Nation’s first research, innovation campus focused on children’s health launches in DC

The old Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. is seen in 1967. (AP Photo)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect the correct photo of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center located in Northwest D.C.

The old Walter Reed Army Medical Center location in Northwest D.C. is beginning a new chapter of caring for the community — and this time the focus is on children.

The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus is the result of a partnership between Children’s National Hospital, Virginia Tech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS.

The new campus will feature: research into new treatments and technologies for kids, and what’s described as a life science incubator that will include about 50 start-up companies working to transition research findings out of laboratories and to the public.

“Fusing together strengths in cancer research, neuroscience and computer engineering gives Virginia Tech a great opportunity to grow its physical presence in the D.C. area with a holistic purpose,” Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology said in a news release.

Friedlander is also the executive director of VTC’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia.

“The research partnership with Children’s National strategically triangulates the Virginia Tech’s billion-dollar investments in Southwest Virginia, the emerging Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria and now the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C.,” the statement said.

This is the second collaboration between Johnson & Johnson and Children’s National, according to the J&J website. Through either sponsorship or membership, the partners founded Safe Kids Worldwide, which is a nonprofit that works to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.

As they get ready for a phased launch of the Children’s National research campus this summer, recruitment is now underway to bring in start-ups from the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology fields.

The campus is adjacent to other developments on the old Walter Reed property — The Parks at Walter Reed and the State Department’s Foreign Mission Center.

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Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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