Our History

Seattle Children’s Research Institute Today

Seattle Childrens Research Institute is among the top five pediatric research institutes in the nation. Made up of over 1,100 employees across 9 specialized centers, it is working to eliminate pediatric disease from every angle. It has a total of $76 million in funding toward finding the cure for pediatric disease and actively works to get the newest treatments from the bench and into the hands of people who need it.

Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development
Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Center for Clinical and Translational Research
Center for Developmental Therapeutics
Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies
Center for Global Infectious Disease Research
Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research 
Center for Genetics and Development (UW) 
Center for Integrative Brain Research 

To learn more about each of the Research Institute’s Centers, click here.

Seattle Children’s History

Seattle Children’s Hospital was founded in 1907 by Anna Herr Clise after her son died from untreatable inflammatory rheumatism. At the time the nearest children’s hospital was in San Fransisco and the most advanced treatment was on the east coast at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Starting with only 7 beds rented from the Seattle General Hospital at at a rate of $7 per week, Anna and 16 friends began what would someday be called Seattle Children’s Hospital. Their mission was to provide surgical care for children with orthopedic disorders regardless of their race, religion or family’s ability to pay.

Today Seattle Children’s Hospital has grown to a 323 bed facility that continues to grow each year. With 5,569 employees and 969 volunteers annually, patients are able to receive top quality care from experts in the field.

In order to continue to provide the most effective care with minimal financial burden to families, Seattle Children’s Hospital began work to establish the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Foundation. The three pillars (Foundation, Hospital and Research Institute) are the source of our mission statement, “Hope, Care, Cure.”

Learn the full story of Seattle Children’s Hospital, here.

The Center for Integrative Brain Research

In 2006, Seattle Children’s embarked in a bold strategic direction with a new vision, which included recognition that research is an integral component of its mission to “prevent, treat, and eliminate pediatric disease.”  As a first step, the hospital purchased nearly 500,000 square feet of research space in downtown Seattle in close proximity to the institute’s research partners, the UW, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and other biotechnology centers.  Dr. James Hendricks was recruited to serve as President of SCRI and Dr. Bruder Stapleton as Chief Academic Officer.

Plans for CIBR began in 2007. Dr. Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez, a world-renowned researcher was recruited and soon became the founding director of our Center. With Dr. Ramirez as its leader, the Center for Integrative Brain Research was created with the goal of integrating scientific knowledge from a variety of disciplines–including genetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, brain imaging, and behavior—to better understand a wide spectrum of neuronal functions and brain-related diseases.

CIBR now resides in the Jack R. MacDonald Building, a 310,000 square foot office and research facility.

Who is Jack R. McDonald?

The man behind the most charitable gift in Children’s 106-year history is Jack MacDonald, a longtime friend of Children’s who passed away in September 2013. He is the man for whom the Jack R. McDonald Building is named, which houses the Center for Integrative Brain Research and other centers.

Jack was known for his compassion, modesty and gentle presence. He supported hundreds of causes with small donations, including many to Children’s. During his lifetime, Jack made gifts of $536,000 to Children’s, supporting research, uncompensated care and greatest needs.

Jack was a regular attendee at Children’s Guardians Circle Luncheon and the Horizon Jack McDonaldHouse Holiday Luncheon. After the events, he often wrote to Children’s expressing how pleased he was with what he’d learned about the advances in pediatric care and research.
“He has left an amazing legacy that will positively impact the lives of so many people in the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” says Lorraine del Prado, senior director of Development for the foundation and a friend of Jack’s. “Jack’s wish was to be remembered as a philanthropist and as a steward of his family’s trust, and he has accomplished that goal.”

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