16 November 2016 - New research facility will aid the development of new treatments for children’s liver failure
King’s College Hospital’s first dedicated paediatric research facility has opened at the Trust’s Denmark Hill site.
The Alex Mowat Paediatric Research Laboratories, known as the MowatLabs, have been developed primarily for research into children’s liver disease and acute liver failure, in close collaboration with the adult liver unit at the hospital.
The £1.2m state-of-the-art laboratories – which have been funded entirely through philanthropic donations – bring together clinicians, researchers, nurses, intensivists, surgeons and transplant specialists, in a collaborative research environment.
King’s College Hospital has the only joint paediatric and adult liver facility in the world. It is home to the world’s largest children’s liver unit, treating over 3,000 young patients a year, and is at the forefront of pioneering new treatments.
Professor Anil Dhawan, Clinical Director for Child Health and Director of the MowatLabs at King’s College Hospital, said, “The fantastic new MowatLabs will make all the difference to our young patients with serious, often life-threatening, liver conditions. It will help us develop new therapies and treatments, which will benefit children locally, nationally and internationally. We are already working on a number of exciting new research projects in the laboratories, which will build on over the coming months and years.
“Thanks to very generous donations from key supporters, we continue to strive for treatment breakthroughs, and can maximise the resources available to us.”
Nicholas Ness, whose 14-year-old son Samuel was born with biliary atresia – a condition affecting the bile ducts – had a liver transplant at King’s in May 2015. He said, “Sam is a direct beneficiary of research. Without out it, many of the treatments Sam has benefitted from would not have been available. Sam also spent a year on a drugs trial, which aided his recovery after the transplant. Laboratories like the MowatLabs are vital in making treatment advancements.”
The new laboratories will also encourage research into children’s respiratory medicine, gastroenterology, sickle cell disease and neurological conditions.
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