More than $5 million awarded to paediatric research

Five leading paediatric researchers and their teams have been successful in securing funding in this year's Investigator Grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

The Investigator Grant scheme is NHMRC’s largest funding scheme, providing invaluable support to foster innovative research in all areas of medical and health care. 

Projects across Sydney Children's Hospitals Network received more than $5.4 million in grants, with research focussing on a range of childhood health conditions including rare, genetic diseases, brain tumours, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases and mental health. 

The projects are:

  • “Innovating pathways to embed novel RNA technologies into clinical practice” - $2.2 million
    Led by Professor Sandra Cooper, Scientific Director at the Kids Neuroscience Centre, the project aims to embed RNA diagnostics in clinical practise, vastly improving diagnoses of families living with genetic rare disorders and revolutionising their personalised health care.

  • “Novel therapeutic strategies for childhood brain cancer” - $1.8 million
    Led by Professor David Ziegler, Senior Staff Specialist in the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, the project aims to improve outcomes for children with the most aggressive brain tumours by developing new targeted treatment strategies, investigating immunotherapies, improving drug penetration to the brain.

  • “Biomarker discovery informs precision medicine in childhood epilepsy” - $0.6 million
    Led by Dr Kavitha Kothur, Paediatric Neurologist at the Kids Neuroscience Centre, the project aims to improve our fundamental understanding of how and why epilepsy occurs and develop strategies that will change how we diagnose and treat patients with refractory epilepsy.

  • “Improving diagnoses and therapy of neuroimmunological disorders” - $2.3 million
    Led by Associate Professor Fabienne Brilot, Head of Brain Autoimmunity at the Kids Neuroscience Centre, the project aims to research immunotherapy by directly improving treatment decision-making and harnessing new therapeutic options.

  • “Optimising metabolic and mental health in the management of adolescent obesity” - $0.6 million
    Led by Dr Hiba Jebeile, Research Dietitian at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, the project to search the prevalence of mental health concerns in adolescents with obesity, how to identify adolescents at risk of developing an eating disorder, how to optimise treatment.

The projects will be a collaboration with research partners at the University of Sydney and University of NSW. Congratulations to all the teams on this outstanding achievement.