Addressing clinical & translational research needs associated with child health. Child Health

The Child Health Program works to foster the development of programs, resources, and strategies that support innovative and collaborative research to improve the health and well-being of children. The program works across Harvard University, its affiliated institutions, and the national CTSA Consortium.

Paramount to the initiative's mission is to build capacity among Harvard University's child health community to conduct innovative clinical and translational research across the lifecourse.

To achieve our mission, the Child Health Program works in partnership with Harvard Catalyst programs and resources and Harvard-affiliated institutions to identify and promote strategies that effectively address the unique needs of child health researchers. Efforts include convening the child health research community across affiliate institutions to encourage and support development of the best possible team science and awarding pilot funding to child health researchers for innovative clinical and translation research projects. A further programmatic goal is to encourage the inclusion of children as a key population to consider across Harvard Catalyst programs and resources, particularly those that optimize transfer of knowledge from clinical and translational science laboratories into the development, testing, and adoption of innovative screening tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Current Opportunities

Pilot Funding Opportunity

Up to $75,000 for Proposals that Address Child/Adolescent Mental Health
Applications due January 6, 2015

Only attendees at the forthcoming Child Health Symposium (see below) are eligible to apply for a new pilot funding opportunity: Addressing Mental Health in the Second Decade of Life Through Translational Lifecourse Research.

Proposals are welcome in the following two research priority areas of child/adolescent health:

  1. Mood dysregulation and its consequences, including suicide
  2. Interpersonal violence

The anticipated funding start date is May 2015. Please email us with any questions.

Please note: To be eligible for this award, the principal investigator or a co-investigator must attend Harvard Catalyst's Child Health Symposium on October 6, 2014. Please register for the symposium below.

Preliminary RFA

Child Health Symposium

Mental Health and the Developing Brain in the Second Decade of Life:
Research Challenges and Opportunities

October 6, 2014
Joseph B. Martin Conference Center
Harvard Medical School

Register by September 29, 2014

Open to the public.

The second decade of life is one of tremendous physiological and psychological changes. Structural changes in the brain during this developmental period are profound, and underlie many of these physiological and psychological changes. The second decade of life is also the time when psychopathology - depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia - emerges for many, all too often with tragic sequelae of self-inflicted and interpersonal violence.

The purpose of this year's day-long symposium is to bring together outstanding speakers from across the nation with Harvard's Child Health Research community to discuss key areas across the clinical and translational spectrum in relation to child/adolescent mental health. An additional goal is to spur formation of new collaborations, which will hopefully lead to groundbreaking research aimed at enhancing mental health across the lifecourse.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Elizabeth Goodman, MD
Associate Chief for Community-Based Research, MassGeneral Hospital for Children
Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Co-chair, Harvard Catalyst Child Health Committee

Lee Nadler, MD
Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Medicine
Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Harvard Medical School
Senior Vice President for Experimental Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Framing the Issue: Epidemiologic Patterns
Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, McNeil Family Professor of Health Care Policy, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

The Teen Brain: Insights from Neuroimaging
Jay N. Giedd, MD, Chief, Brain Imaging Section, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health

Mood Dysregulation

Brain Circuitry Functional Model: Modernizing Medicine in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
Mani N. Pavuluri, MD, PhD, Berger Colbeth Chair in Child Psychiatry, Director of Pediatric Mood Disorders Program, Pediatric Brain Research And Intervention (BRAIN) Center and Pediatric Mood Disorders Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

The Phenomenology and Outcome of Mood Dysregulation in Youth
Melissa P. DelBello, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Vice Chair for Clinical Research

Youth Suicide

Why does suicidal behavior run in families?
David A. Brent, MD, Academic Chief, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies, Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics & Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Psychological and Biological Predictors of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
Maurizio Fava, MD, Director, Clinical Research Program (CRP) Executive Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network & Institute (CTNI) Massachusetts General Hospital Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School


Critical Evaluation of Developmentally Informed Studies on the Biology of Violence
Rolf Loeber, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychology and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh

Dynamics of Gang Violence
Gary French, Retired Lieutenant Detective, Boston Police Department
Joe Sierra, Assistant Manager, InnerCity Weightlifting

Concussion and the Developing Brain

Animal Models of Concussion
William P. Meehan III, MD, Director, The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention

Predicting Recovery from Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children
Keith Owen Yeates, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Calgary; Senior Scientist, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary School of Medicine