- Welcome to the Institute's new Internet
- Stem cell technique offers new potential to treat blindness
- 20% of adult obesity might be caused by infant nutrition
- Study to reduce birth defects
- Beta thalassaemia gene therapy success
- Genetic link with human male infertility identified
- New research into Congenital Toxoplasmosis endorses UK health guidance for pregnant women
- ICH Poster Competition and Open Day
- Is 'breast only' for first six months best?
- Six months of exclusive breast feeding: how good is the evidence?
- Major new programme to tackle childhood obesity launched
- Study shows that early detection of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency would save lives
- £28 Million boost to understand child health
- The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, India and South Korea
- Regenerative medicine success for muscles
- New study examines early-onset eating disorders in under-13s
- International 50-year mortality trends in children and young people reveal an inadequate response to the health problems and causes of death in adolescents, particularly young men
- Apples, oranges and jam – the tasty way to keep kidney disease at bay
- Scientists prove heart has built-in repair mechanism: Exciting breakthrough towards mending broken hearts
- Fight for Sight awards £1 million for retinal disease research
- New Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families
- UCLB and NCYPE announce a commercialisation agreement with Special Products Limited for Epistatus®
- Molecular scalpel hope for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Eating disorders linked to fertility problems and negative feelings towards pregnancy
- Science: From Cradle to Grave
- £36 million boost for children's health research
- Gene therapy success for children born without functioning immune system
- ICH Open Day 2011
- Under 16s make up less than one per cent of NHS patient surveys
- Mitochondria genes and cardiomyopathy
- Child Health Research PhD Studentships 2012-13
- Tate Liverpool exhibition inspires pioneering science games
- No consistent decrease in child maltreatment despite years of policy initiatives designed to achieve it
- New approach on bone marrow transplant infections
- Genetic testing for antibiotic related deafness
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity announces plans to build a Centre for Children’s Rare Disease Research
- Gene therapy shows clinical effect in third immune disease
- Clean delivery kits linked to substantial reduction in neonatal deaths in South Asia, study shows
- Genetic variant inherited from the mother significantly increases birth weight
- Not enough is known about prescription drug use in pregnancy, say experts
- Improving access to education and employment and reducing the risk of transport-related injury are among the best ways to improve adolescent health
- Research reveals association between red hair gene and rare birthmarks
- Five new UCL fellows of Academy of Medical Sciences
- Surgery boost for children with drug-resistant epilepsy.
- Professor of economics and deputy director appointed to the new UK Birth Cohort Study
- First example of a heritable abnormality affecting semantic cognition found
- New Director of the UCL Institute of Child Health
- New approach to recording suspected child abuse in patient records
- Amniotic fluid yields alternatives to embryonic stem cells
- ICH OPEN DAY AND POSTER COMPETITION
- Europe’s first research centre to battle birth defects
- New cause of thyroid hormone deficiency discovered
- £10 million boost for Centre for Children’s Rare Disease Research
- EU awards grant to develop new drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- New research centre for teenagers with arthritis
- Major study shows steep decline in figure for diagnosed epilepsy
- Obesity leads to vitamin D deficiency
Europe’s first research centre to battle birth defects
25 October 2012
Better ways to tackle birth defects will be championed at the official launch of the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre (BDRC) on Thursday 25 October 2012. The centre piece of the BDRC, based at the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH), is a newly built £6.5 million laboratory and office space dedicated to researching the causes of birth defects, advancing their diagnosis and treatment and preventing such conditions in the future. The BDRC build was funded through generous donations to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, as part of their ‘Bringing Research to Life’ campaign.
Birth defects are a leading cause of infant mortality in the Western world. In Europe, more than two per cent of pregnancies are affected by a birth defect, of which there are more than 4,000 types. Infants born with a birth defect have a 15-fold increased risk of death in their first year, with one in ten dying during this period. Those who live beyond one year of age are often destined for a life-time of ill-health and are likely to need ongoing medical or surgical support.
Some of the most common birth defects include neural tube defects such as spina bifida, congenital heart defects, inherited vision disorders, cleft lip and palate and Down’s syndrome. These are some of the conditions which will be under investigation at the new centre, with vital input from the ICH’s clinical partner, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) which specialises in the treatment of rare disorders.
The new centre will house three specialist teams, in state-of-the-art-laboratories with the latest equipment. Across the spectrum of research, the teams will investigate:
- how the brain and spinal cord grow, and therapies to prevent neural tube defects - this includes an ongoing clinical trial to establish the effectiveness of a vitamin supplement to protect unborn babies against spina bifida;
- the processes behind nerve growth in the gut, and potential stem cell therapies to repair damaged or absent nerves;
- stem cell markers to improve the diagnosis of epilepsy and brain tumours at an earlier stage;
- disorders affecting the growth of the skull, to help find new treatments for conditions such as cleft lip and palate;
- new pathways to stimulate the growth and repair of heart tissue;
- ways of introducing stem cells into the eye to regenerate light-sensitive cells in blindness;
- the genetic origins of birth defects, particularly for families with rare genetic disorders.
Professor Andrew Copp, Head of the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre and one of the scientific investigators working at the new centre, says:
“When a baby is born with a serious birth defect, it can completely change a family’s life. Some children require surgery in the first few weeks of life. Even if the operation is successful, the child usually needs further medical and surgical treatments throughout his or her life.”
“We are able to prevent only a very small number of birth defects. We remain ignorant of what actually causes common birth defects such as cleft palate, heart defects and spina bifida. A huge amount of research needs to be done. The Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre will be the first research grouping to focus specifically on understanding how birth defects arise, and finding new ways to treat and prevent them.”
Notes to editors
Requests for filming, interviews or case studies should be directed to the GOSH/ICH press office. For further information, please contact Jenny Gimpel on 020 7239 3178, firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Ttofa on 020 7239 3038, email@example.com.
About the UCL Institute of Child Health
The UCL Institute of Child Health, in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH), is the largest centre in Europe devoted to clinical and basic research and postgraduate teaching in children’s health. Academics at the UCL Institute of Child Health work together with clinicians at GOSH to form an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood disease. Many individuals hold joint appointments at both institutions. This allows the hospital and the institute to work together to translate research undertaken in laboratories into clinical trials and treatments in the hospital, bringing real benefits to the children at GOSH and to the wider paediatric community. See www.ucl.ac.uk/ich for more information.
About Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
The Trust is the country’s leading centre for treating sick children, with the widest range of specialists under one roof. With the UCL Institute of Child Health, we are the largest centre for paediatric research outside the US and play a key role in training children’s health specialists for the future.
About Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
Our charity needs to raise £50 million every year to help rebuild and refurbish Great Ormond Street Hospital, buy vital equipment and fund pioneering research. With your help we provide world class care to our very ill children and their families.
For more information on the ‘Bringing Research to Life’ campaign, please visit www.gosh.org/brtl.
About the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children
For more information on the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
Page last modified on 25 oct 12 14:06