Research achievements

Find out how Sparks-funded medical research achievements are changing children’s health.
Women at risk of carrying babies with spina bifida and other neural tube defects may benefit from taking inositol, also called vitamin B8, alongside folic acid during pregnancy, suggests research from a team at the UCL Institute of Child Health.
A non-invasive, low cost blood test that could help doctors diagnose some types of rare childhood cancers has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Clifford’s ground breaking work supported by Sparks successfully led to securing a large £4 million collaborative programme of work.
With the help of the results from this Sparks-funded project, Professor Cox and Dr Begoña Cachón secured a major grant of £2.6 million from the MRC The Medical Research Council are set to invest £2.6 million to allow researchers to start a clinical trial to test this new therapy.
A Sparks-funded research project is now bringing doctors closer to developing an affordable vaccine, which could save thousands of children’s lives around the world every year.
The Sparks CHARMS is the largest multi dimensional study of response to treatment in childhood arthritis in the world to date.
The work of Professor Taylor’s team has become best practice in UK laboratories, and this diagnostic approach is now used in many hospitals.
Dr Harrison found that babies who were good sleepers tended to be exposed to twice as much light between noon and 4 pm compared to the poor sleepers.
Sparks pioneering research into Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome has resulted in improved outcome for identical twins.
The research grew into the largest international study of clubfoot in the world, with more than 850 participating families.
Sparks funding led to a major government investment into research to improve treatment for thousands of infants in intensive care.
The research project funded by Sparks has paved the way for the development of an MRI-compatible incubator for newly born babies in intensive care.