UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh made the cut for Parents magazine’s Top 15 Hospitals in Innovation and Technology.

“As the pandemic pushed pediatric hospitals to the brink in 2020 — some even took in adult patients — their research continued on,” writes Karen Cicero in the article, which will appear in the January issue of Parents magazine. “We surveyed 50 leading children’s hospitals, inquiring about innovations, response to the pandemic and technology used on a regular basis.”

While more than 200 innovations were submitted for consideration, UPMC Children’s was cited for its groundbreaking progress in diabetes research.

“There hasn’t been a new treatment for Type 1 diabetes since insulin was first used, almost 100 years ago, “ says Cicero. “That’s why there’s excitement at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh about a patented discovery that could spell the welcome end to daily needle jabs. Using gene therapy, doctors working on lab and animal studies have figured out how to reprogram cells in the pancreas so they become functional and produce insulin.”

George K. Gittes, chief of pediatric surgery at the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research, says they’ve brought the insulin needs in diabetic monkeys almost down to zero. Now, they’re working with the FDA to start trials with people sometime next year.

“In a time when health care workers have never been more essential or more appreciated, Parents sought to highlight the extraordinary efforts of children’s hospitals — not only in relation to the pandemic, but in all areas of research and medical advancement benefiting kids and families,” says Julia Edelstein, editor-in-chief of Parents magazine. “Whether or not your child ever requires hospitalization, reading about these incredible institutions will fill your heart with hope, gratitude and awe.”

Read the list of the Top 15 Children’s Hospitals here.