Action Medical Research - the leading UK children's charity - has today announced grants worth more than £1.2 million for top researchers across the country.

The charity is celebrating its anniversary in 2012 by marking 60 years of funding which has led to some key scientific breakthroughs. The new grants have been awarded to research institutes at universities and hospitals investigating conditions affecting babies and children.

In this latest round of funding, the charity has given out a total of £1,218,929 across nine different projects including research looking into children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, asthma and cystic fibrosis:

- Down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnoea: better screening might stop unnecessary suffering, two years, £199,752 granted to researchers at University Hospital Southampton, Evelina Children's Hospital, London and Sheffield Children's Hospital.
- Developing treatments for the rare genetic disorder Smith-Lemil-Opitz syndrome, three years, £173,809 awarded to researchers at Cardiff University.
- Microneedles technology for pain-free drug monitoring in new born babies, two years, £94,154 awarded to researchers at Queen's University Belfast.
- Does fungal infection contribute to the severity of asthma in children? two years, £133,642 awarded to researchers at University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.
- Management of kidney complications in children with sickle cell disease, two years, £91,290 awarded to researchers at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and King's College Hospital, London.
- Thyroid function screening during pregnancy: benefits for child development? two years, £107,853 awarded to researchers at Cardiff University.
- Upper limb rehabilitation for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, two years, £109,372 granted to researchers at the Newcastle University and The Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust.
- Reassessing lung function of pre-school children with cystic fibrosis, two years, £135,693 awarded to researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and Royal Brompton Hospital, London.
- Understanding the genetic basis of childhood ataxias, three years, £173,364 awarded to researchers at The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

None of our work would be possible without the generosity of people who make donations, raise funds and take part in events, as well as our trust and corporate partners.

Dr Caroline Johnston, Research Evaluation Manager, says: "At Action Medical Research we are determined to stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We know that medical research can save and change children's lives. The charity finds and funds some of the best medical research in the world for the benefit of babies, children and young people."

"Our gold standard scientific review process ensures that we only fund the best doctors and researchers in children's hospitals, specialist units and universities across the UK and we are delighted to announce our latest grant awards."

Action Medical Research funds a total of approximately £3 million worth of research grants every year, awarded in the summer and autumn. The charity also awards Research Training Fellowships annually. Posted 04/10/2012 by penny.hosie@pavpub.com