Pioneering clinical research for kids at new Centre

24 May 2018
Thank you

Thousands of children will have the opportunity to access novel therapies and innovative research in a safe, family-friendly environment thanks to the recently opened state-of-the-art Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Centre at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.  

The Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation generously donated $2 million to the Centre, which will help sick kids by driving forward clinical research in areas as diverse as food allergies and neurological diseases.   

The Centre was constructed as part of Kids Research Capital Works under the Westmead Redevelopment project, which was funded by the NSW State Government and by generous contributions such as this one from the Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation, as well as donations from EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment and Beryl Law's Estate.

The facility features 13 outpatient spaces, the Humpty Dumpty Paediatric Gait Analysis Laboratory, an interactive Kids Zone, a pathology specimen laboratory, a purpose-built kitchen for developing and preparing food challenges and a clinical trials pharmacy. 

Countless children and families have already benefited from medical day stays at the Centre, which was officially opened in March by the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier for NSW and the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Medical Research.

At the launch, Laura Bonarrigo, mother of five-year-old Valentino, spoke about the power of clinical research.  She shared the positive outcomes experienced by her son thanks to the Allergy and Immunology group – one of the many teams to use the new space for their growing clinical trial portfolio.  

Valentino became involved in clinical trials exploring egg tolerance at just four months of age.   While his confirmed egg allergy prevented further participation in the trial, Professor Dianne Campbell and her team developed food plans based on their research to ensure Valentino continued to thrive and grow as a healthy infant.   

Six months later, aged 10 months, Valentino was diagnosed with a severe allergy to dairy products and was at risk of anaphylaxis. Since then, after successfully completing clinical food challenges with the Allergy and Immunology group, Valentino, now five years old, no longer has an egg allergy and can tolerate baked goods.  

Valentino’s family is hopeful for the day when kids like Valentino can enjoy a slice of birthday cake, which they know can only be driven by advances in research.

Sargents Pies are long-time supporters of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and we are tremendously grateful for their unique and generous partnership supporting children’s health care  since 1998. 

For information on how you can support our brightest medical researchers look for answers to our biggest health questions and improve the health of seriously ill children, contact Dianne Wigan, Philanthropy Manager, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation on 02 9845 3473 or




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