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Medical Research

Medical research unlocks the secrets of the human body and how diseases work, with the aim to find cures, better treatments and inform disease prevention. By supporting life-changing medical research, you invest in a future with fewer illnesses, better health outcomes, and longer, more fulfilling lives for everyone.

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The need for medical research

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Developing Treatments

Medical research aims to discover new medications, therapies and medical interventions to treat various health conditions.

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Preventing Illnesses

Researchers work to identify factors that contribute to the development of diseases and explore preventive measures.

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Improving Diagnostics

Medical research contributes to the development of advanced diagnostic tools and techniques, enabling healthcare professionals to detect diseases earlier, with greater accuracy, and often before symptoms appear.

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Enhancing Public Health

Researchers can provide valuable insights to public health officials by studying population health trends and behaviours. This information guides the development of policies and interventions to promote overall wellbeing and prevent the spread of diseases.

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Advancing Medical Knowledge

Medical research contributes to the scientific community's general knowledge pool. This knowledge is shared through publications, conferences and collaborations.

Our impact on medical research

The Hospital Research Foundation is dedicated to driving advancements in medical research. You can see our full list of projects in our Impact Report, which includes support for groundbreaking research like:

  • investigating new bowel cancer screening methods to fast-track bowel cancer diagnoses   
  • bringing a ground-breaking therapy to human trials for children with brain cancer
  • treating deadly sepsis in Intensive Care through a trial of Vitamin C mega-doses
  • developing a world-first imaging device aimed at better diagnosing heart attacks  
  • finding a cure for inflammatory bowel disease through faecal (poo) transplants
  • and so much more!

Some of the more common diseases that affect our loves ones include:

Clinical trials for medical research

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are meticulously designed research studies involving human volunteers that test new treatments, interventions or diagnostic methods. These trials evaluate potential medications, medical devices, surgical techniques, behavioural therapies or preventive strategies.

How do clinical trials advance medical research?

Clinical trials play a crucial role in driving medical advancements by:

  • Determining safety and effectiveness: Clinical trials generate rigorous data to determine whether a new treatment works and is safe for broader use.
  • Improving existing treatments: Trials can compare new treatments to existing ones, identifying potentially better patient options.
  • Discovering new treatment possibilities: Clinical trials open avenues for investigating entirely new approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases.

Medical research vs. Clinical research

Medical research is a broad umbrella term encompassing all scientific investigations to improve our understanding of health and disease. Clinical research is a specific type of medical research that directly involves human participants.

Purposes of Clinical Trials

Improving Standards of Care

Findings from clinical trials can lead to establishing new standards of care, influencing clinical guidelines and practices. Continually refining medical practices ensures patients receive the most effective and up-to-date treatments.

Addressing Unmet Medical Needs

Clinical trials address unmet medical needs, such as rare diseases or conditions with limited treatment options.

Innovating Medical Technologies

Clinical trials often involve testing and validating new medical technologies, such as diagnostic tools or medical devices. This contributes to developing cutting-edge technologies that enhance the precision and efficiency of healthcare interventions.

Ethics of medical research

Medical research holds the potential to improve lives, but it must always prioritise the wellbeing, rights and dignity of research participants. Strict ethical guidelines are in place to protect those who contribute to scientific advancements.

Guiding principles

In Australia, any research involving humans or using personal information must adhere to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. This comprehensive framework ensures:

  • Respect for participants: Individuals are treated with dignity and their informed consent is paramount.
  • Research merit and integrity: Studies must be scientifically sound and have potential benefits.
  • Justice: Research is conducted fairly, with risks and benefits equitably distributed.
  • Beneficence: Researchers strive to maximise benefits and minimise potential harm.

Oversight and approval

Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) play a vital role in upholding ethical standards. An HREC must approve all research proposals involving humans before they can begin.

Resources for Further Information

How is medical research funded?

Medical research is a complex and often expensive endeavour. Funding is vital for:

  • Supporting researchers: Salaries, training and career development for scientists working on healthcare innovations.
  • Laboratory resources: Equipment, materials and technology needed to conduct experiments and gather data.
  • Clinical trial costs: Funding patient recruitment, medical procedures and data analysis in clinical studies.

The Hospital Research Foundation’s funding model

  • The power of community support: Donations and fundraising efforts are essential. Your generosity translates into groundbreaking research projects. To make a difference, see how you can support our mission here.

  • Commercial initiatives: We run initiatives like the Hospital Research Foundation Home Lottery, where significant proceeds go to our life-changing medical research.

Our impact: Successes enabled by funding

Thanks to the support of generous donors and funding sources, we have enabled significant advances in medical research. Explore some of our impact here.

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Research Areas

The Hospital Research Foundation Group supports world-class medical research and patient care activities from pregnancy to end-of-life and all the devastating diseases in between.

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Researcher Juewan Kim

Translational Research

The Hospital Research Foundation Group has been funding translational medical research and healthcare initiatives in South Australia for nearly 60 years.

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At The Hospital Research Foundation Group, we are proud to offer a range of healthcare services for people battling disease and illness.

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Each year The Hospital Research Foundation Group offers a number of competitive grants which target disease areas important to our supporters and the broader community.

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