News & Events

Institute News
A/Prof Adam Scheinberg is an Honorary Fellow Manager in Developmental Disability and Rehabilitation Research Tell us about your work Our team of researchers from MCRI, Swinburne University, The University of Melbourne, Data61 and The Royal Children’s Hospital have been designing and developing a socially assistive robot, the NAO, for paediatric rehabilitation. We were initially approached in 2014 by The Brainery, who were looking for researchers interested in using the NAO. NAO is a humanoid robot, which weighs 5.4 kg and can fall over and get up by itself. It has over 50 sensors with facial recognition using two HD cameras and four directional microphones. The latest version is expected to also have depth perception. What is the latest exciting update on your project? We have adapted the NAO to deliver a series of post-surgery rehabilitation exercises as prescribed by the child’s physiotherapist. This has involved the clinicians working with data...
Research News
Researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in The Netherlands have made an important step towards making human kidneys from stem cells that they one day hope can be used to treat kidney disease. The research is part of a regenerative medicine project in which human stem cells are used to develop kidneys with functioning tissue as an alternative for renal replacement. In 2015, Professor Melissa Little and her team grew kidney tissue from stem cells that can be used in drug screening and disease. Researchers across the globe now use this method. “The mini-kidney we have grown in the laboratory has all the different cell types and structures found in a ‘real’ kidney, but so far we haven’t managed to properly attach the blood vessel system in a culture dish and achieve sufficient maturation of this kidney tissue”, explains...
Institute News
Dr Margie Danchin is a Senior Research Fellow in Vaccine and Immunisation Research Tell us about your work I am a general paediatrician and senior research fellow at MCRI. I have worked on vaccine research around clinical trials, vaccine safety and vaccine social science for 10 years. My current focus is around developing new interventions to improve vaccine confidence and uptake. I am passionate about finding ways to help parents choose to immunise their children with confidence and have their questions addressed. Vaccine hesitancy is a global issue and we need effective interventions to sustain confidence in vaccine programs to improve vaccine uptake and reduce vaccine preventable diseases in mothers and children. What are you hoping to achieve through the work that you’re doing/what is your ideal goal? I hope to mandate vaccine conversations with mothers, particularly first time mothers, early and at regular times in pregnancy so that vaccine...
Research News
Rapid genomic testing will soon be available to critically unwell Australian babies and children with suspected genetic conditions, as part of four new national genomic research studies launched by Australian Genomics . From next month, the Acute Care Genomics study will enrol infants and children with suspected genetic conditions from intensive care units across much of the country. The study aims to provide genomic test results in as little as five days to quickly pinpoint the cause of the child’s condition and inform their clinical care. Rapid genomic testing is currently only available at a handful of centres worldwide, and the study will be the first to pioneer a national approach to rapid rare disease diagnosis. The Acute Care Genomics study is co-led by A/Prof Zornitza Stark, A/Prof Marcel Dinger, and Dr. Sebastian Lunke. A/Prof Zornitza Stark is a clinical geneticist at Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (a wholly owned not-for-profit...