Excellent start for diabetes research centre

David Nickels speaks at the launch about his trial experience.
David Nickels speaks at the launch about his trial experience.

RESEARCH into childhood diabetes in Perth has been given a major boost with the launch of the $7 million WA Children’s Diabetes Research and Education Centre for Research Excellence.

Based at Telethon Kids Institute, it will be Australia’s first Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in paediatric clinical diabetes.

It was opened last Friday by Diabetes Australia president Judi Moylan.

Co-directors of the centre Professor Tim Jones and Associate Professor Liz Davis said the centre would bring together experts in type 1 diabetes, exercise, health economics and education.

“The centre puts our team at the forefront of type 1 diabetes research in the world,” Professor Jones said.

“It not only represents a massive vote of confidence in the skills and expertise of our local researchers but it gives children with type 1 diabetes in WA greater access to cutting-edge treatments through our research.”

Professor Jones said the centre would build the team’s capacity to do more research, including running clinical trials with international and national collaborators.

It would also improve the treatment for the growing number of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and reduce the billion dollar costs of managing the incurable disease.

“One of the unique features of our centre will be the high level of consumer involvement in all aspects of our research, from highlighting problems they confront at home, to translation of our research into clinical outcomes.”

Professor Davis said the centre had a holistic approach to diabetes treatment, which included programs to address the increased mental health issues suffered by young diabetics.

The WA Children’s Diabetes Research and Education Centre was launched with more than $7 million of funding over five years from various agencies.