A year like no other: unprecedented grant success a win for sick children

21 July 2020
Grant Success

It has been an unprecedented year for Kids Research (KR), with more than $70 million committed to new research projects aimed at improving the lives of children suffering from conditions including rare genetic diseases, cancer, heart, kidney and infectious disease.

In the past 12 months, more than $49 million in funding has been awarded to researchers from KR and its affiliate partners, University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney for new projects, with a further $21 million awarded to joint projects with partners like Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Queensland.

Prof Chris Cowell, Director of KR says that recent grant success is not only a reflection of our world-class expertise, but the team’s commitment to creating a better future for sick children.

Living with rare or chronic diseases are incredibly challenging, with families depending on us to help find better, more effective treatments for their children, said Prof Cowell.

Projects have already begun in novel areas like acute care genomics, with new innovative clinical trials and laboratory research set to begin in coming months.

Thanks to incredible grant success, we will be able to roll out many exciting new research projects that we hope will be life-changing for children now and into the future.

Q fever, a debilitating bacterial infection most commonly spread to humans from cattle, sheep or goats is one area of focus for KR. A/Prof Nick Wood, Associate Director, Clinical Research and Services at National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) based at KR is leading a multi-centre team across Australia that will measure the safety of Q fever vaccine in young people aged 10–15 years.

It is hoped that the use of Q fever vaccine in younger adolescents could prevent the severe consequences of this disease, which can include chronic fatigue and endocarditis osteomyelitis.

Jennifer, from country NSW has already enrolled her children into the Q fever trial.

I was glad to be part of the project for two reasons - firstly, it meant that my kids who are often in the vet clinic working would actually be protected, but secondly, this is a step towards protecting younger children, mainly country kids and their families from this nasty disease, said Jennifer

Research that supports those families and communities and strengthens the understanding between our cities and country regions is good for our future

One of the largest dedicated children’s research centres in Australia, KR is currently conducting more than 150 clinical trials.  Expert teams are also driving vital national and international research into COVID-19.

A full list of new research projects is available here.

See more:

World-first trial of Q fever vaccine for young people

New National Vaccine Trial Aims to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers

A new digital data platform that will help frontline healthcare workers treat patients with COVID-19

Recent findings for COVID-19 in schools across New South Wales

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