Gastronomic effort for children’s research

Jun 15 2009

Newcastle Foreshore’s top chefs combined their talents on Sunday, June 14, for the foodies’ event of the year.

The Gastronomic Lunch of the Year, held at Harbourview Function Centre, raised an amazing $89,000 for children’s research conducted through the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).

“The guests at the Gastronomic Lunch, as well as our chefs, wait staff and suppliers, all appreciate that there is nothing more important than a happy, healthy childhood,” said event coordinator Neil Slater.

“As parents, we all do our very best to look out for our children, but we know that an investment in talented local researchers will provide better health outcomes for children and their parents in the Hunter and throughout the world.”

Funds from this year’s event will support two important research projects that focus on childhood asthma; a health problem that is prevalent in our community with the Hunter having one of the highest rates of asthma in Australia.

Dr Vanessa Murphy and her team from the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases are conducting a large ‘Managing Asthma in Pregnancy’ Study.

They aim to identify factors which can protect against the development of asthma in children who have a genetic predisposition. Funding from the Gastronomic Lunch will enable Dr Murphy and her team to follow the babies in the study for the first two years of life to consider the early life and childhood consequences of their mothers’ asthma during pregnancy.

Dr Lisa Wood and her team from the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases are investigating nutritional approaches to managing asthma. Funding from this event will enable researchers to conduct a world-first study to explore the association between obesity, inflammation and asthma in children. They will also undertake the first study to evaluate whether weight loss can improve asthma in obese children.

HMRI is a partnership between Hunter New England Health, the University of Newcastle and the community.