Through collaborating on a range of medical research projects, our Foundation and the Hospital continue to redefine best practice, discovering new treatments and cures that will raise the bar for Paediatric healthcare worldwide.
In the last financial year (2016/17), the WCH Foundation raised over $1.5 million towards medical research projects at Hospital.
Our research grants are developed for early to mid-term researchers. We work within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital with the aim of the findings being able to be translated into better outcomes for our patients.
Some of our recent research award include:
Professor Jenny Couper
Will be researching “Does treatment of early periodontal disease improve vascular health of children with Type 1 diabetes?”
Blood vessel disease is the cause of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and blindness in diabetes. Despite substantial improvements in diabetes care in the last 10 years, the serious complications from blood vessel disease can occur from young adult hood.
Heart disease is approximately six times more common in adults with Type 1 diabetes and early cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. Children with Type 1 diabetes have abnormal function of the lining of their blood vessels (blood vessel function). These blood vessel abnormalities are critical in the development of heart disease, appear early before other blood vessel complications in diabetes, and, importantly, are potentially reversible at this young age.
Multifaceted prevention strategies are required when these changes begin, in addition to improvement of diabetes care. Whilst we know that children with Type 1 diabetes have abnormal blood vessel function and poorer oral and gum health than children without diabetes, we do not know whether improving oral health improves early blood vessel disease. This project, for the first time, will answer this important question and therefore guide better dental care for children with diabetes.