Your guide to Research, Education & Innovation Week 2024

Celebrating 14 years of scholarly achievements and focusing on "Gene and Cell Therapy: Delivering on the Promise."
Poster sessions at the Costco Wholesale Atrium during REI Week 2023.
Poster sessions at the Costco Wholesale Atrium during REI Week 2023This year's event features a record-breaking 400 posters.

From April 22-24, 2024, the Children's National Research Institute will be hosting the 14th annual Research, Education & Innovation Week. This celebration will showcase the wide array of research and education programs occurring throughout the institution and beyond. This year's theme is "Gene and Cellular Therapy: Delivering on the Promise." This theme showcases the institute's ongoing commitment to spearheading advancements in gene and cell therapies and highlights the critical role these technologies play in transforming pediatric healthcare.

What you can expect

REI Week 2024 will feature 400 poster presentations featuring cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines, including immunology, cardiology, and neurology. Participants can expect a series of compelling keynote lectures from distinguished speakers such as Michael DeBaun, M.D., M.P.H., and Crystal Mackall, M.D., who will provide insights into the latest therapies for sickle cell disease and pediatric cancers, respectively. The event will also offer interactive sessions, workshops, and special lectures on global health and nursing designed to foster learning and discussion among healthcare professionals.

Throughout the week, there will be a comprehensive and immersive experience of gene and cell therapies advancements, with a series of impactful events scheduled.

  • On Monday, April 22, after a kickoff bagel breakfast, the Allistair Abraham Inaugural Lecture by Dr. Michael DeBaun will focus on the nuances of curative therapy for sickle cell disease. Following this, attendees can engage with researchers across various fields, including allergy, immunology, and emergency medicine, during a vibrant poster session at the Costco Wholesale Atrium.
  • On Tuesday, April 23, keynote lectures will be given by leading experts such as Dr. Crystal Mackall and Deepak Srivastava, M.D., who will discuss innovative therapies for pediatric cancers and congenital heart disease. Catherine M. Gordon, M.D., M.S., will also present on novel therapies. A poster session will also provide a platform for further discussions on new research findings in areas like endocrinology, infectious disease, and surgical innovation.
  • On Wednesday, April 24, the morning will feature the Larrie Greenberg Lecture by Lewis First, M.D., M.S., addressing the challenges in medical education in today's high-value care landscape. The day continues with a lecture aimed at enhancing diversity in genetics and genomics, presented by Vence Bonham Jr., J.D. It explores behind-the-scenes insights into medical journalism and ethical considerations in publishing. Cynthia A. Prows, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N., will provide the last keynote lecture of the day speaking on translating genomic discoveries into pediatric practice. The day will end with the awards ceremony where researchers will be recognized for their work in mentorship, teaching, research support, DEI and global health.
  • On Thursday, April 25, Cissy Kityo Mutuluzza, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc, Ph.D., will kick off a lecture on HIV and gene and cell therapy. The action will then be focused at the Research & Innovation Campus where the 34th Annual Pediatric Neurology Update focusing on “Innovations for Cures and Care,” and the Children’s National Innovation Day & Showcase will be happening simultaneously. The Grants and Contracts Administration and Finance team will also hold a session for navigating the NIH application process.
  • On Friday, April 26, we will close out the week with sessions focusing on DEI work, the medical education pathway, translating research into practice and a special event at Seacrest Studios explaining research studies to patients at the hospital. The RIC will also host a symposium titled “Pediatric Medical Devices for Optimizing the Heart-Brain Continuum.”

Each day is structured to provide attendees with a rich blend of lectures, discussions, and networking opportunities. This ensures that every participant, whether attending in person or virtually, gains valuable insights and contributes to the forward momentum in pediatric healthcare research and innovation.

Gene and Cellular Therapy: Delivering on the Promise

The core focus of this year's theme is on how gene and cell therapies are being developed to treat complex diseases at a genetic level, particularly in the pediatric population. These therapies represent the forefront of medical science, offering new hopes for cures and significantly improved outcomes for young patients. REI Week will explore the successes and challenges in this rapidly evolving field through poster sessions and expert-led discussions.

How to participate

REI Week 2024 welcomes Children’s National healthcare professionals, researchers, and students to participate both in person at Children's National Hospital and virtually. All keynote lectures will be accessible via Zoom, allowing for broader participation, and will be made public after the event on YouTube. Additionally, continuing medical education (CME) credits are available for various sessions, enhancing professional development opportunities for participants.

With its blend of expert discussions, educational workshops, and networking opportunities, REI Week 2024 is set to be a pivotal event for all stakeholders in pediatric healthcare and research, delivering on the promise of next-generation therapies for children worldwide.

REI Week began in 2000 as a Research Day to showcase the breadth of translational, clinical, and community research and educational projects performed in our hospital. We hope to see you join us during the multiple events of the week. The research administration team and REI Week Planning Committee will be available all week for any questions and can be reached at [email protected].

Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., David Wessel, M.D., Linda Talley, M.S., R.N., N.E.-B.C., F.A.A.N., and Kerstin Hildebrandt, M.S.H.S., are the executive sponsors of the event.

Contact: Qudsia Saeed, Communications Intern