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Celebrating 35 years of life-changing children’s medical research

Institute News
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 9:16am

Last week Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) presented its 2021 Annual Showcase.  

MCRI Director Professor Kathryn North said “during the Showcase, which celebrated 35 years of ground-breaking medical progress from the Institute, we heard from five of MCRI’s fabulous researchers and clinician-scientists.” 

Dr Katherine Howell and Associate Professor Sebastian Lunke spoke about their work accelerating acute care diagnosis through the power of next generation genomic sequencing.  

“This research is enabling faster and more appropriate treatments for children with genetic conditions, like Levi, who has genetic epilepsy,” Professor North said.  

Dr Rachel Conyers and Associate Professor David Elliott outlined the advances they are making in preventing the damaging side-effects of successful childhood cancer treatments.  

“One day they hope their work modelling this toxic heart damage, screening for therapeutics and searching for population-scale predisposition factors will mean young people like Tyler Airey may not need heart transplants,” she said.  

Dr Valerie Sung spoke about her work to introduce a new screening program for newborns who may be infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus which has potentially devastating outcomes like profound deafness or cerebral palsy.  

“By detecting infection early, Valerie hopes to start treatment while it can still make a difference, like it did for Teddy,” she said.  

Professor North said, “I would like to thank all of our speakers including our Chairs, Patrick Houlihan and Sarah Murdoch, for their wonderful contributions to this year’s event. I would also like to acknowledge both Foxtel and NewsCorp Australia’s invaluable support in providing support for the Showcase.”  

If you were unable to join on the day, you can watch the showcase by clicking on this link. You can also view the individual presentations via the links below:  

Dr Katherine Howell and Associate Professor Lunke:




 

Associate Professor Rachel Conyers and Associate Professor Elliott:



 

Associate Professor Valerie Sung: