Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Include children in research to make breakthroughs in child medicine, says expert at opening of new unit

10.07.2007
Scientists will only make real breakthroughs in children's medicine if they include children in research programmes as well as adults, according to a leading paediatric expert.

Professor John Warner was speaking today at the opening of the Paediatric Research Unit, the UK's first unit solely devoted to paediatric clinical research. The unit is run by researchers from Imperial College London and St Mary's Hospital, and it is based next to the hospital's paediatric wards in Paddington.

Professor Warner, who is Chair in Paediatrics and Head of the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College and consultant paediatrician at St Mary's Hospital, explained that researchers should be designing therapies specifically for children and their problems, rather than scaling down treatments that were created for adults. In many respects the makeup of children differs from that of adults: they have different metabolisms; their organs are not as mature as adults'; and diseases can behave differently in children's bodies.

"To create the best therapies for children we need to include them in our research," said Professor Warner. "A lot of paediatricians' work doesn't have much of a scientific evidence base and we prescribe drugs by extrapolating from what we know about adult bodies. We have a desperate need to understand precisely how children's bodies work so that we can custom-design therapies for them and their problems."

Researchers in the new unit will be investigating many areas including paediatric allergies and how these can be prevented; sleep disturbance and how this affects health and behaviour; new treatments for acute and chronic chest disorders such as bronchiolitis and asthma. They will also be looking at infectious diseases and immunisation; new treatments for neuromuscular diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and prevention of the complications of sickle cell disease, to name but a few.

Professor Warner said that people should be assured that all research involving children would be carried out ethically and responsibly.

"We will of course be operating to the highest ethical standards and we will go to great lengths to ensure the safety of all the children in our care. If you think something might help children but you're not certain, it is unethical not to do the research and find out. You might be depriving a child of something that could do immense good," explained Professor Warner.

The new £650,000 unit includes two outpatient consulting rooms and two ensuite inpatient rooms, with enough space for a child and their parent to sleep in and with a monitoring room between. It also has a large waiting and play area, a lung function investigation room, a laboratory, offices for staff, a reception and a treatment room.

The first studies to be conducted by the unit will be a trial looking at preventing allergies using prebiotics in high risk infants; a unique treatment for Duchenne dystrophy, which has hitherto been incurable; a study looking at the use of a helium oxygen mixture in intensive care and to treat acute bronchiolitis; and studies into the impact of various allergic problems on sleep and daytime behaviour.

The unit is funded by St. Mary's Paddington Charitable Trust and the George John and Sheilah Livanos Charitable Trust. Jane Miles, Chief Executive of St Mary's Charity, explained: "When awarding grants our focus is on innovation and excellence and this new paediatric research unit is a wonderful example of these qualities. We believe such specialised research is essential in order to develop treatments and care that meet the very specific needs of some of the sickest children across the UK."

The researchers would welcome further donations in order to buy more of the specialised equipment needed for paediatric research.

Laura Gallagher | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>