Robert & Kylie alongside SIDS and Kids and the American SUDC team have the absolute pleasure of announcing a joint International venture involving Australian researchers for the first time in the Sudden and Unexplained Death of Children. The Cooper Trewin Memorial SUDC Research Fund will donate $95,000 for the first year to help the program get up and going under the leadership of Dr. Hannah C. Kinney based at the Boston Childrens Hospital. We have also pledged another $30,000 next year that is also being matched by SIDS and Kids Australia which combined total $60,000 towards the International Project and Australian research components. Please read further from Laura Crandell, founder of the SUDC program in America-

One of the greatest human tragedies is the sudden unexpected death of a child—when that death remains unexplained, it is even more devastating for the parents, the family, and society at large.  Fortunately the sudden unexplained death of a child (SUDC), which is defined as the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted is rare- occurring mainly in toddlers with an incidence of 1.2/100,000 in the United States.  Yet, it is this very rarity that makes research into the causes and mechanisms of SUDC almost intractable.  Indeed, it is virtually impossible for any one investigator in a single jurisdiction within any country to accrue a sufficient number of cases to discern commonalities among them—the critical clues that lead to testable hypotheses and evidence-based scientific inquiry necessary to determine the ultimate means of prediction and prevention.  Thus, it is essential that investigators come together to pool their ideas, drive, and resources and study SUDC in a concentrated world-wide effort.

Current SUDC research efforts are at a critical juncture:  Dr. Henry F. Krous, the scientific co-founder of the San Diego SUDC Research Project at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA, plans to retire in June, 2012, and efforts are currently underway to transfer the project’s research base over the next year to Children’s Hospital Boston, MA, under the leadership of Dr. Hannah C. Kinney, a long-time collaborator in the project.  The patient resource base, under the leadership of the co-founder Ms. Laura A. Crandall of The SUDC Program, will remain in Hackensack, NJ.  This transition period represents a critical opportunity to rethink and reshape the direction of SUDC research and to build into it for the first time the infrastructure for international collaborative endeavors, beginning with links to Australia.  

The Cooper Trewin SUDC Research Fund, in partnership with SIDS and Kids, announces its support of the development of an international initiative between Australia and the United States to perform SUDC research through the organizing leadership of the SUDC program at Children’s Hospital Boston.  This initiative involves support in the transition and infrastructure-building period, as well as support for shared research studies into potential brain mechanisms underlying SUDC We look forward to sharing more details as they become available in the upcoming weeks.