From passenger safety laws to the use of surfactant to rotavirus vaccines, pediatric research innovations over the last four decades have led to life-saving discoveries and policy changes that many take for granted.

Despite the importance of these advancements, researchers don’t always do a good job explaining the impact of their work and how it saves lives, said Tina Cheng, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Pediatric Research (COPR).

That’s one reason the committee hosted a congressional briefing in December to present to lawmakers “7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research” (see sidebar). Researchers and family members impacted by the research spoke to a standing-room-only crowd, focusing on innovations in the members’ lifetimes.

The topics covered immunizations, pediatric cancer, saving premature infants, preventing HIV transmission from mothers to babies, reducing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), increasing life expectancy for children with chronic diseases, and saving lives with car...

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