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Wed, 31 Jan 2018

Innovative research supported

A James Cook University researcher is the first to be funded by a new $5 million research centre announced today by the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research will deliver and house innovative paediatric nutrition research, and will begin by supporting Dr Severine Navarro’s research at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU in Cairns.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Rosie Simpson said research programs undertaken by the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research would be focused on delivering measurable outcomes that translate research into action to benefit families in Australia and around the world.

“Through the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research, we will be focused on making a real impact on childhood nutrition,” Ms Simpson said.

The Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research will be supported by Woolworths customers and their team through fundraising initiatives for the Children’s Hospital Foundation – the continuation of a 31-year partnership that has raised more than $51 million to help sick children to date.

Dr Navarro will receive $450,000 over the next two years to support her ground-breaking research into the link between parasites, their effect on our gut microbiome and allergy prevention. In 2017 she received $150,000 from the Children’s Hospital Foundation, sponsored by the Bank of Queensland.

“It has long been recognised that nutrition plays a critical role in overall health but with many unknowns and low adherence rates to nutritional guidelines, we want our independent research to be the driving force behind real social change,” Dr Navarro said.

“Through the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research, we can build on existing knowledge to accelerate progress in childhood nutrition research, help parents better understand the nutritional needs of their children and improve the health of all children now and in the long term.

“Ultimately, we are looking at ways to prevent damaging allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and coeliac disease from developing, rather than simply treating them once they have manifested.”