Telethon Institute for Child Health Research

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The Telethon Kids Institute (formerly know as the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research) is a multidisciplinary research centre in Subiaco, Western Australia. It has more than 500 staff, post-graduate students and visiting scholars, working collaboratively to improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families. The Institute's priority in every area is on prevention – of disease, disability and disadvantage. The Institute is an independent not-for-profit, non-government organisation.

The Institute was established in 1990 by former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley. In July 2012, Professor Jonathan Carapetis became of Director of the Institute, replacing Stanley, who continues in the role of Patron.

Research[edit]

Research at the Telethon Kids Institute is grouped around four major Research Focus Areas:

Aboriginal Health Brain & Behaviour Chronic Diseases of Childhood Early Environment

And encompasses projects looking at:

Aboriginal health; Asthma, allergy and respiratory disorders; Bioinformatics and data services; Children’s cancer & leukaemia; Child development and wellbeing; Datasets & cohort studies; Diabetes, obesity & related disorders; Disability & developmental disorders; Drug discovery (Phylogica); Environmental impacts on health; Genetic impacts on health; Impacts on policy and practice; Infectious disease; Mental health; Pregnancy and maternal health.

The Telethon Kids Institute is committed to ensuring that the benefits of its research are translated into real therapies and policies to improve the health and wellbeing of children. Since its establishment in 1990, researchers at the Institute have published more than 2600 scientific papers and advocated on behalf of children and families.

Some highlights include:

Discovering that folate can prevent spina bifida; Hib meningitis vaccination; Improving outcomes for Aboriginal babies and children; Researching IVF outcomes; Leading the world in the understanding, treatment and prevention of asthma; Developing programs to reduce youth suicide; Determining causes for cerebral palsy; Improving the life chances for children with cystic fibrosis; Increasing survival rates for children with leukaemia.


The Institute is a research hub for prominent scientists such as Patrick Holt, as well as the home of one of the largest longitudinal cohort studies, the Raine Study, which has been following the lives of thousands of children for more than 20 years. The Institute is an independent not-for-profit, non-government organisation.

Location[edit]

It is located in Subiaco, Western Australia, opposite Princess Margaret Hospital for Children with which it collaborates closely. Ongoing collaborations exist with the University of Western Australia Department of Paediatrics, Curtin University and Seven Network's Telethon, a major funding partner.

The Institute is set to move in 2015 with the New Children's Hospital to the QEII children's health campus in Nedlands, Western Australia.

History[edit]

Formed in 1990 on the grounds of Princess Margaret Hospital (old nurses quarters) when Professor Fiona Stanley and a group of population scientists (epidemiologists) from UWA (University of Western Australia) joined a group of lab based researchers from the hospital and formed the WA Research Institute for Child Health (WARICH).

By 1994, due to rapid success and expansion, it became clear that a purpose built facility was required. $11.2m was raised from West Australian corporates and individuals through a capital campaign (where money was pledged over a 5-year period) with the state and federal governments then matching this with $11.2m each.

The land was purchased from Perth Modern High School (it used to be their tennis courts which were relocated) and construction began in 1998. The new building was opened in February 2000.

The original $11.2 million raised through the capital campaign was invested in a capital account which earns interest to maintain infrastructure.

Channel 7's Telethon was the biggest single donor to the capital campaign ($5million over 5 years) and in recognition of this, the name was changed to the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.


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