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Waikato Medical Research Foundation Fund

Donations to the Waikato Medical Research Foundation Fund generate income that supports work by emerging health researchers and enables local capacity building.

The Waikato is a centre for world-leading health research, thanks in part to the work of the Waikato Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) since it was established in 1986.

The population of the Waikato is young, growing and diverse, with its own distinct health challenges and inequities, particularly amongst rural, Maaori and Pasifika communities. The Foundation's purpose is to provide seed funding for robust and ethical research into medical and health care that can bridge inequity gaps and improve health outcomes across the board.

Foundation Chair Gillian Spry points to the well-regarded ‘Sugar Babies Study’ by Dr Deborah Harris as a transformational project that received WMRF backing.

“That research changed clinical practice around the world. Newborn babies having low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, can lead them to suffer brain damage or death,” says Gillian.

In the Sugar Babies trial, sugar in the form of dextrose gel was shown to be very effective at reversing hypoglycemia and reducing the number of admissions to neo-natal intensive care for the condition.

The Foundation supports early career researchers, at a range of clinical settings, tertiary institutions and community organisations, where their projects may be too small for the national Health Research Council to fund.

It also builds local research capacity and capability through project collaborations with Braemar Hospital and the Cancer Society.


“Fostering research and better health outcomes is what we’re trying to do,” says Gillian.

“We are in a position to help make advances right here that have the potential to improve health for the people of the Waikato, and around the globe.”

We’ll send you a donation receipt so you can claim your tax credit.

If you encounter any challenges when donating, please contact us.