The Children’s Neuroscience Institute (CNI) is a unique constellation of the brightest and most highly creative professionals with interest and passion in experimental and clinical research with the overarching goals of developing healthy brains and minds in children across all age groups. Topic-wise, the CNI encompasses and facilitates interdisciplinary fundamental and applied paradigm-shifting research. This research is aimed at the development of innovative concepts, methodologies, and approaches enabling breakthrough exploratory studies that lead to profound mechanistic understanding of normal neuro-development, the identification of aberrant pathogenic pathways of neurological diseases, and the discovery of personalized treatment strategies for neurologically ill and injured children.
The CNI Vision: To become a “conceptual crystallization center” and incubator for pioneering technologies and innovative studies that serves as the world’s premier destination for pediatric neuroscience research, education, and patient care.
The Long-Term Plan: Our plans includes relocating to a dedicated new research building – Center for Research Excellence -- where cutting-edge scientific transformative studies will be performed. One of the leading directions of research will be lipidomics, which is among the latest OMICS-disciplines, with a focus on neurolipidomics. Our current work in this area promises new discoveries that are important for many fields of neuroscience and clinical practice - pioneering advances in personalized diagnostics, treatment, and patient care. Specifically, this program plans to pioneer initiatives in redox lipidomics, drug discovery, stem-cell biology (iPSC), computational and structural biology, and novel MS- and EPR-imaging methods.
To achieve our goal of supporting the development of healthy brains and minds in children across all age groups, training opportunities will be focused on fundamental and applied research aimed at understanding normal neurodevelopment and the discovery of personalized treatment strategies for neurologically ill and injured children. We will provide programmatic opportunities and guidance to junior and senior faculty, educational programs (i.e. pilot and travel funding) and mentorships in lipidomics, iPSC, bioinformatics, and molecular imaging, a seminar series, and the opportunity to fulfill our commitment to improve child health and combat childhood neurological diseases by catalyzing multidisciplinary research collaborations across the neuroscience community.
History: The Children’s Neuroscience Institute at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh was established in 2019 by a grant funded by the Children’s Foundation as a mechanism for advancing neuroscience. The institute is an umbrella structure coordinating the CNI-related research activities within the University of Pittsburgh community and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as one of three initiatives created by Dr. Terrance Dermody, MD, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief and Scientific Director at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC): (1) the Children’s Neuroscience Institute (CNI), (2) Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation in Children (i4Kids), and (3) Children’s Community Health Center (CCHC) that includes The Pittsburgh Study (TPS).