Investigating the long-term effects of medication use during pregnancy has led Flinders University researcher Associate Professor Luke Grzeskowiak from the College of Medicine and Public Health to be awarded a Research Fellowship by the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation.
Commencing in July 2021, Associate Professor Grzeskowiak will use his Fellowship in Medicines Use and Safety to establish a sophisticated and robust approach for routinely evaluating medication safety and effectiveness during pregnancy and lactation, to optimise birth outcomes and future child health.
A CRF Fellowship is structured as a three-year, full-time tenure of $150,000 per annum, with an option for a further two years. Funding for the program comes exclusively from an endowment portfolio established by CRF in 1976 with proceeds from the SAS Channel 7 Adelaide (then SAS10) annual Christmas Appeal telethons.
Significant support is also provided to Flinders University to host the Fellow and their research.
Professor Robert Saint, Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), says Associate Professor Grzeskowiak’s research is a perfect fit for the ambitions of the CRF to create better lives for children and he welcomes the Foundation’s support.
“This timely fellowship will support local research excellence of worldwide significance – what happens in our early years can influence us our whole lives, and Associate Professor Grzeskowiak’s efforts to build knowledge and understanding of the effect of medicines on unborn and newborn children could make a difference in health outcomes on a global scale,” Professor Saint says.
“We thank the CRF for its generous strategic support that is helping Flinders University to make a difference.”
Designed for mid-career researchers, and to be South Australian-led, the program also addresses improving quality of life for young people and adults resulting from childhood disability and disease.
Associate Professor Grzeskowiak’s selection came after an extensive recruitment process by the CRF Board and its Research Committee that was open to international researchers.
Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Executive Director, Mr Greg Ward, says the fellowships are an exciting and timely initiative by the organisation to give fresh opportunity to South Australia’s research community and to help build research capability and careers in the state.
“Our fellowships are aimed to encourage mid-career researchers to focus on research into the health, education and welfare of children while supporting their career advancement.
“Ensuring the research be South Australian-led means we also want to encourage scientists, clinicians and allied health professionals to stay in SA to enjoy a career and lifestyle that’s bolstered by their contribution to building a lasting legacy in children’s research.”
Alongside Associate Professor Grzeskowiak, CRF also awarded a new research fellowship to Dr Zlatko Kopecki, Future Industries Institute Foundation Fellow at the University of South Australia.
“CRF congratulates its inaugural Fellows, Dr Zlatko Kopecki, and Associate Professor Luke Grzeskowiak and believes the opportunity provided will not only help spearhead their already successful research in child wound management and the use and safety of medicines with children, but to help CRF realise its vision for all children to grow and thrive, and to live happy lives,” Mr Ward says.
Overall, the research fellowship program by the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation will invest close to $1 million into the prevention and management of childhood disability and disease.