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Recently funded research

We help paediatric researchers across Children’s Health Queensland raise the bar at a global level through sharing knowledge, discoveries, ideas and innovations.

To date, our funding has supported research in Indigenous health, oncology, nutrition, brain and behaviour health, eye health, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, infection and immunity, oncology and immunotherapy, and emergency and critical care.


In Australia, approximately 750 children aged 0-14 years are diagnosed with cancer each year. Brain cancer alone kills more children in Australia than any other disease. In 2020 the Queensland Children’s Hospital cared for more than 1,900 children and young people with cancer. Most childhood cancers have no known cause and prevention is not an effective strategy for children.

We are proud to be funding research into oncology through a large number of projects, including the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre and the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank. In an Australian-first, researchers from world-leading institutions are working together, as part of the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre, to advance treatment options, improve survivorship and ultimately find a cure for this deadly disease.

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Queensland Children's Tumour Bank

The Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank is an openly accessible paediatric tumour tissue bank which doctors have been able to use to find answers and develop new treatments for children with cancer, including neuroblastoma, leukaemia and brain tumours.

Samples collected by Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank are disseminated to researchers in Australia and throughout the world for use in research projects that ultimately aim to improve health outcomes for children with cancer. The QCTB has banked more than 65,740 individual samples in its dedicated facility at the Centre for Children’s Health research since 2008, adjacent to Queensland Children’s Hospital. These samples have contributed to the identification of new therapies for childhood cancers with poor prognoses, uncovered critical new insights into childhood cancer biology, and informed new clinical trials and patient management.

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Heart Disease

One in 100 Australian children are born with a Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

More than 30,000 children living with the condition. Of these children, more than 80 per cent will require open-heart surgery.

Thanks to the support of our donors, we are funding Australia’s largest cardiac study in children which is changing the way open-heart surgeries are performed on kids around the country and aiming to significantly reduce the incidence of life-threatening side effects.

Community support also contributes to the coordination and management of clinical trials and other research projects conducted by the cardiac team at Queensland Children’s Hospital. This program of clinical research will allow children suffering from congenital heart disease and other serious heart conditions the opportunity to access innovative treatments and surgical techniques to improve their health outcomes and quality of life.

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Sepsis is the most common cause of death in infants and children worldwide with over 1M children suffering from sepsis every year globally. In Australia, it has been estimated that sepsis accounts for 5000 deaths every year and affects over 500 children in Queensland alone.

The research funded by the Foundation has helped to shape a better understanding of who is affected by sepsis, its impact, and which risk factors are relevant. Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to most recently fund research that looks at ways of more rapidly diagnosing sepsis (< 1 hr turnaround time!) and has the potential to revolutionise the management of sick kids who come into the hospital with suspected sepsis.

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Cystic Fibrosis

About 400 children are treated for cystic fibrosis at the Queensland Children’s Hospital annually. Research funded by the Children’s Hospital Foundation has contributed to the development of new therapies and treatments for children with cystic fibrosis, which have resulted in improved health outcomes, better quality of life, and longer life expectancy for these patients.

For the very first time, there are now more adults than children with cystic fibrosis, due to increased survival thanks to ground-breaking research. While research has led to better treatment, better quality of life, and even longer lives for kids with respiratory illnesses, there is still much to be discovered - there is still no cure for cystic fibrosis.

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Indigenous Health

The Children’s Hospital Foundation funds research aiming to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youths, with a focus on social and emotional wellbeing, management of burns injuries and treatment of chronic respiratory conditions.

The average mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youths are two to three times those of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Through your support, we can continue to make significant inroads to “close the gap” in the health status and life expectancy for these children.

Research funded so far has contributed to the development of clinical practice guidelines, including The National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which aims to prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Current research being undertaken aims to:
• Prevent and manage acute and chronic respiratory infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in urban and remote areas of Australia
• Improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth by implementing a framework designed by the community to reduce suicide and self-harm
• Enhance health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with burn injuries in Queensland.

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Cerebral Palsy

Every 15 hours, an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy – making it the the most common physical disability in childhood.

Through generous philanthropic and community support, previous research resulted in Queensland children with cerebral palsy becoming the first in Australia to benefit from a revolutionary rehabilitation program at home.

Since 2007, millions of dollars have been invested to help establish the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC) and advance research into cerebral palsy.

Thanks to the support of generous donors, researchers have developed new techniques that detect cerebral palsy earlier and ensure children and their families receive treatment sooner to improve their long-term health outcomes.

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Your impact in numbers

We make larger multi-year commitments into paediatric health

ACTION (Advanced Clinical Trials and InnovatiON) Centre

The ACTION Centre is a new statewide hub promising to bring new hope and advanced treatments to families with life-limiting conditions.

Advanced therapies such as gene therapy, cell therapy, and tissue engineering have the potentially to cure or significantly improve the health of children with rare diseases and complex illnesses. Using recent technological advancements, the Centre aims to push the boundaries of what is possible in paediatric medicine by significantly increasing the number and range of clinical trials offered in Queensland.

Ian Frazer Centre for Children's Immunotherapy Research

The Ian Frazer Centre for Children’s Immunotherapy Research is the first dedicated children’s immunotherapy research centre in Australia.

By capitalising on the strengths of a multidisciplinary team of experts, the Centre will accelerate the pace of discovery and ensure research is translated into a new era of children’s cancer treatments. The Centre will harness immunotherapy potential to make significant improvements in children’s survival and survivorship.

Children’s Brain Cancer Centre

Despite advances in other types of childhood cancer, survival rates for brain cancer have made little progress over the past 30 years.

The Children’s Brain Cancer Centre aims to change that. This Centre brings together the ‘best of the best’ in paediatric brain cancer research to bring new hope to children and young people fighting this devastating disease.

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 consisting of eminent researchers with broad research experience in preclinical, clinical and health services research.