NSW Government grants $1.54 million for genetics research

04 May 2016
genome sequencing grants

Five research teams at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network have received a significant funding boost to their projects as part of the NSW Government’s 2015/16 Genomics Collaborative Grants Program.

SCHN researchers received five of six project grants in the funding announcement delivered by Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward and NSW Premier Mike Baird at the Garvan’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics last Wednesday.

Associate Professor Robyn Jamieson, Clinical Geneticist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, received $340,000 for her project investigating the genetic causes and treatments of early onset blindness. The new funding will enable A/Prof Jamieson and her team to continue ground breaking research into blinding genetic retinal dystrophies with the aim of facilitating new treatments. The research is hoped to help families like the White’s, whose three children are all experiencing sight deterioration due to a currently undiagnosed genetic condition.

Professor Andreas Zankl, Department Head of Clinical Genetics at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, received $300,000 for his research project on genetic disorders of the bone. This study will assist in providing patients with different bone dysplasias a genetically confirmed diagnosis and will help provide new insight into the role of a multitude of genes of skeletal development.

Dr Tony Roscioli, Clinical Geneticist at Sydney Children's Hospital, received grants for three of his research projects including;

  • $200,000 for research into primary immunodeficiencies (PID), which will use whole genome sequencing to test 100 patients and their relatives who have a PID but no identified gene,
  • $200,000 for Mendelian disorders research, which will use whole genome sequencing to identify new genes that cause the disease and provide a genetic diagnosis for the patient, and
  • $180,000 for research into severe epilepsy, which will use whole genome sequencing to assist in diagnosing the condition and is hoped to help identify the cause to improve treatments and outcomes for patients and their families.

Each of these projects will help families affected by genetic conditions at both The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital.  The generous support of Costco and SCH Foundation has helped leverage this excellent outcome for children and families with genetic disorders with their seed funding of $256,000 in 2015 supporting four of the five successful SCHN grants and has also further strengthened the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network's partnership with the Garvan Institute.

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients.

For full details about the projects, visit

https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/news/genomics_summary.pdf

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