Evelina London Zip

Our pioneering research

Evelina London is one of the top performing children’s research hospitals in the country with many different areas of active research.

There have been some striking successes in recent years:

  • Professor Gideon Lack and his team have made a significant breakthrough in the understanding and prevention of peanut allergy, an increasingly common and sometimes life-threatening condition. They showed that the early introduction of peanuts to the diet reduces rather than increases the development of allergic reactions. This is the opposite to what had previously been believed and will change how children are cared for in the future.
  • Professor David Edwards and his colleagues showed that a simple new treatment significantly improves the outcome of babies suffering birth asphyxia. They found that by cooling affected babies just a few degrees it doubles the chance of them surviving long-term without disability. This is the first effective treatment for this very serious and often fatal problem.

Both of the above paediatric research teams have access to a Clinical Research Facility (CRF) – a clinical space to see children who are part of research studies. The other specialties at Evelina London have limited access to dedicated space for their research.

Wider children’s research ongoing at Evelina London would greatly benefit from a dedicated CRF and mean that teams would have the opportunity to do so much more.

Neurosciences

The Children’s Neuroscience department at Evelina London is one of the largest in Europe and the team is actively researching into a wide range of rare and common conditions including:

  • autism
  • brain inflammation e.g. encephalitis and multiple sclerosis
  • childhood developmental movement disorders
  • neurogenerative conditions such as Battens Disease
  • epilepsy
  • sleep disorders including sleep apnoea

Nephrology

There are currently 10 research studies going on in the department and 400 children have been involved in renal-related research.  

Ongoing research into blood pressure has already created new knowledge that has implications for children who are diagnosed with and treated for high blood pressure, those with excess weight and those with complex medical problems.

The team hopes to develop new blood pressure treatment standards for children with kidney disease with the aim of limiting heart damage for these children in the longer term. This work is in conjunction with the children’s cardiology team.

Intensive Care and Cardiology

The Intensive Care team has recently completed a large early stage clinical trial aiming to better understand and treat blood loss in cardiac surgery. As part of this trial some children received a personalised (unique to the child) dose of a blood product called fibrinogen concentrate.

Bone disorders

The Evelina London Bone Service is a new service to care for children with both rare primary bone disorders such as achondroplasia (also known as dwarfism) and increasingly common secondary osteoporosis and vitamin D disorders like rickets.  A better understanding of these conditions and access to innovative new treatments via research is an integral part of working with and improving care for these children.

Haematology

The team is investigating many aspects of sickle cell disease. They are exploring new therapies to prevent painful side effects of this condition and have investigated the incidence of, and therapies to prevent, neurological complications.

Infectious diseases

In collaboration with an international consortium, the team is actively researching different treatment options for children with HIV.

Genetics

Rare diseases will affect 1 in 17 people at some time during their life, equating to 3.5 million people in the UK and 30 million across Europe. Currently 6,000-8,000 rare diseases are recognised, with five new conditions being described every week. Eighty per cent of rare diseases have a genetic component and with new developments in genetic screening technologies, accurate diagnosis is now more rapid.

The Genetics team is part of an international collaboration investigating potential ground breaking new treaments for children with achondroplasia. There are also clinical trial opportunities in rare disease conditions such as Angelman syndrome, Rett syndrome, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, certain skeletal dysplasia conditions and inherited metabolic disease.

As a leading paediatric centre allied with a world-renowned clinical genetics service, there is an obvious willingness to participate in these trials. This benefits our patients with rare diseases who otherwise would have to travel overseas to take part in these potentially life-changing studies.

Your support can help us give more children hope for better treatments and cures in the future – please donate now.