You are here

News & Events

Research News
New research has shown that a new ‘high-flow’ oxygen therapy can be safely delivered in emergency departments and general paediatrics wards in both large tertiary children’s hospitals and smaller regional centres. The outcome of the study showed that high-flow therapy reduced the need for higher level of care from 23% to 12% in the standard oxygen therapy group. This is the first study in the world to demonstrate a change in practice that can impact patient outcome and reduce the need to escalate care for infants with bronchiolitis, which would also reduce the cost and burden on hospital care. The study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, involved 17 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand, including researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, the University of Melbourne, the Paediatric Critical Care Research Group (PCCRG) located at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital...
Research News
A test to diagnose cerebral palsy at birth, which could allow infants access to critical early interventions, is one step closer thanks to research from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). The research, recently published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics, has taken the first step to identify a biological early warning signal that a child might develop cerebral palsy – a physical disorder that affects one in 500 Australians. Supervising researcher Associate Professor Jeffrey Craig, now at Deakin University’s School of Medicine, said that although cerebral palsy mostly originated inside the womb, children may not get a diagnosis until one to two years of age, or even later in some mild cases. “But by studying ‘epigenetic’ marks influenced by the early environment in the womb, we can predict which babies will develop cerebral palsy, enabling early intervention to help lessen the symptoms of this condition,” Associate Professor Craig said. “This...
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...