The Children’s Research Fund was established in 1951 as a private independent initiative to raise funds for innovative biomedical research. The Children’s Research Fund has firmly established itself as one of Chicago’s leading philanthropic organizations dedicated to funding innovative medical research. Over the years, the Children’s Research Fund support has led to advanced investigation in cancer, heart disease, genetics microbiology and neonatology, improving the lives of countless children.

The Children’s Research Fund is a principal benefactor of both the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute and the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The Manne Research Institute is the research arm of the hospital and one of only a few freestanding facilities in the nation devoted exclusively to pediatric medical research. The Magoon Institute serve as the hub for all community-focused initiatives at Lurie Children’s, expanding the efforts of the Healthy Communities program that was established in 2017.

Kickoff Event

Past Children's Research Fund Board Chairs

  • Jamie Pasquale, PsyD
  • Kristi Stathis
  • Donna Drescher
  • David McHugh
  • Lesli Falk
  • Seth A. Prostic
  • Hilary Sallerson
  • Gary Wolfson
  • Richard Tannenbaum
  • Ruth Geller
  • JoAnn Eisenberg
  • Malcolm S. Kamin
  • Kit Simon
  • Betsey N. Pinkert
  • Cindy F. Wile *
  • Andrew R Gelman
  • Ned S. Robertson
  • Marion E. Simon
  • Andrew R. Gelman
  • Herbert A Loeb, III *
  • John Rosenheim
  • Frank D. Karger, Jr.
  • Irwin J. Beiderman *
  • Edwin O. Robson *
  • Leonard J. Horwich
  • Robert Lipsky
  • Gerald Eisenschiml *
  • John F. Benjamin
  • George Barr *
  • Lionel M. Nathan
  • Robert L. David *
  • Joseph M. Weil, Jr.
  • Jay A. Herz *
  • 2021-23
  • 2019-20
  • 2017-18
  • 2013-16
  • 2011-13
  • 2010-11
  • 2010
  • 2008-09
  • 2006-07
  • 2004-05
  • 2001-03
  • 1998-00
  • 1997
  • 1995-96
  • 1993-94
  • 1991-92
  • 1989-90
  • 1987-88
  • 1983-86
  • 1976-82
  • 1975
  • 1973-74
  • 1971-72
  • 1970
  • 1968-69
  • 1967
  • 1965-66
  • 1963-64
  • 1961-62
  • 1959-60
  • 1957-58
  • 1955-56
  • 1951-54

(*) Deceased

Children’s Research Fund Accomplishments

We partner with individuals, corporations and foundations to invest in innovative medical research. Since our founding in 1951, we have contributed more than $125 million to fund research staff and programs along with infrastructure and equipment. This support has resulted in improved health and lifesaving treatments for children and adults.

The Children’s Research Fund has committed to raising $25 million in philanthropy over the course of the Lurie Children’s campaign for every child.

The Children’s Research Fund’s seed funding gives the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute investigators a competitive advantage in securing external grant support. Over five years, our pilot and bridge grant support has allowed researchers to attract an additional $159.2 million in grants and contracts.

People & Programs: Funding the Engine of Research Remarkable Scientist/Clinicians and their Research Programs

One of five funded endowments, the Children’s Research Fund created a $2 million endowment to establish the Human and Molecular Genetics Research Program, creating a world-class center of translational genetic medicine. This program has led to advancements in understanding and treatment of cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, autism, infertility and cancer.

The Children’s Research Fund helped launch the Clinical and Translational Research program at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. The program has enabled the Manne Research Institute to participate in studies and medical trials that have developed new treatments for beta-thalassemia, spinal muscular atrophy, cystic fibrosis and other diseases.

Infrastructure & Equipment: Providing Great Minds Access to the Latest Tools and Inspiring Work Environment

INTRABEAM, a breakthrough Photon Radiosurgery System was funded by the Children’s Research Fund. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital was the first pediatric hospital in the U.S. approved to use this technology to treat kids with malignant brain tumors. Stephanie Flood, who shared her story at the 2016 Children’s Ball, was a pioneer for this new treatment.