The Hunter Children’s Research Foundation (HCRF) raises funds for important research into children’s terminal and debilitating illnesses. Formed in 1996, the Foundation is authorised to fundraise by HMRI and is also affiliated with HNEkidshealth – Children, Young People and Families.
Money raised by HCRF stays in the Hunter to fund children’s research projects in areas like asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and sleep disorders – illnesses that can affect any family at any time.
HCRF provides funds for essential research equipment, to employ research support staff and fund research grants for new and ongoing research. It is overseen by an independent committee, the Children Young People & Families Research Executive, who guides the assessment and allocation of funding for children’s research, in collaboration with HMRI.
The ReaCH 200 is a group of local businesses and individuals who to contribute to children’s research through HCRF. HCRF also holds its own fundraising events, and receives proceeds from various charity functions, raffles and sponsorships.
In 2011, retired paediatrician (turned artist) Dr Cliff Hosking was announced as Patron of HCRF. In 2015, Michael and Sue Hagan, Matt Hall and Anna Weatherup were announced as HCRF Ambassadors to help spread the word and why it is so important to support children’s medical research.
Support or connect with the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation:
- Follow HCRF on Facebook
- For more information, please call Lorraine Gardner, HCRF Secretary/Treasurer, on 0416 044 754.
In addition to the grants listed below, during 2017 HCRF in conjunction with the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre Grow Up Well funded the following project grants:
- Dr Malcolm Starkey - Understanding the role of Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC2s) in paediatric urinary tract infections
- Dr Adam Collison - Role of circRNAs in human eosinophilic Oesophagitis - a novel assessment of disease pathogenesis with potential diagnostic and therapeutic benefit
- Dr Vanessa Murphy - Management of asthma during pregnancy, early life nutrition and offspring respiratory outcomes at age 3
- Professor Joerg Mattes - Grow Well Smoke Free: A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial in pregnancy
Eosinophilic Oesophagitis in childhood is associated with chronic heartburn, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, failure to thrive, food getting stuck in the oesophagus and can result in permanent scarring of the oesophagus. Delays in diagnosis and treatment failure is not uncommon. There is no cure, and no predictor for treatment response has been identified.
The heart is a complex structure designed to help pump blood efficiently around the body. While much is known about how the heart contracts and changes shape, limited attention has been paid to the properties of the blood flowing inside the cardiac chambers.
Urinary tract infections are a common cause of bacterial infection, mostly affecting females. These infections can cause long-term damage to the urinary tract, especially when they occur in children.
Type 1 Diabetes is associated with a significant, on-going health care burden for the individual and the community. While insulin pump therapy will tailor the insulin dose and delivery accordingly, insulin dosing for carbohydrate, fat and protein is significantly more complicated than determining the insulin dose for carbohydrate alone.
Internationally, 41 million children aged 0-5 years were overweight or obese in 2016(1). Poor nutrition is one of the most important risk factors for the development of obesity(2). As early childhood is a formative time for developing healthy eating behaviours, population health strategies that support children to eat better are of upmost importance(3).
Urinary leakage in the daytime, feeling of urgency to urinate and frequent urination are common and often incapacitating problems in school-aged children. If affects 5-10% of healthy, otherwise normal children and significantly disrupts their day-to-day life and learning.(6,7) This has consequences for mental health and healthy development.
Asthma affects one in eight children in Australia and is the leading cause of hospitalisations and emergency visits, with an estimated annual health care cost of more than 24 billion Australian dollars in 2015. Asthma is the most common medical complication in pregnancy and is strongly associated with the development of childhood asthma. ntion strategy for asthma.
Children’s participation in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day is essential for their healthy growth and development[ and the prevention of future chronic disease. Despite this, international research indicates that many school-aged children, in particularly girls, are not sufficiently active. It is estimated that girls are between 17-19% less active than boys with differences beginning from as young as 8 years. Improving physical activity during childhood, particularly among girls, has been identified as a public health priority.
The left atrium (LA) is one of the four chambers of the heart. Its primary roles are to act as a holding chamber for blood returning from the lungs and to act as a pump to transport blood to the left ventricle of the heart, after which the blood flows to the body.
Cancer is the most common cause of childhood disease-related deaths, with leukaemia the most common childhood cancer in Australia. The two most common forms of leukaemia in children are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Whilst remission is achievable in over 95% of ALL cases, 1/3 of patients will relapse within 5 to 10 years, and these children will not be long-term survivors. AML accounts for 20% of all childhood leukaemias, and the outlook for children diagnosed with AML is much worse, with only approximately half of children surviving for 5 years post-diagnosis.
Dr Scott Nightingale, Dr Milena Heinsch, Associate Professor Maria Kangas (Macquarie University), Professor Mike Jones (Macquarie University)
Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, is one of the few effective therapies for children with functional abdominal pain. But CBT sessions can be costly and difficult to access, particularly as multiple sessions are required.
Dr Komal Vora, A/Professor Patricia Crock, Dr Vicki Maltby
HCRF has funded Dr Komal Vora’s study into Prader-Willi Syndrome – a complex genetic disorder that affects development and growth of the child, manifesting as cognitive disability, obesity, short stature and a chronic feeling of hunger.
Children born to mothers with asthma are three times more likely to develop asthma themselves than those with asthmatic fathers, which suggests that a risk factor extends beyond genetics. There is emerging evidence that bacteria in the infant’s gut can impact immune function and contribute to the types of immune responses that are seen in asthma.
Preterm birth continues to be a major health problem throughout the world.
Dr Adam Collison, Dr Rani Bhatia
While symptoms of food allergy range from mild to severe, patients with peanut allergy are at the highest risk of a potentially life threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis affecting up to half of all individuals who are allergic to peanut.
Engaging fathers to improve physical activity levels and social-emotional well-being in their daughters
Children’s screen-time is high. The time that young people spend sedentary, especially the time they spend alone watching television and using computers, is a major public health issue.
Bronchiolitis is a very common life-threatening virus infection of the terminal airways affecting infants only.
The thyroid gland is responsible for the secretion of hormones involved in growth, sleep patterns, and cognitive development.
This project will identify maternal health factors (demographic, health bejaviour, physical and mental health, perceived stress and life events) that are risk factors for low birth weight.
Dr Adam Collison, Dr Rani Bhatia
Six to eight percent of children suffer from clinically relevant food allergy and the prevalence is increasing worldwide(1-3).
Dr Donald Anderson, Dr Bruce King, Hphelan, Associate Professor P Cook, Mneylan, Carmel Smart
Dr Donald Anderson, Dr Bruce King, Associate Professor Pcook, Mneylan, Carmel Smart
Dr Rick Thorne, Charles de Bock, Lisa Lincz
Associate Professor Clare Collins, Dr Ian Wright
Dr Ian Wright
Professor Caroline Blackwell
Professor Patricia Crock
Professor Peter Gibson, Dr BJ Whitehead, Professor M Hensley
Mr Richard Fletcher, Dr DR Keatinge
Dr Clare Collins, Dr J Warren
Dr Ian Wright, Dr VL Clifton
Dr Mark Chorlton, Dr Frini Karayanidis, Prof K Nunn
Professor Patricia Crock
Professor Peter Gibson, Dr B Whitehead, Professor M Hensley
Associate Professor John Stuart, Professor C Blackwell
Dr Michelle Adams, Dr MD Lucock, Associate Professor J Stuart
Professor Gillian Turner, Dr Lynn Banna
Professor Diana Keatinge, Dr C Fowler
Dr Richard Nicholson, Dr BR King
Dr John Stuart, Professor C Blackwell
Dr Tamas Zaka, Dr IMR Wright
Dr G Anderson, Sr E Nunn
Dr Roger Smith, Dr Mick Hunter
Dr Ian Wright, Professor W Giles
Dr Christopher Wake, Dr IMR Wright
Ms A Prigg, Dr G Vimpani
Dr Bruce Whitehead, Dr JM Hilton
Dr Karen Drysdale, Mr W Levick
Dr Karen Drysdale, Mr W Levick
Dr Maree Gleeson
Dr John Wiggers, Ms R Considine