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The Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Program Evaluation have partnered to independently evaluate MiniLit, a program targeting children in the bottom 25 per cent of readers at the start of year 1, to help improve their literacy skills. Led in collaboration by Evidence for Learning and the NSW Government, this is the first time in Australia that an independent randomised controlled trial has tested a program that teaches key reading elements such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Following the recent PISA results which suggest Australia’s literacy skills, especially for children living in disadvantage, are one year behind their peers in the world’s best performing countries, MCRI’s Professor Sharon Goldfeld said “it’s no longer okay to accept untested interventions.” “Research shows children who fall behind in reading are unlikely to catch up. We want to arm our teachers with the latest ...
The Murdoch Children's Research Institute has received a major boost towards life-changing childhood cancer research with the donation of more than $1 million by the Children’s Cancer Foundation towards three innovative research projects. The projects, which will receive funding during the next three years, will enable researchers to better understand the genetic changes that occur in childhood cancers and to develop new diagnostic and clinical tools. This will lead to more effective treatment and prevention for childhood cancers, including leukaemia, brain tumours and solid tumours. ‘The Children’s Cancer Foundation is committed to investing in Melbourne as a global leader in childhood cancer research. Each of these three studies will improve our understanding of the genetic drivers of childhood cancers and lead to changes in the way clinicians diagnose and make clinical treatment decisions for children,’ Children’s Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Aileen Boyd-Squires says. ‘We are proud to fund innovative research ...
Victorian children will be amongst the first in Australia to have access to clinical genomic testing after the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) received accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for its whole-exome sequencing service. VCGS’s new accreditation means young children with serious genetic disorders will be able to access this revolutionary testing as part of their clinical care. Previously, whole-exome sequencing through Victorian testing laboratories was only available to patients involved in research studies. VCGS is based at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and joins only a handful of medical testing laboratories in Australia to hold this accreditation, and is the only site in Victoria to offer a fully accredited clinical genomics service. Exome sequencing uses a technology called Next Generation Sequencing which is different to traditional gene testing because it enables all 20,000 genes to be tested at the same time. The strength of ...
Experts have identified a new treatment option that can be used to support adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN). Researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), The Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne compared the effectiveness of Parent-Focused Treatment (PFT) and Family-Based Treatment (FBT), the current standard of care for adolescents with AN. They found that there was a threefold increase in the odds of remission at the end of treatment in those who received PFT compared to FBT. The randomised control trial is the largest single site trial of family therapy for adolescents with AN. It reported on 107 patients, randomised to receive either PFT or FBT, between July 2010 and December 2015. The average age of participants was 15 years and 88 per cent were female. The average length of their illness was 10.5 months and more than one third were so unwell with AN that ...
A resounding agreement was reached on three updates to Australian infant feeding advice by all participants, including key industry bodies at a recent Summit. The Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines Summit was hosted by Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) on Friday 13th May 2016. The Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Guidelines provide advice and recommendations relevant to allergy prevention, on breastfeeding, the introduction of solids and supporting mothers and parents. The Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) is a national alliance of paediatric food allergy researchers and clinicians from 20 partner institutions across Australia. The Centre is coordinated from MCRI. Their collective research provides evidence to optimise food allergy management and find novel treatments. The 2016 CFAR Infant Feeding Summit is the second meeting on infant feeding. The initial roundtable was in August 2015 which summarised the research evidence on ...