Grantmakers 2024: Children’s Trust Grants $170,000 for Startup Pediatric Research

The three grantmakers finalists, standing side-by-side, each holding their own check for awarded funds.

by Jackie Moon

2024 Writing Extern, UPMC Children's Hospital Foundation

Children’s Trust, an exclusive group of rising philanthropists, hosts the Grantmakers meeting every spring. The meeting brings together a group of hand-selected researchers whose work aims at improving pediatric health. The researchers pitch their pioneering projects to members of the Trust for a chance to win seed funding that will kick start their research. Members of the Trust stay informed with the winners’ research as they receive quarterly updates that allow them to see their philanthropic contributions in action. Join the Children’s Trust


Helping All Children with Asthma

Kristina Gaietto, MD, MPH, won first place and received $80,000 for her research on childhood asthma. Dr. Gaietto currently works as an instructor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Gaietto is particularly interested in researching childhood asthma. She plans on using the money she won to fund programs that test types of asthma in children. These programs will be centered around affordability and accessibility, ensuring that all children can get the personalized medical care they need.



Life Changing Treatment for Ewing Sarcoma

Jessica D. Daley, MD, a junior physician scientist in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology won second place, winning $60,000. She will use the grant money to fund research centered around improving survival for patients with Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer mainly found in children and young adults. Ewing sarcoma is highly invasive and aggressive and is resistant to current treatments. Her research will help children and young adults with this condition live healthier, more comfortable lives.



Research Focus: Adolescents with Epilepsy

Laura Kirkpatrick, MD, is an assistant professor of pediatrics. She received third place and was awarded $30,000 for her neurology research. She also works as a child neurologist and epilepsy specialist at UPMC Children’s. Her research is centered around adolescents with epilepsy. Specially, she focuses on reproductive healthcare for children with epilepsy who have child-bearing potential and works to aid the transition from pediatric to adult care. This work will improve the outlook for the children she treats as they continue on their health journey into adulthood.





Interested in putting philanthropy in motion by actively engaging in the lives of the patients and families served at UPMC Children’s? Learn more about Children’s Trust and become a member today.