We are thrilled to announce the recipients of just over $800,000 in grants to fund vital child health research projects throughout the country.
The projects span a broad range of conditions affecting children including obesity, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), bone disorders, and child cancer.
This year’s annual grant round attracted more than 30 applications across a variety of child health research needs, with 10 projects successfully receiving funding, totalling more than $800,000.
The funding includes a collaboration between Shares in Life Foundation (SiLF) and Cure Kids which has enabled the funding of two projects focusing on treatments for the genetic condition, cystic fibrosis.
“It is an exciting time of the year for the organisation. We are privileged to work with many of our nation’s best scientists to tackle vital unmet needs in child health,” says Cure Kids CEO, Frances Benge.
The Shares in Life Foundation is the research arm of Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand, and Chief Executive Jane Bollard has welcomed the opportunity to work with Cure Kids to fund vital research.
“This agreement formalises a long-standing relationship with Cure Kids, resulting in the co-funding of research projects that are likely to result in an improvement in the care and quality of life of people with cystic fibrosis,” she said.
Mrs. Benge says the projects were selected by an independent science panel, comprising leading experts in child health.
“Where possible, Cure Kids works to minimise barriers encountered by researchers when accessing funding for high-quality projects.
“We see it as a strength to be led by the scientists; it’s their innovative thinking that has the potential to deliver the greatest impact,” she said.
For the researchers being funded, the outcome of the granting round provides relief in what is a difficult funding landscape.
Professor Steven Dakin, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Auckland, said the funding would be vital in helping advance an exciting new area in diagnosis and treatment of children with ASD.
“The role that Cure Kids plays in improving the health and well-being of our children is tremendous. Their support allows researchers like me, to apply innovation and explore areas that many of traditional funding bodies would not support.”
Prof Dakin’s work is investigating how the monitoring of children’s eye movements could assist in earlier diagnosis and potential treatment for kids with ASD.
The grants are for projects between one to three years in duration, and all will commence in 2017.