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LifeCourse: Maximising research to provide a healthy start to life
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Strategic Initiative: LifeCourse

Creating a healthy start to life is vital to reduce disease risk later in life, and close the gaps created by social and economic inequities.

The LifeCourse initiative builds on Murdoch Children’s strength in population health to propel new research aimed at giving children that healthy start.

Launched in 2013, the Melbourne Children’s LifeCourse Research Initiative brings together an impressive array of longitudinal cohort studies from members of the Melbourne Children’s Campus, made up of Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital, and the University of Melbourne. This vital platform equips researchers with the tools, access and collaboration opportunities to produce more meaningful and robust research.

LifeCourse includes more than 30 distinct clinical and population-based studies that capture the health and development of over 60,000 participants, dating back as far as 1983. These cohorts hold over 500 million data points spanning from pre-conception to adulthood. In addition, the collection includes over 65,000 biosamples.

In population health, we collect data and samples from people over the course of years, decades and even generations to study the origins of common diseases. Murdoch Children’s is home to almost two-thirds of this kind of research in our region. We are leading the hunt to address our looming population-wide epidemics of obesity, mental illness, allergy and more.

The studies that make up LifeCourse have already shaped policy and clinical care nationally and internationally. By bringing these resources together, our researchers continue to build our understanding of the burden, causes and consequences of childhood diseases in Victoria and globally.