Latest projects funded: Over £6 million to improve health in East London and beyond

25 Apr 2017

Projects funded in our Spring grants round cover areas of health including childbirth, sickle cell disease and ovarian cancer, with local impact in East London as well as potential national and international significance.

Speaking about the impact of these projects, our Chief Executive, Fiona Miller Smith, said: “We’re excited by the potential of these new grants; they show our commitment to funding projects that make a real difference to the immediate communities we support, as well as impacting on healthcare on a broader scale – nationally and beyond.”

Below we’ve summarised the projects – incorporating both research and non-research. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • Supporting East London mothers through conception, pregnancy and childbirth - £2m

Many mothers in East London are at particularly high risk of maternal and newborn complications due to their genetics, compared to the rest of England. This research is dedicated to tackling the problems disproportionately affecting these women – such as diabetes and obesity – with projects covering conception, pregnancy, birth and post-birth. 

  •  Centre for Preventive Neurology: Halting the onset of vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis - £1.5m

This centre will be dedicated to researching how we can prevent disorders that affect the brain and nervous system – specifically, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. High risk individuals will be identified and large scale trials will be used to investigate the effectiveness of everyday preventions in halting or delaying the onset of the diseases.

The socioeconomic burden of these major neurodegenerative diseases is a public health challenge that can’t be understated, so this study has potential global health significance. 

  •  State-of-the-art CT scanner for Whipps Cross Hospital - £543,000

This new state-of-the-art scanner will scan cancer and cardiac patients quicker, with significantly improved images to guide treatment.

  • Improved treatments for patients with primary aldosteronism - £495,000

Aldosteronism - the excessive production of an adrenal gland hormone called aldosterone - leads to high blood pressure and a corresponding high risk of heart disease and stroke.

This study follows exciting new discoveries, looking at changing the management of aldosterone excess and is aiming to lead to new, improved treatment.

  • Preventing ovarian cancer by removing fallopian tubes - £368,000 

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of deaths from women’s cancers. The majority of ovarian cancer actually arises from the tube, not the ovary, and removal here can prevent the cancer while avoiding harmful consequences of early menopause.

This study will enable high risk women in East London and the rest of the UK to undergo tube removal to prevent ovarian cancer and will investigate the effects of this method and how it could change treatment and outcomes for patients.

  •  Investigating primary adrenal insufficiency - £318,000

Inherited genetic defects can result in adrenal insufficiency where the adrenal glands fail to produce cortisol – this is linked to significant illness and even death if unrecognised.

Researchers have identified a genetic defect associated with the disease, and will now investigate it further, which could aid early recognition of the condition and ensure suitable treatment.

  • Improving infection control at Whipps Cross Hospital - £283,000 

Currently, if an infection such as norovirus or influenza is suspected at Whipps Cross Hospital, testing is performed at The Royal London Hospital, creating delays in receiving results.

This study keeps the testing at Whipps Cross Hospital and has the potential to reduce the turnaround time from 48 hours to just 90 minutes - speeding up diagnosis, treatment and infection control.

  • External pacemaker for heart surgery patients - £222,000

Pacing boxes are routinely used for people coming out of heart surgery to ensure their heart is beating regularly. This particular model is a world first and the only model of its kind currently available.

  •  Improved research opportunities from data analysis - £152,000

Bringing together anonymised information from the GP records of 1.2 million people in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest will help GPs improve services.

This programme will give clinicians and researchers access to medical information on a scale and at a speed not previously possible. This will enable them to identify the issues and make the links that will lead to improved service delivery and facilitate new discoveries.

  •  Patient-friendly treatments for sickle cell sufferers - £132,000

Sickle cell disease is the fastest-growing inherited disorder in the UK and has a high prevalence across North East London and Essex, with Barts Health seeing over 1,000 patients a year with the disease.

Symptoms include chronic lethargy and  pain, and the condition can lead to strokes – there’s no cure.

This study will use the latest technological advances in transfusion to provide better care for patients, less painful treatments and fewer visits to hospital – helping local and national patients andl benefiting the wider NHS economy. 

More news

A marathon month for #TeamExtraordinary

We are so proud of our 17 runners, who’ve taken on the Brighton and London marathons this month.  We want to say a huge thank you and well done for your inspirational efforts!

Marathon Countdown: Danny's Story

Danny works for Rubicon, who kindly allow us to use their office (perfectly located halfway through the marathon route) as a cheer point and a spot for our runners' family and friends to join us.