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The Department of Pediatrics has a long, distinguished history of excellence in scientific discovery and a strong tradition of pediatric research programs led by physician scientists. Ours is a culture that values, respects, and supports curiosity and discovery. We have received national recognition for our research success and have a strong record of extramural funding and scholarly productivity. With more than $11 million in funding, in 2011 we ranked 24th in the nation in NIH funding. We are committed to the importance of basic and applied research to understand childhood diseases and to develop and advance therapies for our patients. The vision of the new department head is to strengthen the department's mentoring program and grants management infrastructure.


Advances in genetics, epidemiology, quantitative analysis and developmental biology have made it possible to identify genes involved in traits important in pediatric disorders, birth defects, and prematurity. Our researchers are known nationally and internationally for their work in genetic and environmental contributors to pediatric disease. This leads us to better understand the origins of pediatric diseases with the goal of healthier children and mothers.

Other research strengths include developing groundbreaking new treatments for asthma and cystic fibrosis; anemia and transfusion of pre-term infants; prevention, intervention and treatment of diabetes in children; breastfeeding promotion and support; epilepsy; genetic aspects of neuromuscular disorders; fetal programming of cardiovascular disease; inflammatory bowel disease; feeding disorders; and disruptive behaviors.

From Bench to Bedside

Clinical and translational research is particularly strong at Iowa. The University of Iowa's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) through its NIH-supported CTSA Child Health Leadership group interfaces with other ICTS groups and services to support child health research and researchers in multiple ways. Examples of these include:

  • Assisting in grant preparation
  • Biostatistical analysis
  • Database creation and management
  • Information technology assistance

Through the support of patient-oriented investigation, child health functions as a link fostering multidisciplinary activities and approaches that enhance and expand the scope of translational research at Iowa.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The UI Department of Pediatrics is consistently highly ranked among all medical college departments in NIH research funding for pediatric diseases.

Pediatric laboratory investigation emphasizes cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, applied genetics and genomics, animal models of human disease, and translational research. Studies in these areas emphasize a multidisciplinary team approach. Our collaborative research environment provides an outstanding setting for training the next generation of scientists with research interests focusing on problems that affect children's health.