The Riley Research Revolution: Join our fight as leaders in hope

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D. Wade Clapp, M.D., and Raghu Mirmira, M.D., Ph.D.

Hoosiers are known for their humility, but it’s time to stand up proudly and celebrate an extraordinary but little-known achievement: your generosity has put Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health within the top tier of the nation’s pediatric research hospitals.

Thanks to donors who support our mission through our fundraising arm, Riley Children’s Foundation, we are aggressively accelerating growth at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, which is connected by sky bridge to Riley Hospital. We have 200-plus scientific investigators focusing on novel approaches to childhood medical problems including: congenital heart defects; pulmonary disorders; cancers such as leukemia; diabetes; and infectious diseases. 

Innovations we discover here benefit children at Riley Hospital and around the globe. Riley has been the birthplace of many lifesaving and life-altering advances in pediatric medicine including: longer-lasting heart valves, surfactant therapy that improves preemies’ lung function, innovative techniques to reduce complications during bone marrow transplantation, biomarkers to predict diabetes risk, and new drug therapies to shrink life-threatening nerve tumors.

The need for your help is great when it comes to advancing care for children. Out of all the federal funding provided to support medical research, only about four percent is dedicated to pediatric diseases. Children make up a smaller portion of the population, so their diseases are often overlooked by for-profit drug companies who are driven by numbers. The reason Riley Hospital can keep progress moving forward for children is simple: it’s because we have a community that cares so much about kids.

Riley Children’s Foundation donors are allowing us to accelerate the search for improved treatments that both save lives, and preserve kids’ quality of life.

We hear a lot of talk today in the business community about “return on investment” or “ROI.” It is true that when you give to Riley research, each dollar donated helps our investigators bring in $12 in federal funding to accelerate our work. Donors’ gifts have also helped Riley rise into the top 10 U.S Departments of Pediatrics in terms of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

But the most meaningful return on your investment in pediatric research has no dollar signs behind it. Your gift helps provide a child the chance to grow up.

This holiday season as you celebrate with your family, we ask that you take a moment to think of the hundreds of children spending their nights in hospital beds at Riley. The Gift of Hope Happens Here holiday season giving campaign offers our community a chance to come together to help these children.

Please make a gift at We need you to join our fight to give kids hope.

D. Wade Clapp, M.D., and Raghu Mirmira, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Wade Clapp serves as Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics for Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Raghu Mirmira is Director of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, which is connected by sky bridge to Riley Hospital.

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