Dr. John Enders and his team were first to successfully culture the polio virus and were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954.

Dr. Joseph Murray, chief plastic surgeon at Children's Hospital Boston from 1972-1985 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 for his research on immunosuppression.


External links