A scientist holding test tubes

An international collaboration aiming to better treat rare and serious childhood illnesses has been recognised by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH).

The International Precision Child Health Partnership (IPCHiP), which includes experts from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, University of MelbourneThe Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Boston Children's Hospital and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, has been named as a key ‘Driver Project’.

The accolade is given to projects that bridge genomics and medicine and ‘shape the way we access, share, study and use genomic data’ internationally.

IPCHiP is primarily focused on genomics, personalised medicine and treatments for rare diseases, with the hope of accelerating therapeutic developments. The collaboration recently explored rapid genome sequencing for infants with new-onset epilepsy. In addition, IPCHiP continues to nurture international research talent and look into the safe and secure pooling of data.

Professor Kathryn North, Director of MCRI and Australian Genomics and Vice-Chair of GA4GH, said the ‘Driver Project’ accolade was given to projects that help implement GA4GH’s global standards, tools and frameworks.

“Partnerships like IPCHiP are extremely valuable and have given voice to the broader genomics community and ensure that GA4GH products serve real patient needs,” she said.

“Being named as a ‘Driver Project’ shows that we are expanding the reach of GA4GH to vital areas within medicine and showing both prowess and leadership in the paediatric space.”

Nine other global projects were named alongside IPCHiP as ‘Driver Projects’ by GA4GH.