Medical research

“Medical research is expensive, but a child’s life is priceless.”

– Rosie Simpson
Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital Foundation

Children’s Hospital Foundation is the official charity of the Centre for Children’s Health Research, and is committed to funding world-class research projects that ensure sick children receive the best possible care and treatment – not just in Queensland, but across Australia and around the world.

Children’s Brain Cancer Centre

The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre is an Australian-first. Researchers from world-leading institutions are working together, committed to advancing treatment options, improving survivorship, and ultimately, finding a cure. Children with brain cancer deserve nothing less.

Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research

The Children’s Hospital Foundation, in partnership with Woolworths, has committed $5 million to the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research, an exceptional research collaboration that will ultimately result in healthier Australian children with healthy futures.

Our Research Advisory Committee

The Children’s Hospital Foundation is committed to accountability and transparency in awarding funds to paediatric research. Applications for research funding undergo a rigorous peer-review process conducted by an independent Research Advisory Committee.

Our Research

Through the generosity of our supporters, Children’s Hospital Foundation funds research that has a strong focus on translational outcomes and leads to faster diagnoses, better treatments and ultimately cures for some of the most devastating childhood illnesses and injuries.

For Researchers

The Children’s Hospital Foundation is the official charity of Children’s Health Queensland, the Centre for Children’s Health Research, and for all sick kids throughout Queensland. We are focused on funding Queensland-based research that supports Children’s Health Queensland’s research strategy and themes.

Our Research Stories

Blazing the trail in sepsis research

A young child comes into the Emergency Department looking relatively well with fever. In just a few hours, he develops severe meningococcal septic shock, a life-threatening condition for the boy and a life-changing moment for the treating doctor.

This is the event that inspired resident doctor Luregn Shlapbach to pursue paediatric research. He was struck by the speed at which a major infection known as sepsis could lead to organ shut down and intrigued by how such a thing could happen when until then, the child had led a healthy, normal life.

Fast forward to the present, Luregn is now a consultant in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Queensland Children`s Hospital and an Associate Professor at The University of Queensland. His research group focuses on investigating sepsis, infection and inflammation, which are all linked in several ways.

During sepsis, defence mechanisms which usually protect us from infections go off-track and lead to an impaired response. This pattern of inflammation is not only seen in sepsis, it can happen in other conditions, such as after heart surgery, requiring heart-lung-machine support.

Sepsis affects over 500 children in Queensland every year and together with other conditions frequently seen in critically ill children, imposes a huge burden on children`s health, their families, and society. Luregn and his research team have helped to shape a better understanding of who is affected by sepsis, its impact and which risk factors are relevant.

“A critically ill child should have an entire healthy life ahead and too often severe critical illnesses like sepsis lead to adverse long-term outcomes in children. If we can improve the way we recognise and treat such conditions it may make a difference for a whole lifespan,” he says.

Your donations have been instrumental in building Luregn’s research team and initiating several projects that have led to larger research grants from other agencies.

“We would not have achieved as a team what we have in the past years without the Foundation’s support. I have been impressed by how the Foundation has a very holistic approach to research, making sure not only the projects, but as well the consumers’ perspective, and the impact on change of practice are kept in focus,” Luregn says.

Recent success in securing funding from the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a testament to the group’s outstanding impact on paediatric research. Two MRFF grants worth a total of $5.5 million will help them investigate the genes involved in children with suspected sepsis and how genes can predict long-term outcomes in infants after heart surgery. With the support of the community the Children’s Hospital Foundation is a proud partner for both these initiatives.

“We now have a unique opportunity to leverage the work from past years. This research will centre around the question of why some children are unusually sick, how we can improve recognition and treatment, and what long-term outcomes these translate to,” Luregn says.

Luregn’s ultimate goal is delivering precision medicine.

“Wouldn`t it be wonderful if we can develop personalised medicine for children with sepsis – the right drug, to the right patient at the right time,” he says.

We agree.

Find out more

You can make an online donation today to help fund life-saving medical research.

Alternatively, for more information about our medical research or how to make a donation please fill out the form below, or phone us on 1300 742 554.