HeartKids Australia announces recipients of new research funding program

Research into congenital and acquired childhood heart disease (CHD), which affects more than 2,000 Australian children born each year, has been given a major boost thanks to the award of $240,500 by HeartKids Australia in its inaugural research “Grants-in- Aid” program.

The ‘Grants-in-Aid’ program is a new research funding program to support Australian research into congenital and acquired CHD. The Grants-in-Aid program is supported by our founding partner, Wilson HTM Foundation along with partners Kiwanis Australia, and the Heart Foundation. Established by HeartKids Australia to supplement our existing 2-3 year research project grants, the ‘Grants-in-Aid’ program funds small one year research projects and assists in building research capacity.

Chris Semsarian and Prof Richard Harvey

Presenting the awards to the two NSW researchers – Professor Chris Semsarian of the Centenary Institute and Professor Richard Harvey of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute at a function in Sydney on March 22, Brian Pereira Chairman of HeartKids Australia reaffirmed the importance of research into childhood heart disease as it is one of the leading causes of infant death as well as affecting the lives of so many children.

“We hope these grants will give us a better understanding of this devastating disease and that this will lead to improved diagnosis, better treatments and increased quality of life for those affected.”

“The money we raised throughout the year has been awarded to outstanding researchers from around Australia in a very competitive process. We aim to support and grow the Australian research effort specifically directed to childhood heart disease.”

In this first round of grants the following researchers have been funded:

  • Professor Richard Harvey, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney: “iPS cell technology and the molecular basis of hypoplastic left heart.” Co-funded with the Heart Foundation.
  • Dr Suzanne Long, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne: “Cardiac rehabilitation for heart kids who undergo early surgery.” Co-funded by Kiwanis Australia.
  • Dr Jim Ramsay, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth: “Pulse oximetry screening for congenital heart disease in Western Australia.”
  • Mr Marc Remond, James Cook University, Cairns:  “Sharing success – improving secondary prophylaxis for rheumatic fever in indigenous Australian children.”
  • Professor Chris Semsarian, The Centenary Institute, Sydney: “Getting to the heart of sudden, unexplained death in children.”
  • Associate Professor Yves d’Udekem, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne: “The Australian and New Zealand Fontan Registry.”

Jann Kingston , Robert Gilchrist from Kiwanis Australia, Dr. Anne Fletcher

Dr. Anne Fletcher, Rachel Palmer, Brian E Pereira and Jamie Taylor

HeartKids Australia is a not for profit organisation that offers support to children and their families who are suffering with CHD, which is one of the leading causes of infant death in Australia. Every week, more than four Australians die from CHD.


Heart Kids | Australia