Research

HeartKids, with the support of its sponsors and donors, is proud to have committed over $1,500,000 of funding for research projects looking to unlock the mysteries of Childhood Heart Disease.

The specific focus and aim of these has been to:

  • Reduce mortality and/or morbidity from CHD
  • Reduce the incidence of CHD
  • Develop preventative measures to reduce CHD
  • Improve early detection of CHD
  • Understand the causes and disease processes of CHD
  • Improve the treatments and management of CHD
  • Gain a better understanding of the consequences of CHD and its treatment including the neurological, cognitive or social impacts on children affected by CHD and how these issues may be addressed.

Research Funding Strategy

HeartKids has developed a peer-reviewed, transparent and efficient process to identify and allocate research funding. This ensures we obtain the best value from our funds and achieves the greatest impact for children affected by heart disease. We are assisted in this process by the Research Advisory Committee HeartKids funds research through two programs- Project Grants and Grants-in-Aid.

Project Grants

Heartkids is supported in this funding scheme by HCF Foundation. Our most recent round of funding for Project Grants was completed in early 2011. We have funded the following projects:

2011 New Research Projects

Dr Nadine Kasparian
Parental response to fetal or postnatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease and subsequent infant developmental outcomes: A unique test of the fetal programming hypothesis.
Clinical research – $300,000 over 3 years.

Dr Gavin Lambert
Improving long term survival in patients with a single heart ventricle.
Clinical research – $128,332 over 2 years.

Dr Christian Brizard
Autologous cord blood stem cell transplantation to enhance right ventricular function during palliative surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome; clinical proof of concept study.
Clinical research and biomedical – $171,668 over 2 years

Major previous projects that have been funded include:

Genetic Determinants of Congenital Heart Disease – Ass Prof David Winlaw – Heart Centre for Children – the Children’s Hospital Westmead – $300,000
Clinical study of remote ischaemic preconditioning – Dr Michael Cheung – Dept of Cardiology – Royal Children’s Hospital – $350,000

Others:

Project GECHO – Ass Prof Jonanthan Carapetis – Menzies School of Health.
Cardiomyopathy Study– Prof Rob Weintraub – Royal Children’s Hosptial.

2011 Grants in Aid Program

HeartKids has recently completed the selection of projects for their 2011“Grants-in-Aid” Program supported by Wilson HTM Foundation.

The program will support research and research capacity building in congenital and acquired childhood heart disease. Grants-in-Aid are limited in size (minimum grant $20,000 and maximum $50,000) and are intended to be expended within a maximum of 12 months. The Research Advisory Committee will assess project applications and will recommend projects for funding.

Projects that will receive funding for 2012 are as follows:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation for HeartKids who undergo early surgery –  Dr S Long (Murdoch CRI)
  • The Australian and New Zealand Fontan Registry –  Prof Y d’Udekem (RCH Melbourne)
  • Pulse oximetry screening for congenital heart disease in Western Australia –  Dr J Ramsay (PMH Perth)
  • iPS cell technology and the molecular basis of hypoplastic left heart –  Prof R Harvey (Victor Chang Cardiac Res Inst) – Jointly with The Heart Foundation
  • Sharing success-Improving secondary prophylaxis for rheumatic  fever in indigenous Australian children –  Mr M Remond (James Cook Uni versity)
  • Getting to the heart of sudden unexplained death in children –  Prof C Semsarian (Centenary Inst Sydney)

Applications for Grants-in-Aid must comply with the HeartKids Research Criteria. The 2013 Programme will be announced later in 2012.

South Australia