A Brief History
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From Humble Beginnings to the Frontier & Beyond
CHORI History

The premier research institute now known as CHORI began almost 50 years ago with a handful of promising scientists and initial financial support from Children’s Hospital Oakland and a generous founding donation from the family of Lt. Bruce Lyon. Nothing more than an 8,000 square foot surgical laboratory located behind the hospital, The Bruce Lyon Memorial Research Laboratory (BLMRL) was the first research laboratory in Northern California dedicated exclusively to children’s diseases.

Incorporated as a nonprofit subsidiary of the hospital as a result of its exponential growth and success, the BLMRL took on its new identity as “CHORI,” the research arm of the newly named Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, in 1986. During the last 5 decades, extramural funding has grown to $50 million, endowment support to $8 million, and the overall staff to 280 under the direction of nearly 35 principal investigators.

In 1999, CHORI relocated from its roots at the hospital to the restored University High School building, built in 1923. Providing 80,000 square feet and a campus-like setting complete with courtyards, the facilities also allow for continued growth and expansion.

Throughout CHORI’s development however, the research institute has maintained its commitment to the spirit in which the organization was born. Within the charming walls of the historic building, CHORI retains its community-based, collaborative environment, while simultaneously meeting the demands of a high caliber research institute equally dedicated to pursuing scientific inquiry to its final frontier – and beyond.

Revised: April 16, 2018

© 2005 Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute
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