The Saban Research Institute - Institutional Information

About CHLA

Established in 1901 and located in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is one of the nation’s largest pediatric hospitals.  It is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the top 10 pediatric hospitals for clinical excellence in the nation.  With an established track record of high-quality, patient-centered research, it is currently eighth in funding by the National Institutes of Health among children’s hospitals.  CHLA is also one of America’s premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation, since 1932, with Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).  It is also an active partner in USC’s Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute. 

As a private, non-profit hospital, CHLA provides care to a large and highly diverse pediatric population, with more than 16,000 inpatient admissions, 90,000 Emergency Department visits, and 376,000 outpatient visits every year.  Over 16,000 pediatric surgeries are performed annually, including heart and lung transplants, cardiac catheterizations, cancer and neurosurgeries, and orthopedic procedures.  The institution is designated as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, and has a 357 bed capacity, including 106 pediatric critical-care beds – more than any other hospital in the Western United States.

About Research at CHLA

One of CHLA’s overarching aims is to foster innovative research to improve the health and wellness of children, as well as ensuring the delivery of culturally competent care for diverse pediatric populations. This is achieved through a combination of basic, clinical and translational research studies focused on developing and improving diagnostics and therapeutics – research conducted under the auspices of The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States.

The Saban Research Institute is one of the few freestanding research centers in the U.S. where scientific inquiry is combined with clinical care and is devoted exclusively to children. Our goal is to improve the health and wellness of children through a combination of basic, clinical and translational studies. Research is performed at the lab bench, in the clinic and in the community. The Saban Research Institute maintains strong scientific and strategic affiliations with the University of Southern California (USC) and, in particular, the Keck School of Medicine of USC. All of the Institute’s principal investigators (clinical investigators, physician-scientists and PhD scientists) are USC faculty, and many have collaborative projects with scientists at the Keck School of Medicine and other departments at USC. The Institute’s researchers also are involved in collaborative projects with academic institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

TSRI is responsible for providing administrative support for all research activities at CHLA. This facility occupies a total of 198,000 net sq. ft. of research space on the CHLA campus including a 10 story Smith Research Tower, a 5 story Saban Research Building, an 8,000 sq. ft. Clinical Investigation Center, and a 10,000 sq. ft. Community Health, Outcomes and Intervention Research Unit. The Research Institute is home to a centralized Sponsored Projects Office, which is responsible for proposal and award administration as well as financial management. The Institute also supports a series of core facilities fully equipped with state of the art instrumentation to facilitate research at CHLA and USC.

A central initiative of TSRI seeks to understand the childhood and developmental origins of health and disease across the lifespan. The Institute’s interdisciplinary research is organized to fully explore the developmental origins of health and disease while addressing the most pressing issues of children’s health. Our Research Programs include 1) Cancer and Blood Diseases, 2) Community, Health Outcomes and Intervention Research, 3) Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, 4) Developmental Neuroscience, 5) Diabetes and Obesity, 6) Human Physiology and Imaging, and 7) Immunology, Infectious Disease and Pathogens. Additionally, TSRI has committed resources to the following strategies in pursuit of our goal of becoming a top 5 nationally ranked stand-alone children’s academic health center: 1) recruiting and retaining outstanding junior and senior faculty from all groups; 2) expanding the scientific infrastructure and research facilities to promote synergy and interaction and to enhance translational research; 3) training and mentoring the next generation of pediatric scientists; and 4) promoting innovative and interactive research.

  • Institutional Fast Facts
  • Research Training and Education
  • Research Core, Facilities and Equipment
  • Clinical Research Support Office
  • The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  • Additional Resources

Institutional Address

4650 Sunset Boulevard
MS 97
Los Angeles, CA 90027‐6062





Email (Grants)

Email (Contracts & Clinical Research)

Email (Post-Award)

Institution Type

Nonprofit with 501(c)3 IRS Status (Other than IHE)

Institution Identification Type


Institutional Profile File No. (IPF)




Employer ID No./Tax ID No. (EIN/TIN)


Entity Identification No. (EIN)




Congressional District


Date Of Incorporation

April 1, 1901

Signing Officials 

Jodi S. Ogden
Vice President, Research Operations

Karen S. Niemeier
Executive Director, Research Administration

Matthew W. McPeck
Director, Post ‐ Award and Research Finance

Lilit Amirkhanyan
Manager, Pre ‐ Award and Research Services

Assurance/Compliance Information

SAM/CCR Registration

Valid until 12/16/2021



IRB (Institutional Review Board) Registration

FWA00001914; Valid through 8/4/2022

Vertebrate Animals Welfare Assurance





D16-00175* (formerly A3276‐01); Valid through 10/31/2019

*Effective July 25, 2016, OLAW implemented a new Animal Welfare Assurance database that utilizes a new numbering format (D00-00000). However, the old numbers (A000-01) will be retained for the life of the Assurance. Institutions with an Assurance will receive a new number and may use either the new or old Assurance number in communications with NIH. For convenience, OLAW will reference both new and old Assurance numbers in Assurance-related correspondence. Institutions will be able to view the new Assurance number on the OLAW website list of Assured institutions (Domestic | Foreign) and in any Assurance-related correspondence from OLAW. Institutions seeking a new Animal Welfare Assurance will be provided an Assurance number in the new format only.

AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) Accreditation

Original accreditation: 11/30/1992. Re-evaluation in 2020.

AAHRPP (Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs) Accreditation

Original accreditation: 6/8/2012. Re-evaluation in 2020.

PHS (Public Health Service) Assurance


USDA (US Department of Agriculture) Registration


Biomedical Research Support Grant Code


Financial Information

Single Audit Compliance Letter

FY18 Compliance Letter

Cognizant Federal Agency

Department of Health & Human Services: Robert Lee, 415‐437‐7820

Current NIH Salary Cap

$197,300 (effective January 2020)

F&A Rate (Federally funded projects)

68.5% MTDC On-Campus Research (7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018)
69.5% MTDC On-Campus Research (7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019)
35.0% MTDC Off-Campus Research
69.5% MTDC On-Campus Research (7/1/2019 - 6/30/2021)
8.0% MTDC Training
40.0% MTDC Other Sponsored Activity
Hospital Rate Agreement F&A
For more information on the Indirect Rate Policy, please refer to ADM 241.0.

F&A Rate (Non‐Federally funded projects)

69.5% TDC Industry Sponsored Basic/Pre‐Clinical 
35.0% TDC Other Sponsored Activity, including clinical trials

F&A Base

Total Direct Costs (TDC) base includes all of the Direct Costs being charged to the sponsor.  Nothing is excluded from the base prior to calculating the Indirect Costs (F&A). This base is typically used when a sponsor declines to pay the organization’s full, federally approved Indirect Cost/F&A rate, but the Sponsor agrees to allow costs which would normally be excluded (Modified) in the Base, to assess Indirects.

The Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base is used when an organization’s federally negotiated rate can be applied. It is derived by excluding certain costs from the Direct Cost total. OMB’s Uniform Guidance defines this base for sponsored projects awarded on or after December 26, 2014 as follows: MTDC means all Direct Salaries/Wages, applicable Fringe Benefits, Materials/Supplies, Services, Travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each Subaward.  MTDC excludes Equipment, Capital Expenditures, charges for Patient Care, Rental Costs, Tuition Remission, Scholarships and Fellowships, Participant Support Costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. Other items may only be excluded when necessary to avoid a serious inequity in the distribution of Indirect Costs, and with the approval of the cognizant agency for Indirect Costs.

Fringe Benefit Rate 

20.3% CHLA Employee (7/1/2020-6/30/2021)
32.0% USC Paid From Federal Funds (7/1/2019-6/30/2020)
28.6% USC Paid From Federal Funds (7/1/2020-6/30/2021)
USC Fringe Rates
FY20 IDC and Fringe Rate
FY21 IDC and Fringe Rate


The Office of Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD) serves the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles community of pediatric residents, clinical fellows, postdoctoral fellows, students, and junior faculty who are conducting pediatric research. The Institute aims to recruit the most talented and dedicated research trainees from diverse backgrounds, providing them resources to advance pediatric research and build successful and fulfilling independent research careers. TECPAD supports research trainees across various career stages and at different academic levels by creating forums for researchers to interact with and learn from one another in order to build community and share ideas.  Additionally, TECPAD provides support to streamline administrative processes for research trainees.

The George Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists

The George Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists is dedicated to improving the health of children by training pediatric scientists to perform innovative and high quality research.  The Society provides mentorship, infrastructure, and a community for pediatric scientists in training.  The Society sponsors one or more Donnell Fellows per year, who are chosen at the beginning of their pediatric internship. At the time they are appointed, Donnell Fellows are guaranteed admission into the fellowship program of their choice, though applicants are not required to commit to a specific fellowship program until later in their residency. The Society covers 50 percent of fellows’ salaries during two research years of their fellowship.

Weekly Research Seminar Series

The Saban Research Institute hosts a weekly research seminar series, with lunch provided. The Research Seminar series is intended for our scientists to learn about exciting new scientific developments important to our research community.  Graduate students, research and clinical fellows as well as faculty members (MD’s and PhD’s) regularly attend our seminars, which makes the event very unique.  The topics are generally broad in scope in order to accommodate the heterogeneous research minded community at our Institution. 

Annual Poster Session

Every June, the Annual Poster Session provides the opportunity for our research community to come together and share our most recent observations and discoveries.  For over two decades, this engaging poster session has fostered this translation by bringing pediatric investigators together to ask questions, to listen, and to offer new ideas, insights, and perspectives to one another. 

Research Resource Fair

The Annual Research Resource fair provides the research community with an opportunity to learn about the resources available to support research. Clinical research personnel, postdocs, students, faculty and other staff are invited to engage with and learn from representatives of the valuable research services available at CHLA and the University of Southern California to support CHLA’s research mission. 

TSRI Annual Symposium

Each year, The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and The University of Southern California (USC) host a research symposium that highlights an important area of study to advance our understanding of the developmental origins of health and disease.

Intramural Funding Program

TSRI supports a broad intramural funding program designed to support investigators across all career stages. Supported intramural funding mechanisms include the Cores Utilization Grants, Research Career Development Awards ($60K) for junior faculty, Health Professional Research Career Development Awards ($30K) for clinician junior researchers, Team Science Grants ($100K), Pre-Doctoral Support (stipend and health fees), Research Career Development Fellowships (salary and benefits support) for postdoctoral fellows and second R01 Pilot Projects ($50K) designed for faculty with one R01 to open a new line of research to submit a second R01.

Merit Awards Program

TSRI is committed to the recruitment and retention of transformative faculty and supports a program that recognizes external funding success through annual distribution of unrestricted funds calculated at a percentage of external funding.  These funds are designed to further a faculty member’s research efforts.  

Learn more by visiting Training and Education

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

This course is designed to meet the basic educational requirements in scientific integrity and the responsible conduct of research as per "NOT-OD-10-019" (Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, November 24, 2009, released by the National Institutes of Health). The NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research.

The Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD) team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) hosts the Responsible Conduct of Research course twice per year (Spring/Fall) for trainees and faculty at all levels. The training is convened over 8 weekly sessions and entails 8-12 hours of directed discussion among attendees and faculty facilitators. 

The purpose of the course is to:

  • Facilitate awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of scientific research across the institution
  • Comply with requirements for NIH funding
  • Demonstrate CHLA’s commitment to ethical conduct in research activities across the institution

Content areas include:

  1. Introduction to responsible conduct in research and basic ethics
  2. Policies for human subjects
  3. Animal research and safe lab practices
  4. Research misconduct and conflicts of interest
  5. Responsible authorship, publication and peer review
  6. Data acquisition
  7. Collaborative research
  8. Contemporary ethical issues and responsibilities in biomedical research

Attendance and completion of assigned tasks result in the award of a certificate of completion which stipulates that the individual has met all the federal requirements for such education.

For questions or additional information about the course, please contact

The Saban Research Institute provides scientific direction and the critical space to support a wide array of research activities at CHLA. The Institute supports a number of core facilities fully equipped with state of the art instrumentation to facilitate research at CHLA.  An overview of these core facilities and equipment is as follows:

Animal Core

The Animal Core consists of an Animal Care Facility (ACF) as well as an Acute Animal Care Facility (AACF). The ACF provides state-of-the-art housing for research animals and support to investigators performing research on animals, and is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and maintains a facility where animal research is performed with the highest standards. Services include animal purchasing and housing, quarantine facilities, training of investigators in the performance of animal research, and assistance in performing minor and surgical procedures with animals.


The 10,940 square foot ACF has 19 animal housing rooms, 5 procedure rooms, 2 BSL2 rooms, 1 quarantine room, and several storage rooms. Also, there is office space, restrooms/lockers, and a lounge area to support numerous staff members.


  • HEPA-filtered air distribution system
  • Automated RO water supply system
  • Static micro isolator cages
  • Steris 36 inch belt tunnel washer and dryer
  • Automatic bedding dispenser unit
  • Pass-through washer and bulk autoclave
  • Heat sensitive tape for cage sanitation
  • Automatic watering valves
  • Freezer/24 hour refrigerator
  • Additional state of the art equipment includes an irradiator, caging, and security equipment.

The Acute Animal Care Facility (AACF) provides housing for animals with special care requirements. The facility provides short-term or acute housing for laboratory animals; it is not intended for long-term housing of breeding colonies. Both facilities are monitored by the Animal Facility Usage Committee, which establishes policies related to the use of the facilities, and the Animal Care and Use Committee, which reviews and approves protocols involving animal research.

Biostatistics Core

The Biostatistics Core is at CHLA is jointly supported by The Saban Research Institute and the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The Core is designed to support efficient and accurate data collection and analysis by providing a variety of consultation services, including research design, grant planning, data collection and consultation for presentations and publications for researchers.  The Core has been built to reflect the institution’s growing research portfolio in the areas of basic, translational, clinical, health services, and community health research. Members of the Biostatistics Core offer assistance with:

  • Study/experimental design
  • Power/sample size
  • Randomization schema
  • Statistical analysis plan
  • Analysis of results
  • Data acquisition plan
  • Data cleaning and management
  • Data sharing plan

Cellular Imaging Core

The Cellular Imaging Core provides access to state-of-the-art equipment in microscopy and digital imaging to investigators at CHLA. The primary focus of the Core is technology transfer and provision of facilities for acquisition and analysis of histological and cytological preparations. An important aspect of this technology transfer is to provide training in the use of digital imaging devices, as well as in the application of image analysis procedures for generation of quantitative data.


  • LaVision Biotec UltraMicroscope II fluorescence lightsheet microscope Zeiss LSM 710 point-scanning spectral confocal microscope
  • Zeiss LSM 700 point-scanning confocal microscope
  • Combined fluorescence/color transmitted light microscopes: Leica DMI6000B (SRT 1030A), Nikon Eclipse Ti (SRT 309C), and Zeiss AxioObserver
  • Zeiss Axiovert 200M spinning disk confocal live cell imaging microscope
  • The Leica DMIRE2 fluorescence live cell imaging microscope
  • Leica MZFLIII fluorescence stereo and Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) microscope
  • Zeiss Axioplan color transmitted light microscope
  • 3D image visualization and analysis workstation, which includes a 32-thread processor, 128 GB of RAM, a fast 2TB solid-state drive (SSD) for working storage, a 10 TB hard drive for archival storage, and a NVIDIA graphics card with 11 GB of video memory and 3584 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), and software installed Arivis Vision 4D, AutoQuant AutoDeblur , ImageJ/FIJI , Molecular Devices MetaMorph , Adobe Photoshop , Reindeer Graphics FoveaPro , MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox  and Major microscope manufacturer software for efficient display of native file formats: Zeiss ZEN, Zeiss AxioVision, Leica LAS, Nikon Elements Viewer

Extracellular Vesicle Core

The purpose of the ECV Core is to provide the research community with expertise, optimized tools and emerging technologies to support research in the developing fields of extracellular vesicle and nanoparticles research. The Core provides isolation, characterization, analysis and engineering of extracellular vesicle (i.e. exosomes, 50-150 nm in diameter) and other nanoparticles. The Core also assists with the generation and analysis of other nanoparticles. Other services include the isolation and analysis of exsomal RNA, the generation of fluorescent exosomes, the generation of exosomes carrying fluorescent RNA probes and the generation of nanoparticles labeled with specific antibodies.


  • Nanosight NS-300
  • Size exclusion chromatography columns and fraction collectors
  • Ultrafiltration chamber
  • Electrophoresis chambers
  • Turboblot
  • Microcentrifuge, refrigerated
  • Microcentrifuge

Fluorescent Activated (FACS) Core

The FACS Core provides technical expertise and access to equipment for CHLA investigators who use analytical and sorting flow cytometry. Data acquisition is achieved with specialized computer software directly interfaced with the cytometer. The following applications are supported by instrumentation at CHLA: Absolute Counts, Apoptosis, Calcium Flux, Protein Co-localization, Cytometric Bead Assay (CBA) for up to 30 soluble cytokines or proteins per sample, DNA Cell Cycle Analysis, Flow-FISH for telomere length, Immunophenotyping, Intracellular and Nuclear proteins analysis, Live cell sorting, PhosFlow, Rare Event Detection/Sorting, Reporter Molecules, Side Population, Single-cell Cloning, Single Color Apoptosis, Sizing, Spot Counting for viral load, Subcellular compartmentalization, Synapse activity, Translocation, and Viability.


  • The three-color FACScan (BD) analyzer is a one-laser instrument, capable of collecting a maximum of seven parameters: two scatter, three colors (green, yellow-orange, and red), plus two derived parameters. CellQuest Pro  software drives this instrument.
  • The four-color FACSCalibur (BD) analyzer is a two-laser instrument, capable of collecting a maximum of eight parameters: two scatter, four colors (green, yellow-orange, red, and a second red), plus two derived parameters. CellQuest Pro  software drives this instrument.
  • The seventeen-color LSR-II (BD) analyzer incorporates four solid-state lasers (blue, red, and violet, UV). It is suitable for the CBA assay. DiVa software drives the LSR-II.
  • The FACSAria-I (BD) instrument is equipped with three lasers capable of detecting up to thirteen colors and are high-speed cell sorters. It delivers four populations simultaneously to purity frequently in excess of 99%. The Aria-I laser bench holds solid-state lasers—488nm, 633nm, and 405nm—that are delivered to the flow cell via fiber optic cabling. DiVa software  drives the instrument.
  • The DiVa FACS Vantage SE (BD) has three lasers—a 488 nm Laser, a 635 nm, and the Innova I-302 tunable krypton laser—with UV, Violet, Green, Yellow, or Red line capability. The Vantage collects up to eight colors: four parameters (laser 1), two parameters (laser 2), and two parameters (laser 3). This is in addition to two scatter parameters as well as derived parameters. Specialized assays available include Calcium Flux and side population. Recently upgraded with a stand-alone air compressor, the DiVa FACSVantage is capable of ultra-slow speed to high-speed cell sorting. DiVa software drives the instrument.
  • The ImageStream 100 (Amnis) is a first imaging flow cytometer. Loaded with three lasers—488nm, 633nm, and 405nm—it will capture six digital images (spatial resolution: 0.75NA, 0.5μm pixel size) of each cell, measuring morphology, brightfield, and up to four parameters of fluorescence. The spectral decomposition element splits the cell imagery into six spectral bands, one for each CCD camera. The unique time-delay integration tracks the motion of the cells and increases the signal 1,000 fold before an image is recorded. Inspire software is used for data acquisition and IDEAS software is used for data analysis.

Analysis Stations—Upon data acquisition, stations are available for free-of-charge data analysis. Software packages currently available include Cell Quest, FlowJo-Mac, Flow Jo-PC, VenturiOne, and Modfit.

Human MRI Research Core

The state-of-the-art Philips Achieva dStream 3.0T MRI system in the Human MRI Research Core offers investigators unique access to a 3.0T MR system dedicated to research (CHLA is one of only 3 free-standing Children’s Hospitals in the US with a dedicated research MR scanner), the Philips scanner is the nucleus of a mounting imaging research program here at CHLA. The research dedicated 3.0 T system provides an opportunity to develop, refine, test and implement novel MR protocols and greatly accelerate the implementation of these advanced protocols to the clinical care of patients here at CHLA. In addition, the research agreement with Philips gives the accessibility to research protocols for development and advancement of imaging protocols.


The MRI Scanner is equipped with 32-channel head and 2 32-channel torso coils allowing for faster acquisition and higher resolution examinations of both the head (brain) and body. 16 channel MV, transmit-receive head, and flex coils are also available. In addition, the MRI suite is equipped with the VisuaStim a MR-compatible video-goggle and headphones system which may be used to present stimuli during functional imaging studies or child-friendly videos during structural scans, thereby reducing anxiety and boredom and allowing children as young as 4 years of age to participate in MR studies. A video camera has also been installed in the scanner room to monitor patient movement and enhance the safety of our pediatric patients during their MR scans. A Biopac physiological monitoring system is available as well (ECG, pulse-ox, respirations) that may be used to monitor patients and to carry out advanced imaging acquisitions that time the MR scans to the patient’s physiology (thereby removing artifacts generated by breathing or blood pulsing through arteries). Additionally, the core has a mock scanner equipped with a VisuaStim with goggles and headphones and motion sensor for MRI scanner simulation to prepare participants for scans and provide a MRI scanner-like experience. 

Neuropsychology Core

The purpose of the Neuropsychology Core is to provide collaboration and study design on grants proposals to determine the neurodevelopmental or neuropsychological assessment battery to address research questions. The Core provides data collection and interpretation of subjects aged 3 months to 65 years through neurodevelopmental evaluations (assessments of cognition, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor skills, social skills and adaptive functioning), autism spectrum evaluations (structured parent interview and child evaluation) and neuropsychological evaluations (assessments of attention, working memory, processing speed, language, fine and gross motor skills, visuo-constructional skills, verbal and non-verbal learning and memory, executive functions, intellectual functioning as well as social, emotional, behavioral and adaptive functioning.

Saban Metabolic Core

The Saban Metabolic Core provides access to state-of-the-art technology and high quality metabolic phenotyping services to basic science researchers studying diabetes to basic science researchers studying diabetes, obesity and metabolism. Phenotyping experiments are conducted at CHLA by highly trained and experienced core personnel using the most up-to-date, standardized techniques. The services include, body composition (NMR), indirect calorimetry, locomotor activity, food intake, glucose and insulin tolerance, pyruvate tolerance, leptin tolerance, glucose CLAMP, sample collection, hormone and lipid assay, core temperature, tissuelyser as well as consultation and training.


  • TSE Homecage System
  • EchoMRI 700 NMR
  • TissueLyser
  • Olympus Micrscope

Small Animal Imaging Core

The Small Animal Imaging Core provides investigators with access to state-of-the-art imaging equipment for research that involves small animals, primarily mice and rats. Staffed with a number of research specialists and research assistants, this Core provides images to investigators and facilitates image processing and interpretation via collaboration with the Radiology Department.


  • Bioluminescence/Fluorescence imaging
  • Micro-CT
  • 7 Tesla small bore MRI
  • High-Res plain film X-ray
  • Micro-Spect-CT
  • Real-time Doppler ultrasound

Stem Cell Analytics Core

The Stem Cell Analytics Core is a centralized support facility with dedicated, well equipped, and well-maintained space providing tissue culture and other equipment support to the entire Saban Research Institute community.  

The Core’s primary mission is to facilitate stem cell research, innovation and interactions to enable successful funded research projects.  To this end, investigators may rent shared, meticulously maintained, and fully equipped tissue culture facilities and utilize facility staff for tissue culture support, training, and supplies management (including ordering, inventorying, stocking). The Core also provides cell line validation services such as mycoplasma testing and third party STR and karyotyping. We provide access to shared equipment such as Nucleofector, fluorescence plate reader, real time PCR machines, fluorescence and dissection microscopes and freezers.


  • Nikon Eclipse Ti Microscopy System
  • Nikon TS100 Fluorescent Inverted Microscope
  • TS100F
  • Applied Biosystems 7900HT Fast Real-time PCR System
  • Cuvette-based Nucleofector
  • 96-well shuttle from Amaxa/Lonza
  • Imagestream 100 imaging flow cytometer

Single Cell, Sequencing and CyTOF (SC2) Core

The purpose of the SC2 Core is to provide the research community with new, rapidly evolving technologies and instrumentation options for projects of any scale, from individual researchers to large international teams, spanning single cell genomic and mass cytometry, microbiome sequencing, gene expression profiling and high throughput RNA and DNA sequencing. With a focus on rapid, accurate, reproducible high-throughput services and the bioinformatics support to interpret the results, the Core is committed to rigorous quality control standards to support the use of biological sciences for the advancement of biomedical research.


  • Helios System (CyTOF)
  • C1 Single Cell
  • Biomark HD
  • NextSeq 500
  • MiSeq DX
  • QiaCube
  • Qiagility
  • 2100 Bioanalyzer
  • 10X Genomics System

Translational Biomedical Imaging Laboratory

Using imaging technologies to observe the natural course of biology in action, within living organisms, will help accelerate development of new diagnostics and treatments. The Translational Biomedical Imaging Laboratory (TBIL) provides dynamic imaging equipment and technical expertise to accelerate the trajectory of scientific discovery from bench to bedside, and is currently collaborating on studies that include intestinal stem cell propagation, neuroblastoma and heart regeneration. TBIL is designed as a research accelerator that brings clinicians together with researchers who are defining the basic mechanisms that build organs, so that they can design better therapies.

Bioimaging includes powerful, innovative tools for the study of biological processes—such as confocal microscopes that can image virtually any specimen on a slide or culture dish, live-cell imaging and in-vivo fluorescence imaging.  Additionally, confocal laser scanning microscopy allows investigators to acquire in-focus images from selected depths, a process known as optical sectioning. Images are then acquired point by point and reconstructed with a computer, allowing three-dimensional reconstructions of topologically complex structures. All of these methods hold enormous potential for a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Instrumentation Capabilities

  • Live Imaging Lab – with a multi-spectral, multi-photon microscope for high-resolution imaging of living specimens
  • High-Speed Microscopy Lab – offering high-speed, volumetric imaging
  • Extended Volume Imaging Lab – providing an integrated microtome and laser-scanning microscope for imaging large specimens
  • Quantitative Image Analysis and Visualization Suite – providing high resolution workstations for image processing and image analysis The “Collaboratory” –interaction space with high resolution video and video conferencing capabilities

Washing Core

The Saban Washing Core provides centralized support of glassware washing for investigators housed in the Saban Research Building and Smith Research Tower (SRT). Staffed by four full-time employees Monday through Friday. Services include collection of glassware and instruments from laboratories, washing, autoclaving, and return of clean glassware and instruments to laboratories.  Saban Equipment—3 pass-thru autoclaves, 2 pass-thru washers and dryers, all state of the art.  SRT Equipment – 2 autoclaves, 1 washer and 2 dryers.


The Clinical Research Support Office (CRSO), in collaboration with the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, provides efficient and cost-effective research support to facilitate efficient, high-quality, and safe clinical research and trials throughout CHLA. CRSO staff are experts in implementing, conducting, and monitoring clinical research studies and trials from start-up to close-out, supporting both novice and experienced clinical investigators and study teams.

Research Navigation: Our Research Navigator connects investigators with the services and support needed to conduct efficient, safe and high-quality clinical research and trials at CHLA. This includes study design, feasibility assessment, regulatory and IRB approval, participant recruitment, study implementation and coordination, registration and billing, study closeout, etc.

Navigating the Lifecycle of a Clinical Trial.png

Clinical Research Coordinator Pool

Our Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) pool supports research studies across the clinical divisions of CHLA. They are centrally managed and trained, SOCRA-certified and collectively provide a broad range of knowledge and expertise about conducting pediatric clinical research studies and trials here at the hospital. The CRCs are available on a fee-for-service basis to join your study team to help implement and conduct all aspects of a study from start-up to close-out.

Research Nursing Pool

Our dedicated research nurses facilitate clinical research by conducting protocol specific study activities. The nurses are able to travel to clinics or inpatients when needed to facilitate patient participation. All of our nurses are PALS certified, are trained to support specimen processing and shipping, and can assist with clinical research participant registration and CHLA hospital billing. Procedures include: detailed assessments of research participants; peripheral blood-draws; blood draws from central venous catheters; research medication administration; oral glucose tolerance tests; and other research protocol specific clinical interventions.

Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

The Clinical Trials Unit supports outpatient and inpatient clinical trials and research studies for research teams throughout CHLA. The unit is located on the first floor in the main hospital building, in a 1625 square foot outpatient facility, alongside the Children’s Health Imaging Research Program, with four dedicated patient care areas for research participant evaluations and interventions, as well as a research laboratory for specimen processing.

Research Regulatory Support

Regulatory support is critical for any clinical research involving children.  Each study requires rigorous institutional and federal regulatory review and documentation, including approval of human subject protection by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Our Regulatory and IRB Support Specialist provides the clinical research community at CHLA with support and information, as well as fee-for-services to coordinate regulatory affairs for clinical research studies and trails. Support includes: preparation and submission of study protocol to Institutional Review Board (IRB); preparation and filing of Investigational New Drug/Investigational Device Exemption (IND/IDE) initial submissions to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as yearly reports; and completion of essential study regulatory documents.

The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) was established in 2008 to address one of the most important problems in the health sciences: the difficulty of translating basic research into real-world medical interventions. Leveraging generous institutional support from the University of Southern California (USC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and a large Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health, the SC CTSI has built an organization devoted entirely to improving the success of translational science with tools and programs that support researchers and their work.

The SC CTSI has emerged as a valuable, multi­faceted resource for pre-clinical, clinical and community-partnered translational research at USC, CHLA, and throughout Southern California. The SC CTSI has created unique institutional partnerships involving USC, CHLA, the Los Angeles County Departments of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health, and more than 40 community organizations with special interests in improving the health of our neighbors throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. The SC CTSI has supported more than 800 investigators in their quest to create and apply new diagnostic and therapeutic advances, medical procedures, and behavioral interventions to improve clinical care and the health of individuals and the public. This work has generated $62 million in new extramural grant funding, and has had great impact on the scientific community, as evidenced by over 350 peer-reviewed scientific publications from SC CTSI-supported projects.

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Resources

The program offers individualized support across the lifecycle of clinical and translational research studies. Services include advice and assistance with developing study protocols, experimental designs, and analytical strategies; preparing data analysis plans, including interim efficacy and safety monitoring; creating and reviewing data acquisition plans, including collection and coding; responding to reviewer comments; and training on study design, data collection, and data analysis.

Clinical Research Informatics

The program creates and operates the information infrastructure to support clinical trials and a broad range of clinical research, focusing on large enterprise-wide informatics tools and systems within USC, across partner institutions, and with external collaborating organizations. This includes enabling the expansion and effective use of clinical data in conjunction with information technologies, as well as the broad, safe, and compliant discovery, reuse, and sharing of data through the development of a federated clinical data warehouse for research. The program also provides training in informatics tools and methods to conduct multidisciplinary research.

Clinical Translation/Clinical Trials Unit

The program supports human mechanistic studies and early phase clinical trials by providing the appropriate clinical research infrastructure (two Clinical Trials Units [CTUs] — one at the Keck Medical Center of USC and one at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles) and assisting investigators in the development and conduct of their studies. The CTUs provide a well-equipped physical space, well-trained and dedicated clinical research staff, and a laboratory for specimen handling and processing.

Community Engagement: The program bridges researchers and local communities, building sustained partnerships to ensure that research initiatives meet real community needs. Researchers benefit by focusing on timely, responsive, culturally relevant targets, while community members can directly influence research choices and academia-community relations. Services include training and technical assistance workshops for community-engaged research, individual consultations for faculty, partners and community members, and matchmaking between those constituencies.

Education, Career Development, and Ethics

The program plays an essential role in the training and career development of the next generation of clinical and translational researchers and offers in-depth training and career development for selected pre-doctoral trainees and early career clinical researchers through NIH-supported programs. Access to certificate and Master of Science programs and assistance with locating mentors and improving mentoring skills are available for a wider audience throughout USC and CHLA. In addition, the Research Ethics program provides education and training as well as consultations to help researchers and clinicians anticipate, identify, and respond to ethical issues.

Electronic Home and Digital Strategies for Clinical Research

The program promotes innovation in communications and technology to develop and disseminate highly accessible, web-based research tools, services, and information resources. Areas of focus include easy access and discoverability of knowledge resources, novel ways to enable research collaborations, and promotion of clinical studies. The program also develops technical solutions that improve operational efficiencies for planning, evaluation, and tracking. The program further coordinates SC CTSI communications and develops novel, measurable communications approaches to more effectively increase the visibility of research and engage partners.

Planning, Evaluation, and Tracking

With a focus on transparency and accountability, the PET program works to create a more strategic organization with greater alignment between program and institute-wide priorities and activities. It supports the development of goals, targets, and relevant metrics of success, assesses progress, and improves overall performance and management to build a data- and metrics-driven organization. SC CTSI measures its impact in various ways including efficiency of service delivery, transformative changes in how research is conducted, and new science generated.

Pre-Clinical Translation and Regulatory Support

The program served as an accelerator for pre-clinical development of novel therapeutics, devices, and biomarkers. It catalyzed the advancement of projects towards commercial implementation and clinical practice by connecting investigators to experts and offering regulatory support services.

Research Development: The program fosters the establishment and development of interdisciplinary clinical and translational research teams, projects, and programs. It awarded ~$1M annually in pilot grants to support research, team building, and career development across all phases of translational research. Activities include active team-building, support for interdisciplinary project development, pilot funds for project initiation, and assistance with strategies for securing sustainable funding.

The Children’s Hospital Health Sciences Library provides resources and services to CHLA staff.   In addition to its collection of 3500 print books and 170+ current print journal subscriptions, the library supplies access to over 200 electronic books and 2000 electronic journals. Online access is available anywhere in the hospital or from remote computers that connect to the USC network.

In addition to books and journals, the library also provides local and remote access to various journal article databases including:  Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid CIwwNAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO, Science Citation Index, and Journal Citation Reports.  The library’s book and journal catalog, as well as that of the USC Norris Medical Library (with whom the CHLA library has reciprocal borrowing agreements), is searchable online as well.

Library services include mediated literature searching (searches conducted by a librarian), interlibrary loan borrowing (for obtaining materials that the CHLA library does not own), Ovid AutoAlerts (a current awareness service that delivers weekly citations that match a researcher’s predefined topic), and HouseCalls (one-one-one, time-of-need meetings where the librarian can instruct users on a variety of topics including database searching, PowerPoint, or EndNote).

The Department of Pediatrics holds a NICD Child Health Research Career Development Award (K12) (PI, D. Brent Polk, MD) to provide supervised research training and mentoring to assist the transition into productive physician scientists in areas related to pediatrics and its subspecialties.