Children's Hospital Colorado

Research Discoveries and Milestones at Children's Hospital Colorado

A researcher writes down some notes while working in the lab.

Children's Hospital Colorado's pediatric research efforts formally began in 1978. Today, we're recognized worldwide for our research in the diseases of newborns, children, adolescents and teens.

While it is impossible to capture all of our achievements over the past 30 years, the following snapshot highlights some of our most groundbreaking and internationally acclaimed research -- made possible by collaboration between The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado.

Breakthroughs and discoveries at a glance

Physicians and researchers from Children's Hospital Colorado, in partnership with the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics, are responsible for numerous nationally and internationally recognized milestones including:

  • The discovery of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
  • Methods to save newborns with severe lung disorders, including the treatment of pediatric pulmonary hypertension by using a non-invasive method of inhaled nitric oxide
  • The first newborn screening program for cystic fibrosis in the U.S.
  • The development and licensure of a new shingles vaccine
  • Identifying changes in genes that cause children to develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of pediatric cancer
  • Discovering the effects of Zinc and Vitamin E nutritional deficiencies in infants and children; established the industry standards for adding Zinc to infant formula
  • Pioneering pediatric AIDS research, as one of a handful of AIDS clinical trial groups in U.S.
  • Groundbreaking research in the treatment of hemophilia and blood-clotting disorders
  • Participation in clinical trials leading to the licensure of new pediatric vaccines including influenza and meningococcus

Learn more about the history of the Department of Pediatrics.

Acclaimed leadership, publications and ranking

  • Five faculty members of the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics (whose physicians practiced at Children's Hospital Colorado) have served as president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  • The Department of Pediatrics is responsible for writing one of the world’s most widely used textbooks, Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatments, a "bible" for family physicians and pediatricians.
  • The Department of Pediatrics ranked 8th in the nation in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report annual survey of medical schools.

Read about our other awards and honors.

Looking for outcomes from a research study?

If your child participated in a research study at Children’s Colorado, please visit for information regarding the outcomes. is intended under law to provide complete results, information and enhance patients’ access to the results of clinical trials.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact the primary investigator and/or your child’s doctor.

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