A groundbreaking $23 million gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will help establish the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in Lawrenceville. The new Institute is designed to advance and strengthen the field of pediatric research in such areas as diabetes, congenital heart disease, and other illnesses that afflict children.
In his comments, David Perlmutter, MD, the Vira I. Heinz Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Pitt, physician-in-chief and scientific director at Children's Hospital, and McGowan Institute faculty member said: "Our goal in creating this Institute is to further elevate Pittsburgh's position as one of the world's leading centers for pioneering research in the critically important area of children's health. The foundation’s support will enable us to aggressively pursue that goal by building and equipping a new laboratory for research in molecular and cellular biology, by adding to our already deep pool of faculty talent through the recruitment of additional pediatric scientists of international stature, and by supporting the most promising work of those scientists."
The new Institute will apply some of the concepts first used by the renowned Howard Hughes Medical Institute to fund areas of basic science that have had a profound effect on our understanding of human disease. The Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute will house the laboratories of an internationally recognized scientific director and five exceptionally talented scholars.
Start-up and continuous funding will foster high-risk, high-impact projects and encourage the researchers of the Institute to pursue their most innovative ideas. For the scholar positions, the Institute will focus on physician-scientists at early stages in their careers and whose research will have a long-lasting influence on various areas of pediatric medicine.
"We envision this Institute as an incubator for research that challenges conventional wisdom and leads to paradigm shifts in pediatric medicine," said Perlmutter. "In so many ways, this Institute is the offspring of the philosophy that is embedded in every part of this academic medical center and university, together with the extraordinary philanthropic vision of the foundation."
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Children’s Hospital News Bureau (10/24/07)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/24/07)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (10/24/07)
Pittsburgh Business Times (10/24/07)
Centre Daily (10/24/07)
The Pittsburgh Channel (10/24/07)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/25/07)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (10/25/07)