Translational Research Program | About

Founded in 2008, the Translational Research Program (TRP) at Boston Children's Hospital aims to stimulate and facilitate the development of preclinical and, ultimately, human translational trials seeking to improve the care of children with serious diseases. In order to do this, the TRP provides support for faculty-initiated research projects along with infrastructure to get these project done in a fast and efficient manner.  Read the TRP Annual Report.

Focus areas of the TRP include:

  • Seed Grants: Up to $100K for a one-year effort to pursue and validate innovative ideas
  • Core Grants: $100K for two-year efforts to advance research infrastructure and tools critical to translational research that can be accessed across many research disciplines 
  • Translational Investigator Service (TIS) Awards: About $600K over five years to support researchers as they conduct translational studies. 
  • Multidisciplinary Retreats: Up to $3K to foster interactions across the spectrum of research and clinical activities

Meet the Translational Research Program

Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD

Mustafa Sahin, MD, PHD


Dr. Sahin is both a leading expert on the molecular structure of the brain and a pioneer in an exciting wave of translational studies testing drugs that may improve cognitive outcomes in genetically based neurodevelopmental disorders. A foremost expert on tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)—a disease whose complications include autism and epilepsy—Dr. Sahin’s team investigates mutations implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. He leads 10-center NIH-funded study of three rare genetic syndromes that often cause autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). The study’s ultimate goal is to launch clinical trials of new treatments and develop reliable biomarkers that can be used to monitor treatment effectiveness—for three rare syndromes and possibly for broader groups of ASD/ID patients.

Judy Fleming, PhD

Associate Director

Trained as a cell and molecular biologist, Judy did her dissertation work on protein transport in platelets and endothelial cells with Denisa Wagner, PhD at the Center for Blood Research (now known as Immune Disease Institute), and received her PhD from Tufts Medical School. Judy then spent 7 years at Children's with Ellis Neufeld, MD, PhD, investigating the biochemical and genetic defects in the rare Thiamine-Responsive Megaloblastic Anemia syndrome. Leaving Children's in 2004, Judy went on to Merck & Co. at their Boston site, as a Senior Research Biologist in the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics group. In May 2008, Judy returned to Childrens, and joined the TRP as the Associate Director.