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First published Wednesday 4 May 2022.

We welcome support at any level and for any duration. To allow our researchers to demonstrate the maximum impact of your kind donation, we recommend speaking with us to help facilitate and fulfil your grand ideas.


Simmone Sharp
Manager, Philanthropy Major Gifts
Phone: +61 8 6319 1822

Niamh Troy has recently completed her PhD at the Wal-yan Respiratory Centre - a powerhouse partnership between Telethon Kids, Perth Children's Hospital Foundation and Perth Children's Hospital. A researcher working at Telethon Kids and University of Western Australia, her PhD research provides strong rationale for how we can harness babies’ innate immune systems using bacterial medications to protect against lung infections and potentially prevent asthma.

Niamh was the co-winner of the PhD Scientist of the Year Award at the Premier’s Science Awards 2021 and was named a “Rising Star” of 2022 by The West Australian. She is a STEM ambassador with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, a public-engagement role for the promotion of STEM in WA.

Her research uses cutting-edge bioinformatics to better understand the immune response to respiratory viral infections – and her awarded funds will inspire new big ideas for the next step. 

​ "All my skills are around understanding the immune system in chronic disease, so that's the launchpad I'm going to try and jump from." 

- Niamh Troy 

Dr Samantha Carlson is a Senior Research Officer in our Infectious Diseases Epidemiology team – dedicated to exploring the big gap in routine vaccine uptake between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in Perth. Samantha’s pathway to research was driven by her passion to prevent infectious diseases through vaccinations.

Dr Carlson is the lead author of a paper, published in the international journal Vaccine, which examines the vaccine intentions of people taking part in the CORONAVAX study and whether these intentions change following major tweaks to Australia’s vaccine program.

CORONAVAX is a collaboration between Telethon Kids Institute and UWA which is exploring vaccine hesitancy to understand community concerns and help inform State and Federal Government communication strategies around the vaccine rollout.

Funding from the Illuminate Award will enable Samantha to support the inclusion of an Aboriginal Research Assistant in her team who works closely with the Aboriginal community – an important role focused on increasing vaccine uptake in a culturally appropriate and co-designed way.

“I did an undergraduate in a Bachelor of Science, and we had one lecture on public health. I thought this is just amazing and that night I went home and enrolled in a Master of Public Health, and subsequently did my PhD in this area”

- Dr Samantha Carlson

Dr Gina Trapp is the Head of Food and Nutrition –with an ambition to lead her team to become a hub of child and adolescent nutrition research globally, whilst also being a valuable collaborator to other researchers, governments, organisations, and service providers.

Dr Trapp has over 18 years of research experience and has worked across a wide range of projects spanning the obesity prevention areas of nutrition, physical activity and built environments. These projects have focused on the design, implementation and interpretation of large-scale population surveys, cohort studies and natural experiments aimed at understanding and influencing obesity-risk behaviours in children and adults to improve population health.

​"To grow myself and my team's capacity and program of research, over the next 5 years I will maintain a highly competitive track record for securing nationally-competitive funding, build capacity by training postgraduate/postdoctoral researchers and further develop strong (inter)national collaborations,"

 – Dr Gina Trapp

Dr Hannah Moore is a Program Head of Infections and Vaccines and Co-Head of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Team within the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. In 2021 she received a 5-year fellowship from the Stan Perron Charitable Trust and was previously named an Emerging Research Leader here at the Telethon Kids.

Her team has contributed to maternal influenza vaccination policy through showing that antenatal influenza vaccine does not result in adverse birth outcomes and is currently contributing to national seasonal influenza vaccination policy though their involvement in a collaborative network across Australia.

Hannah's Illuminate Award funding will help her to achieve her research goals to accelerate progress and expedite vaccine policy.

​"Awards like this give me the opportunity to now employ a project support officer or help supplement salaries, such as our new mathematical
modeller to look at some of the big research questions around the respiratory syncytial virus. These funds will really help progress the research and actually get it done." 

- Dr Hannah Moore