NHMRC funding success

16 August 2018

Congratulations to Associate Professor Sue Woolfenden, Dr Nusrat Homaira and Dr Megan Gow, who have all been successful in receiving funding from the latest round of NHMRC funding announced earlier this week by the federal Government.

The success of both Associate Professor Woolfenden and Dr Homaira was a fantastic outcome for the Population Child Health research group at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, and the School of Women’s & Children’s Health, UNSW, Sydney, where the two conduct their research.

The Career Development Fellowship awarded to Associate Professor Susan Woolfenden aims to overcome health inequity by using integrated models of care for children with neurodevelopmental problems, which may range from language delay to cerebral palsy.

“Families with the least financial and social resources are most likely to have children with neurodevelopmental problems,” Associate Professor Woolfenden told UNSW, Sydney. “They are also the least likely to receive services to diagnose and treat their children. This funding will support my work with children with neurodevelopmental problems from Indigenous, socioeconomically disadvantaged and culturally diverse communities, which has supported changes in policy and practice in NSW.”

Dr Nusrat Homaira, who received an Early Career Fellowship, will use the funding to improve health care delivery services for school-aged children with asthma through an enhanced influenza vaccination strategy.

“Influenza is the one of the main infectious causes of unscheduled hospital presentations in asthmatic children,” Dr Homaira said. “My study will examine the impact of a school-based influenza vaccine delivery service on improving influenza vaccine uptake and reducing health care utilisation in Australian children with asthma and potentially act as a model for other chronic lung conditions.”

Dr Megan Gow, dietician and researcher at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney, has also received a competitive Early Career Fellowship, which will further her biomedical research.

“In the last decade there has been growing evidence to suggest that mothers pass on more than just genes to their children. Environmental factors during pregnancy have been shown to have an effect on children down the track,” Dr Gow said.

“Pregnancy is a crucial time in the life of both mother and child.  If we can maximise maternal health and well-being during that time, we will also help her child get the healthiest start in life.  My research will be focused on identifying factors in pregnancy that contribute to increased cardio metabolic risk in the infant/child and designing intervention trials to mitigate those risks,”  she said.




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