NSLHD News September 25

New Paediatrics Department opens at Hornsby There was much excitement as staff welcomed the first patient into the new Paediatrics Department.

Patients and their families were involved in the buzz that surrounded the new ward’s opening with balloons handed out and photos taken. Nurses, paediatricians and wards staff said goodbye to the old department as all patients were transferred to the new purpose-built ward which provide larger rooms and more suitable play areas.

The new department is second to open as part of the NSW Government’s $265 million redevelopment of the hospital, which is opening in stages and due for completion in 2021. Kolling researchers join global search for new insights into Parkinson’s disease The first patient arrives at the new Paediatrics Department at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

Kolling Institute researchers will help drive an exciting international project to identify the genetic links to Parkinson’s disease and new ways to treat the debilitating disorder. The program will bring together leading researchers from Sweden, the United States and Australia after a $12.5 million grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative, which will be administered by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The Kolling Institute’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue is thrilled to be involved, with the degenerative movement disorder impacting more than six million people worldwide. “Parkinson’s disease is one of the biggest neurological health challenges this century, affecting an increasing number of people due to our ageing population,” she said. Professor Sue, who is also the Director of Neurogenetics at Royal North Shore Hospital, said the project will use state- of-art technologies and a very specialised approach involving gene editing. “Our research will investigate three specific genes linked

Dr Gautam Wali, Prof Carolyn Sue and Dr Ryan Davis

to the disease, including the LRRK2, PARKIN and A-SYNUCLEIN genes,” she said. “By understanding how genes contribute to Parkinson’s disease, we will be in a better position to identify new therapies that could slow the disease process. “Even if we slow the process by a small amount, the impact on patients will be significant.” Two members of Professor Sue’s neuroscience research team will also join the three- year project, including Dr Ryan Davis and Dr Gautam Wali. “We have world leading expertise in this field and have been selected to take part after a global search for innovative programs to speed-up the search for the next generation of treatments for Parkinson’s,”

she said. “This collaborative project will see our team work with other world leading experts to unravel some of the fundamental mechanisms that cause Parkinson’s disease and develop new ways to treat the disorder. “The program illustrates the importance of our translational research at the Kolling Institute, where we can directly incorporate scientific breakthroughs to improve clinical care for our patients. “It also highlights the significance of a collaborative approach, where we can harness the strengths and expertise from multiple institutions to accelerate our research progress.”



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