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Channel 7 News Story - 19 June 2016 - Congenital Glaucoma Gene

Announcing the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability

Channel 7 News Story - 21 December 2015 - Orbit Gaming System

Channel 7 News Story - 9 September 2015 - Nut Allergy

Channel 7 News Story - 22 May 2015 - Mastitis Cure

Changes to the grant application process for 2012 grants

CRF Grows International Ties

Building the future with healthy minds

 

Channel 7 News Story - 19 June 2016 - Congenital Glaucoma Gene

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation funded a research project by Professor Jamie Craig at Flinders University, titled Improving genetic diagnosis and reproductive options for families with congenital, and developmental glaucoma.

Glaucoma in infants is a rare but devastating condition. Without treatment, elevated eye pressure leads to the expanding eyes with total blindness. Most cases need multiple surgical procedures and general anaesthetics. The cause of infantile and childhood glaucoma is almost entirely genetic, but in most cases the causative gene is unknown. Parents usually seek an accurate understanding of the risk to subsequent children, and options for prevention. This project aimed to define a greater proportion of the genetic risk for paediatric glaucoma, and to make improved testing available for families.

Seven News reporter, Megan Hopkins, reported on Professor Craig's 2015 CRF grant - Please click on this link to view the story.

Announcing the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability

In 2013, the Board of the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation determined to establish a Research Chair to focus on the provision of early and accurate diagnosis of disabilities in children, and in September 2014, the Foundation entered into an agreement for a five-year partnership with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and The University of Adelaide through its Robinson Research Institute, to create Australasia's first ever 'Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability'.

After a significant recruitment process, international human genetics expert, Professor Jozef Gecz, was announced as the inaugural Chair.

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability will focus on advancing a research program that makes a significant difference to the management of paediatric disability, in collaboration with other researchers in South Australia, Australia and internationally.

The Chair was launched at SAHMRI on 15 March, with the event emceed by Rosanna Mangiarelli. A short story was aired on Channel 7's Today Tonight on 15 March 2016.

The Foundation looks forward to the announcement of positive outcomes from this significant initiative in the next few years.

Foundation Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability

Professor Sarah Robertson, Mr Glenn Rappensberg, Professor Michael Brooks, Professor Jozef Gecz, Hon Leesa Vlahos MP and Professor Steve Wesselingh at the launch of the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Chair for the Prevention of Childhood Disability.

Channel 7 News Story - 21 December 2015 - Orbit Gaming System

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation funded a research project by David Hobbs, at Flinders University, titled Can children with cerebral palsy improve their hand sensation using special haptic computer games? A randomised controlled trial.
The aim of this project was to determine if the sense of touch can be improved in the hands of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who have a known sensory loss. This was investigated using a novel "in-home" computer gaming system within a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which provides the highest level of research evidence.
The technology trial was a world first. Demonstrating that touch sensitivity can be "trained" in children with CP has the potential to influence how rehabilitation professionals provide treatment for the impaired upper limb.
Seven News reporter, Megan Roberts, reported on David Hobbs' 2013 CRF grant - Please click on this link to view the story.

Channel 7 News Story - 9 September 2015 - Nut Allergy

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation funded a research project by Dr Billy Tao, at Flinders University, titled 'A new oral immunotherapy treatment for nut allergy: translational research and pilot study'.
Approximately 2% of Australian children are allergic to nuts. This study sought to provide the foundation for a new therapy with minimal or no adverse reactions that will allow children to be safe from accidental ingestion of nuts. The project combined laboratory-based proteomic and immunologic investigations with a clinical pilot study to confirm the safety and efficacy of this new treatment method.
Seven News reporter, Megan Roberts, reported on Dr Billy Tao's 2014 CRF grant - Please click on this link to view the story.

Channel 7 News Story - 22 May 2015 - Mastitis Cure

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation funded a research project by Dr Wendy Ingman, at The University of Adelaide, titled 'Understanding the Inflammatory Nature of Mastitis'.
Mastitis is a common inflammatory disease in lactating women that causes pain, fever, low milk supply and leads many to cease breastfeeding. This study explored the cellular mechanisms that lead to inflammation and investigated potential therapies to quickly and effectively stop the symptoms of mastitis. The significance of improving treatment of mastitis is that more women may comply with the World Health Organisation guidelines of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding, which will help reduce the incidence of allergies and obesity in Australian children.
Seven News reporter, Megan Roberts, reported on this 2011 CRF grant - Please click on this link to view the story.

Changes to the grant application process for 2012 grants

Since 1976, the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation has provided grants to support research into conditions that may affect the health, education and welfare of children in South Australia and the Northern Territory; and is pleased to continue to do so.
Over the past number of years, application numbers have steadily increased and, whilst the Foundation has increased the amount of funding allocated to just over $1M annually, it is not possible to fund all of the many deserving projects.
It is recognised that a lot of time and effort is expended on the grants application process, so the Foundation is pleased to announce a change to the application process for the 2012 grants round.
Researchers seeking funding for 2012 will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). This will be a two page summary of the application, which will then be reviewed by the Research Committee. Invitations will be extended to selected researchers to submit full applications.
The maximum funding per grant will be $75,000, which may be taken over 1 or 2 years. The timing of the grants round will not significantly be altered and will be advertised in January 2011. EOI applications will close on 25 March and notification regarding the final outcomes will be announced in November 2011.
Application forms and details will be available on the Foundation website from 15 January 2011.

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(30 March 2010) CRF Grows International Ties

When American researchers Professor Beatrice L Wood PhD, and Professor Bruce D Miller MD, heard about the research supported by the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation and the Foundation’s nurturing of young talent, they were impressed and keen to start an inter-cultural collaboration with junior investigators in Australia.

As Professors of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the State University of New York, Buffalo, they specialise in researching the fields of family relational stress, child depression and paediatric asthma.

With their extensive experience in medicine, child health and research, Professors Wood and Miller are acutely aware of the need for research opportunities for young graduates and first time researchers, and have kindly offered their support for emerging researchers in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Donating their time and sharing their expertise, they are looking for interesting and potentially important collaborations with other researchers, and would like to encourage young researchers to get in touch with them, with a view to providing mentoring to those interested in leading their own research project.

For the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, this international recognition is a great honour, and we encourage our talented, upcoming researchers and graduates to tap into this wealth of knowledge, to help create the best possible future for our children.

If you have just started your first research project as a lead investigator, or are interested in doing so and would like to take advantage of this excellent opportunity, please forward your details via email to bwood@buffalo.edu with Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation in the subject line.

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(26 February 2010) Building the future with healthy minds

Preschoolers from South Australia were part of a PhD project which identified that healthy relationships during
preschool have a strong link to mental health and the way children engage in learning.

Previous early childhood research has examined relationships
in preschools but has never examined the notion that relationships benefit engagement in learning because of their positive effects on mental health.

PhD student from the University of Adelaide, Amelia Searle, pictured, says the results validate what teachers have
always known intuitively.

‘‘Teachers have known for a long time that building good relationships with children is central to their school success and the research does show that, but we were really looking at exactly how it all plays out - the pathways that are involved,’’ she said.

‘‘The relationships with their teachers and their parents which we found built children’s self esteem and their feelings of competence led to improved mental health and improved engagement in classroom learning activities.’’

This project was part of a larger, longitudinal study called
the Healthy Minds Healthy Futures Child Resilience Project,
which followed nearly 600 children for three years from preschool to Year One.

Led by Dr Lauren Miller- Lewis, the Healthy Minds project focuses on identifying factors that build children’s mental
health resilience. The PhD study focused on children’s engagement in classroom learning activities during reception.

The study used observation methods in the schools, data collection via questionaires from parents and staff. Ms Searle said many of the preschool teachers reported on the importance of building up, developing and supporting close relationships with children.

‘‘It’s something that perhaps is easier to do in a preschool
setting given that the ratio between children and teachers is
much lower than in schools.

‘‘The earlier that we help children out and we build on their strengths - the better the start to school we can give them.’’

The research was presented at the 14th European Conference
on Developmental Psychology in Lithuania and the 16th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association in Adelaide.

Ms Searle said traditional research focussed on ‘‘deficits and problems’’ but her research is based on resources such as teacher, child and parent relationships which can improve
the school experience. Twentyseven preschools and 85 schools across the country took part.

The project was supported by the Department of Education
and Children’s Services, Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Rotary Health and the University of Adelaide.


Christies North Kindergarten director Tania Liston
working with preschoolers

Christies North Kindy Preschool director Tania Liston couldn’t be happier with the findings from the PhD research.
She says a strong relationship between the teacher, children and parents must be built on trust for any learning to occur.

‘‘It is something that early childhood educators have always been a part of, but I think that the profile of learner wellbeing and the relationships that teachers have with their children has definitely become more of a focus,’’ she said.

‘‘The fact that our preschool has been involved with the Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures research team into wellbeing has meant it has been at the forefront of our curriculum focus. The first thing that we work toward is making a connection with families so once we have that, then all of the learning is built on top of that.’’

Ms Liston said it is important for the children to have a connection with their teacher before they begin to connect with other students.

‘‘We’ve actually seen the progress it has made as far as you make those connections and you take the time to focus on the learner well-being, and the learning comes.

‘‘The way they engage in their environment is so different to when they feel like they are disconnected or if they feel like that they’re not at ease or comfortable in the kindy environment.’’

Story source: The Advertiser (23/2/2010)
Journalist: Martina Simos
Photos: Michael Marschall

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