New research centre will tackle host of childhood illnesses

Doctors at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry are launching an appeal today to fund a new Child Health Research Centre.

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The new centre will capitalise on the School’s world-class reputation for research into hormone disorders to develop expertise on those diseases which effect babies, children and teenagers.

This group of diseases effects more than 1 in 10 children in the UK each year and includes abnormal growth and development, early or late puberty, diabetes and obesity.

These problems can cause serious illness as well as distress for both the child and family, and some may be life threatening without early diagnosis.

There is a pressing need for research into how these diseases develop and new ways to diagnose and treat the children who suffer with them.

Adrian Clark is Professor of Medicine at Barts and The London Medical School. He said: “New research is urgently needed to increase our understanding of these serious health problems as, if they are not treated early, they can cause even greater difficulties in later life.

“Our aim is to raise £2.4million to fund a team of researchers which will translate into better care for sick children and improvements in their long‑term health.”

Martin Savage is Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology with over 30 years of experience in treating children with hormone disorders. He said: “Today the most pressing problems we face are the rising levels of childhood obesity and diabetes. These conditions are the main cause of a steep increase in referrals to our clinics.

“We must find better ways to tackle childhood obesity and diabetes as they can lead to heart disease, or other complications such as blindness and kidney disease, before individuals reach 40 years of age.”

For media information, contact:

Joel Winston
Faculty Communications Manager (Medicine and Dentistry)