News & Events

Student News
“Studying paediatrics lets you be creative and find a career that suits you. You just have to follow a different trajectory. I'm a junior doctor currently working at Western Health. Last year my path took me to Fiji where I joined MCRI’s Pneumococcal Research Group and the Centre for International Child Health, Department of Paediatrics to complete my MD research project. My project investigated respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in Fijian newborns. A well-established treatment for RDS, surfactant, was recently introduced into neonatal care at Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. But in a resource-poor setting this is an expensive treatment, so we needed to understand the epidemiology of the syndrome to work out what sort of impact surfactant had on outcomes for newborns with RDS. We reviewed all RDS-related admissions at Colonial War Memorial Hospital over a two-year period and collected data related to their demographics, clinical features, treatment and...
Institute News
A/Prof Sue White is a Clinical Geneticist at Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) Tell us about your work I work as a clinical geneticist at VCGS. My job involves trying to diagnose children with suspected genetic conditions. Sometimes, the diagnosis is very clear from the pattern of problems they have, but often it is not. This is where genomics has revolutionised our work. Our genomics research has demonstrated that in children with undiagnosed syndromes, genomic sequencing brings us five times more diagnoses at one third of the cost of traditional diagnostic tests. In our genomic sequencing project in undiagnosed children, more than half received a diagnosis from genomic sequencing. Within VCGS, we have a talented and passionate team of clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors, scientists and bio-informaticians building an innovative, skilled clinical exome service that provides answers for clinicians and families. What are you hoping to achieve through the work that...
Institute News
The Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) is a not-for-profit provider of genetic tests and genetic counselling services. Below, VCGS Associate Genetic Counsellor Dr Alison Archibald answers some common questions about the prepair™ genetic carrier screening test. What is genetic carrier screening? Genetic carrier screening gives you information about your chance of having a child with a genetic condition. Genes provide the instructions for our bodies to grow, develop and function. Genetic conditions are caused by changes in our genes. Some people carry certain gene changes which mean a higher chance of having a child with a genetic condition. Genetic carrier screening can identify whether you carry any of these gene changes that could cause a particular condition in any of your children. What is the prepair™ genetic carrier screen? What conditions are screened for? prepair looks to see if you’re a carrier of cystic fibrosis (CF), fragile X syndrome (FXS)...
Institute News
MCRI's Professor John Christodoulou and Professor Andrew Davidson have been made fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). New Fellows were welcomed from around Australia, representing many disciplines within the health and medical sciences, including basic and clinical science, public health and health services, physicians, surgeons and allied health practitioners. They were inducted at the Academy's third Annual Scientific Meeting, held at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide. ​ Professor Christodoulou has worked for more than 25 years as a clinical geneticist in the management of children with inborn errors of metabolism. He has a longstanding interest in Rett syndrome (RTT), with a potential new therapy and the discovery the second gene associated with RTT as notable achievements. ​ More recently, using next generation sequencing (NGS), he identified a number of new disease genes which directly led to specific therapies. As...
Institute News
Dr Valerie Sung is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Community Health Services Research Tell us about your research I am involved with many different research studies at MCRI. My two main projects are focused on children with hearing loss and infant colic – excessive crying. My first project, the Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Databank (VicCHILD), aims to advance research about childhood hearing loss. A databank is a special kind of research database. It helps to find eligible children for research projects, quickly answer questions that need large numbers of participants and shows how children’s health outcomes can change over time. So far, we have had more than 680 children with hearing loss join our databank. This makes it the largest of its kind in the world! For my PhD thesis, I ran the world’s biggest trial of a probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri for treating infant colic. I then led...