Why we do it
1. Many diseases have their origin in childhood.
It is well recognised that many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease have their origin in early life, even in utero. Other conditions, such as congenital and genetic diseases, usually present in childhood and lead to lifelong complications through adulthood. We have the opportunity to reduce the burden of these diseases by predicting, detecting and preventing disease at an early age.
2. Children are different to adults.
Children metabolise drugs differently to adults and require tailored treatment regimes. However, currently 80% of drugs used in children have been developed for use in adults. Smaller doses of adult medicine may be ineffective or unsafe for children. There is a great need to prioritise paediatric research in order to develop and test new treatments for children.
3. Paediatric research is essential for the future health of the community.
Paediatric research aims to prevent the burden of disease through the lifecycle. As well as reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life for children, many of our scientific discoveries will also advance research into adult health.
4. There is a need to unify paediatric research.
Improved coordination of research enabling platforms (such as biorepositories, informatics and bioinformatics) and streamlining of research governance and support services will enable our member institutions to achieve greater combined research output than is currently possible separately.
5. Paediatric research is greatly under-resourced.
In Australia and internationally, the vast bulk of medical research funding is directed at the diseases of adulthood, which comprise the largest market for pharmaceuticals. However there is impetus currently in the European Union and the United States to boost funding for paediatric research. An investment in Luminesce Alliance will enable NSW to play a greater role in this global endeavour.
6. NSW has the ability to become a world leader in paediatric research.
The research and clinical credentials of our partners are well established, with leading academics and national/state centres. As one of Australia’s largest paediatric research entities, Luminesce Alliance is well positioned to lead national and international efforts across a range of research areas.
7. Alignment with Australian and NSW Health Priorities.
The collaboration is in line with the NSW State Health Plan Towards 2021 (Strategy Two: a Supporting and Harnessing Research Innovation) as well as the Research Plans of Sydney Children’s Health Network, Children’s Cancer Institute and Children’s Medical Research Institute, University of New South Wales Sydney and University of Sydney.