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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...
Institute News
A/Prof Jeff Craig is a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental & Genetic Epidemiology Research Tell us about your research I study the role of epigenetics in the early life origins of chronic disease. Epigenetics refer to the molecular switches that control the activity of our genes without changing our DNA sequence. We know that the environments we encounter in the first 1000 days of life can change gene activity through changes to epigenetic switches and that these changes can last a lifetime. They can also predispose us to chronic diseases, from heart disease to autism. Through my research, I have shown that exposures such as alcohol or folate consumption in pregnancy can alter epigenetic switches. I have also found genes with epigenetic switches which are reset in people with disorders such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy. If I can replicate this finding in more samples, this could lead to earlier...