$100,000 3-year genetic study

River’s Gift are committed to funding world leading SIDS research on our home soil in Australia.

In July 2019, River’s Gift pledged our funding commitment to the research of Professor Leanne Dibbens at the University of South Australia, in collaboration with Professor Robert Vink and Professor Roger Byard, of the University of Adelaide. To this point in mid-2021, Professor Dibbens has generated a DNA biobank for babies who have died of SIDS, helping find possible genetic causes for this devastating condition.

Professor Dibbens group has a long track record in gene discovery in human disorders and the creation of biobanks and will now use this approach to study genetic implications in SIDS deaths. Her laboratory is using state-of-the-art genomic technologies established in the laboratory to look for causes of SIDS, with the aim of being able to identify and manage babies who are most at risk of a sudden and unexpected death.

Collaborative Research Partnership

Between April-September 2018, River’s Gift partnered with LaTrobe University, Safe Sleep Space and Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice in conducting an ethics approved Safe Sleep and Settling Knowledge survey.

The survey was conducted amongst more than 2,000 Australian participants and, disturbingly, it was found that there were substantial shortfalls in safe sleep and settling knowledge amongst portions of the participant cohort. The research paper is currently in development, with anticipation for it to be published in late 2019.

Global research evidence clearly represents that safe sleep practices heavily reduce the risk of an Apparent Life Threatening Event (ALTE) in sleep, helping to protect the lives of infants in their first year of life. Evidence based research clearly shows that reducing external stressors on infants is a critical piece of solving the SIDS puzzle.