Your support is helping to transform child health

Four exceptional scientists share how the Academy has supported them to improve child health across the UK and beyond.

We spoke with four outstanding scientists working to improve child health, including our Prioritising early childhood to promote the nation’s health, wellbeing and prosperity report co-chair, Professor Helen Minnis FMedSci, and three researchers who have benefitted from Academy programmes supported by your donations. Their work, which will improve the wellbeing of children across the UK and beyond, is made possible thanks to the generosity of individual supporters like you.

Professor Helen Minnis, Professor Ian Kelleher, Dr Niina Kolehmainen, and Professor Chris Gale share the highlights from their current projects, and how the Academy has supported them to drive forward innovation in child health research.

Helen brings to light a national child health crisis

Professor Helen Minnis FMedSci is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and was elected to the Academy’s Fellowship in 2022. With clinical and research expertise in the psychiatric problems of abused and neglected children, she has built up the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Group in Glasgow to an internationally renowned Centre of Excellence.

Helen co-chaired the Academy’s recent report on child health, which brought to light the growing health crisis affecting UK children under five and provided examples of effective, evidence-based interventions that can be made to improve lifelong health. It identified important challenges including plunging vaccination rates, poor dental health, and an unprecedented demand for children’s mental health services. Following widespread engagement with the report, Helen is hopeful it will give young children a voice otherwise unavailable to them.

Helen said, "I’m just so grateful that the Academy is focused on this area because there is a massive evidence gap. I would like to ask you all to continue to support research on child health because there’s so much that we learned through pulling together this report, but there’s so much more that we need to know."