Our history

Although Children's Research Institute is relatively young, it has grown exponentially and made significant strides in its first decade.

Since we first launched, the department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin has risen in National Institutes of Health funding ranking to No. 21. Our researchers work on more than 1,000 active clinical trials and are making a real impact on improving the quality of life for children with chronic health conditions.

Milestones to consider


  • A study published in the journal Pediatrics by a CRI investigator found that limiting the amount of rest an adolescent has after concussion may help them return to normal activities sooner. This work was also covered in the New York Times.
  • A CRI investigator has found a way to engineer bacteria so that when delivered as a probiotic they will displace harmful bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract. This work was published in the journal Nature.
  • A four-year, $2.7 million grant has been awarded to a CRI investigator by the National Institutes of Health to study disease impact and patient reported outcomes in children with chronic conditions


  • Jeff Medin, PhD is named the MACC Fund Professor. This professorship adds a distinguished pediatric oncology researcher to further develop our translational research efforts.


  • Children’s Wisconsin receives a $1 million grant from the WM Keck Foundation in Los Angeles to use gene editing technology to test genetic variants of interest in rare disorders


  • MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) pledges $10 million to Children’s Wisconsin to further cancer and blood disorders research in three areas: discovery and testing of new drug therapies, increased use of cellular therapies and further genetic research for personalized cancer therapies. The gift is the largest single gift the MACC Fund has made to a hospital.
  • Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College launch a new clinical trial for treatment of childhood brain tumors.
  • A study published in Pediatrics shows relatively minor injuries can precede more severe physical abuse in infants.


  • A CRI researcher receives a $2.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to develop a more precise clinical test for predicting a patient’s risk of developing heart disease.


  • Children’s Oncology Group names the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Wisconsin as a Phase 1 Center, an elite award given to only 21 centers in the world.
  • Children’s Wisconsin’s groundbreaking work prevents bloodstream infections in hospitalized children, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
  • A clinical trial at Children’s Wisconsin shows that NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions successfully reduces the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.


  • Doctors and researchers at Children’s Wisconsin use genetic code to make a groundbreaking diagnosis. 
  • CRI study finds patients with sickle cell disease need frequent hospitalization or emergency care for pain.
  • Children’s Research Institute, UW-Milwaukee and the Medical College receive $8.5 million for children’s environmental health research.
  • New study finds barriers to pain treatment in children with sickle cell disease.
  • CRI investigator featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Study highlights Wisconsin as first to test newborns for T cell deficiency.


  • Wisconsin becomes the first state in the nation to screen all newborns for severe combined immunodeficiency.
  • Wisconsin Sickle Cell Center named a National Institutes of Health-funded Basic and Translational Research Program, one of only 11 sites nationwide.
  • The MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) pledges $5 million over six years to support the outpatient cancer clinic’s translational research.
  • Investigators discover a new way to help blood clot by having the missing clotting factor packaged in the patient’s own platelets.
  • Investigators from institutions across the nation visit Children’s Research Institute to evaluate how the organization has grown so quickly. 
  • First use of phamacogenetic testing in epilepsy patients in the Neuroscience Center.


  • Children’s Research Institute’s biomedical and translational research facility opens, providing dedicated space to pediatric research. Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, speaks at a symposium to celebrate the facility’s opening.
  • The Primary Immunodeficiency program is designated a Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies, one of only 32 of its kind in the world.
  • Researchers announce a first-of-its-kind newborn screening study aimed at detecting a rare but often undiagnosed immune system disease that is fatal without treatment and believed by some doctors to be responsible for a number of unexplained infant deaths.
  • An alliance between Affymetrix and Children’s Research Institute helps researchers screen genetic information in up to 25,000 patients in five years.
  • The National Institutes of Health awards $4.6 million over five years to establish a Research Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology.
  • First Food and Drug Administration grant awarded on the campus for a three-year, $1 million Orphan Products Development grant to study infantile hemangiomas.
  • The Pediatric Nursing Consortium is launched, a three-year agreement between Children’s Research Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University-College of Nursing.


  • Children’s Research Institute leaders co-author two-volume reference on translational research, Scientific Foundations of Clinical Practice, issued by Pediatric Clinics of North America.
  • A Children’s Research Institute researcher is named principal investigator of a five-year, $9.7 million National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Program Project Grant for genetics studies to improve the understanding of von Willebrand disease.


  • Children’s Research Institute breaks ground for its new facility.
  • Children’s Research Institute incorporates.
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Human Research Protection Program

(414) 337-7133

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