Cutting-edge research projects are crucial to the RCH.
Not only do they attract the best and brightest to work at the hospital, they fuel breakthroughs that help children get better and go home faster. This is amplified by the fact that campus partners, like Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) work so closely with the RCH, allowing ground-breaking research to be put into practice quickly.
In order to get research projects off the ground, the RCH Foundation and MCRI combined forces and split their first-year funding. Both organisations granted $25,000 to each project and the investment has paid off.
In total, the funded projects featured in 43 medical and scientific publications, resulted in two significant genetic discoveries, obtained three coveted National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants, received one NHMRC Fellowship, secured almost $660,000 in external competitive grant funding, and have provided the basis for ongoing knowledge creation.
- Tuberculosis: developing new diagnostic tests to combat global tuberculosis. This project was awarded additional funding by the John Burge Trust Fund to continue its work.
- Optimising pre-term infant cardiovascular function: developing an optimal treatment strategy for cardiovascular circulatory support in preterm newborns. The seed funding successfully helped this project obtain an NHMRC grant.
- Speech and language disorders: identifying genes that cause speech disorders and combining expertise in speech pathology diagnosis, gene discovery and brain imaging. The discovery of genes contributing to speech disorders won this projects funding through worldwide foundation March of Dimes.
- Preventing obesity in young people: testing the effects of online health promotion programs in secondary schools. Early results have led to a collaboration with a key researcher in child obesity and eating disorders.
- Health risks in puberty: aims to understand the links between puberty and mental health issues. Gained funding for a portion of the study and has led to a partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
- Pneumococcus vaccine: seeks to identify the impact antibiotics and immune suppressant drugs managing Crohn’s disease have on gut flora and how specific bacteria can cause disease recurrence or remission.
The success of these projects thanks to crucial first-year funding highlights the importance innovative research at the RCH.
With the first year of research complete, many of these project are being re-submitted to the NHMRC and other funding bodies and stand a better chance of receiving suitable funding for completion.