Welcome to Hudson News Summer 2021.
As we move into the festive season, I am deeply conscious that this can be a sad and difficult time for many people, following a year of continued unpredictability and challenge. From all of us at the Institute, we hope you continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and find time to enjoy the upcoming holidays.
In this festive issue of Hudson News we officially launch our Infant and Children’s Health Appeal and share our groundbreaking research into inflammation that can occur in the early days and years of a child’s life. Professor Marcel Nold and Associate Professor Claudia Nold are solving the biggest inflammatory challenges facing pre-term babies like baby Jack, while Professor Suzanne Miller has identified a new anti-inflammatory treatment to give babies starved of oxygen at birth a better chance at life. While in our Cancer theme, Hudson Institute researchers have identified promising new therapeutic targets, providing new hope to the families of children with cancer, like Lachy.
Inflammation contributes to more than half of all deaths worldwide, as well as widespread illness and disability. As the world’s biggest killer, inflammation underpins hundreds of health issues across the human lifespan including cancer, pneumonia, endometriosis and infertility, infectious diseases, COVID-19, and numerous conditions facing newborn babies and infants.
The potential of medical innovation targeting the body’s inflammation response is immense. Controlling the ‘inflammation cascade’ – a chain reaction that leads to severe, chronic inflammation – could help us tackle half of all human illness and disease.
Hudson Institute is home to Australia’s largest group of inflammation scientists. Their focus is to find treatments that can be translated into best practice healthcare.
Since the pandemic began, Hudson Institute has been part of the global fight against severe COVID-19 inflammation. Our scientists advise on how the immune system drives life-threatening inflammation during COVID-19 and provide clarity around which treatments are likely to work. Hudson Institute’s COVID-19 global impact continues with our industry partner, Noxopharm, to test the properties of its approved cancer drug, Veyonda, which is now moving from safety trials into larger random controlled clinical trials to determine whether it could potentially halt the fatal inflammation caused by COVID-19.
The pandemic has highlighted a lack of critical infrastructure, including high-containment facilities, to fight infectious disease outbreaks. So, we are pursuing plans to establish a National Centre for Inflammation Research (NCIR) – a world-class hub focusing on acute inflammation (such as COVID-19 acute respiratory distress) as well as many other chronic inflammatory conditions.
For the people who depend on our research, like Carly and Ryan and Dani and Darren who you’ll meet in the pages that follow, our science brings hope for new treatments and a better future.
However, it is only with your support that our scientists can solve the biggest health challenges facing our smallest and youngest patients. We hope you are inspired to give generously to our Infant and Children’s Health Appeal, so together we can bring smiles to the faces of families who need it most.
We remain as grateful as ever for the unwavering support of our community, especially in the difficult environment in which we all find ourselves.
Professor Elizabeth Hartland
Director and CEO