white coats foundation

The Power of One Grant

What is the The Power of One Grant ?

The ‘Power of One Grant’ is a commitment to White Coats Foundation’s mission to assist early research and discoveries that can lead to better health outcomes. The funds to support awarded projects comes from generous public donations collected as part of the annual Power of One clinical trials awareness campaign in November. Applications for the 2021/2022 Power of One Grant are now Now closed. The 2021 research option voted by our contributors was Neurology. 

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

Carl Sagan

Our 2021/2022 recipient

WCF is proud to announce the recipient of the Power of One 2021/22 – $5000 Grant is Madison Paton Phd – Research Fellow – Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute for her research project – Establishing Australia’s first stem cell therapy clinical trial for newborn stroke. Congratulations! 

About the Project

No current treatment options exist for babies with stroke, but early stem cell therapy to stimulate brain repair may offer a science-backed solution. Dr Paton is leading a team of researchers, clinicians and parents to deliver Australia’s first clinical trial of a stem cell treatment to protect the developing brain following stroke.

 Newborn brain injury is the most common cause of death and disability. No acute therapies exist. Early stem cell therapy to stimulate brain repair is a science-backed shift in thinking. For this program,  Dr Paton will help lead and co-ordinate clinicians, scientists, consumers and collaborators with the aim of establishing Australia’s first mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) clinical trial for neonates in Australia. Importantly, this program will bring awareness to the need for early phase clinical trials for cell therapies in neonates. This work is also centred around co-creation with families to deliver consumer-driven and informed research programs. 

This program has 3 objectives: (1) support collaborative preclinical and clinical research efforts to bring MSC treatments to the clinic, (2) engage neonatal intensive care units across Australia to enhance feasibility and awareness of MSC clinical trials, and (3) promote necessary research advances to improve speed of translation treatments for neonatal brain injury. This program is important and unique as there are no other treatment options for babies that target brain injury and early phase clinical research is the next necessary step to translate MSC treatments. We expect that this program will help to support consumer and community awareness, engagement and involvement in delivering an MSC clinical trial for babies with brain injury 

This research and activities within the program will be conducted across Victoria and New South Wales.

Read a little more about Dr Paton, her team and the project here 

Our 2020/2021 recipient

WCF is proud to announce the recipient of the Power of One $5000 Grant is …..The University of Newcastle for their research project- ‘Brain Cancer and Cognitive decline: The acceptability of Cognitive Screening for Aboriginal people in New South Wales (NSW)’. Congratulations! Tools that measure thinking and memory are important for supporting people with brain cancers, dementia, & other health concerns. The University of Newcastle will be working with local Aboriginal communities to explore the acceptability & cultural safety of current thinking and memory tools from the perspective of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

An update from the University of Newcastle

Thank you to the White Coats Foundation, through the Power of One grant, for supporting our research study. This aim of our study is to ensure a screening tool being used in healthcare is acceptable with Aboriginal peoples in New South Wales. The tool can identify whether people are experiencing changes in their thinking and memory that may require support. The tool is currently used in general practice and with neurology and cancer patients.

While we had intended to conduct yarning circles during 2021, Covid-19 has had other plans. With rising cases in New South Wales, it soon became clear that we would not be able to safely conduct the planned face-to-face yarning circles. We have had to postpone these yarning circles until next year. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will resume planning for our yarning circles and we have set aside the funds for the Power of One grant to support this.

In the meantime, we have been keeping very busy. This study is part of a larger research project that is trying to find acceptable and feasible ways for healthcare professionals to find changes in people with a brain cancer diagnosis’ thinking and memory. We have been conducting a systematic literature review to identify existing tools that are both effective and practical. We have also been piloting a thinking and memory tool with brain cancer patients and asking patients and caregivers about their experiences of changes in thinking and memory.

Ensuring that thinking and memory screening tools that used by healthcare professionals are acceptable with Aboriginal peoples remains a very important part of finding a tool suitable for use in healthcare settings. It is a priority to return to this research question as soon as we are safely able, with the support of the Power of One grant. We look forward to being able to being able to provide an update next year!

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