Children’s Mercy hires new Chief Scientific Officer to lead Children’s Research Institute

Children’s Mercy hires new Chief Scientific Officer to lead Children’s Research Institute

On February 1, Dr. Tom Curran was named Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s Mercy. “What attracted me to Children’s Mercy (is that) they have a fantastic hospital with really good people,” Curran told The Kansas City Star earlier this year. “You already have excellence in certain areas of research and what was missing was really somebody like me who has a background in building research structures and integrating them into a clinical research environment.” 

Curran comes to Children’s Mercy with an extensive background in both academia and medical research. Originally from Scotland, Curran received his PhD from London’s Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories and University College before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California. After rising to the position of Associate Director at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey, Curran founded the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2006, Curran began tenure as Deputy Scientific Director at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Curran’s research interests have encompassed the areas of molecular biology, cancer research, and neurobiology. Currently, his research focuses on pediatric brain tumors, brain development and genomics, and precision medicine.

The newly established Research Institute focuses on four key research efforts: pediatric genomic medicine, clinical pharmacology, health services and outcomes, and health care delivery. Curran explained to The Kansas City Star that as Executive Director, he will put his personal goals aside in order to help the Research Institute advance pediatric medicine.

“Probably the most important roles that I play won’t be apparent to anyone. Behind the scenes I have to make sure that things work and keep everyone on the right track and support the people who are really going to make a difference. I will, of course, continue my own labs, but my part is to really help other people achieve their goals more than my own personal ambition.”

Learn more about how Children’s Mercy is leading the way in pediatric translational research: