Congratulations goes to Dr Asha Bowen and Dr Ruth Thornton for being the successful first round recipients of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines & Infectious Diseases Seed Funding for 2017.
It was a very competitive field, with six excellent submissions assessed by the Wesfarmers Centre Scientific Roundtable for 1) scientific quality, 2) significance/innovation, 3) capacity building, and 4) peer/stakeholder/community engagement.
Asha Bowen's project, titled “Will the use of routinely collected electronic primary health care information improve detection rates of skin sores, sore throat or wet cough over manual clinic review?” aims to reduce the burden of infections for Aboriginal children living in the Kimberley region. Working alongside families and primary healthcare providers, the project hopes to encourage earlier identification of infections which, if left untreated, can result in serious acute illness or chronic diseases later in life. The project will look at the effectiveness of how health care information is recorded and used, and explore whether extracting and analysing routinely collected data to measure outcomes is feasible and more accurate than manual review.
Asha Bowen (Telethon Kids Institute), Andre Schultz (Telethon Kids Institute), Kim Carter (Telethon Kids Institute), Jim Codde (The University of Notre Dame Australia), Robert Shephard (Broome Regional Health Service), Tom Snelling (Telethon Kids Institute), Tegan Grace (The University of Notre Dame Australia), Pam D'Sylva (Princess Margaret Hospital), Timothy Barnett (Telethon Kids Institute). Awarded: $28,740.
The second successful application by Ruth Thornton was titled “Measuring antibody development in high-risk infants to inform vaccine development for bacterial diseases”. The project will examine the natural development of immunity to bacterial pathogens in high-risk infants throughout the first 2 years of life, and involves analysing blood samples from infants in Papua New Guinea. The samples will be used to measure development of the infant's antibody responses to 10 proteins produced by the three major bacteria that cause pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and acute rheumatic fever. The results will be used to help predict which proteins should be included in future vaccines preventing these deadly diseases.
Ruth Thornton(University of Western Australia), Lea-Ann Kirkham (University of Western Australia), Peter Richmond (University of Western Australia), Peter Jacoby (Telethon Kids Institute). Awarded: $31,638.