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Projects

Research project
The Vaccine & Immunisation Research Group of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in collaboration with The University of Melbourne is conducting a research study on a vaccine against meningococcal type A,C,W,Y infections in healthy adults between 18 and 40 years. What is meningococcal disease? Neisseria meningitidis or meningococcus is a family of germs (bacteria) that can cause meningitis, which is an infection of the surface of the brain. While meningitis is a rare infection, it can be life-threatening and lead to permanent disability. These bacteria can also cause an infection of the blood, called sepsis. The most common groups in the meningococcus family that can cause disease are groups A, B, C, W and Y. What is the study about? This study is comparing the body’s ability to produce antibodies against the study vaccines, as well as the safety of a new liquid formulation of the MenACWY vaccine with a...
Research project
Genomic medicine is increasingly employed in clinical care of individuals with common and rare disease, although its implementation is still slow relative to the promise this technology holds. One of the major barriers to use of genomic medicine is limited provider awareness and knowledge, based on the rapid pace of development in this field but also its lack of incorporation into medical curricula and medical education training. There has been much debate as to when increased education of genetic testing and genomics should occur. The aim of this project is to assess the current understanding and knowledge of genomics in medical students across Australia and New Zealand. We have developed a short survey using REDCap to better understand the capabilities of medical students entering the healthcare workforce in Australia and New Zealand with regards to genetic testing and genomic medicine. As it is thought that genomics and personalized medicine will...
Research project
What is MIST? Snoring and difficulty breathing while asleep is very common in childhood and can cause lots of sleepless nights, as well as behaviour and concentration problems during the day. Up to now, the main treatment for snoring and difficulty breathing in sleep is surgery. We want to see if a nose spray (mometasone) can help children sleep better and avoid surgery. This medicine is already commonly used in children with hay fever and is available over the counter (without a prescription). Who can take part? Families with children: aged 3-12 years who snore most nights and have some difficulty during sleep Who can’t take part? Children who: have already had their tonsils removed have a serious long-term health problem What will I be asked to do? Attend 2 visits at either Monash Health or the Royal Children’s hospital, 6 weeks apart Give your child nose spray of the...
Research project
Project overview More than two per cent of Victorian children up to the age of 11 are diagnosed with autism, with 30 per cent of those said to have lost language and social skills over time. Of those who lose skills, a smaller proportion will experience substantial regression over a period of just weeks or months. Little is known about the causes of this severe and rapid loss of skills. The MCRI’s Loss of Skills study will collect high quality information about children with autism or social and communication impairments consistent with autism who have substantial loss of skills. By focusing on children up to age seven, researchers hope to discover possible causes as well as describe clinical subtypes of loss of skills, and to be able to link the two. Who can participate? Children who live in Victoria diagnosed with autism or who have social communication impairments consistent with...
Research project
Mild Matters is a research project which aims to find out if hearing aids can help babies and young children with bilateral mild hearing loss. Babies can be born with different degrees of hearing loss. Hearing aids can help babies with moderate or greater degrees of hearing loss, but we do not know whether they help babies with mild hearing loss. This study helps us answer this important question. Throughout 2018 and 2019, we are inviting babies and children to take part in this project who: have mild permanent hearing loss in both ears are less than 2 years old are from NSW, QLD or VIC have been diagnosed within the last three months If you are interested in taking part in this study or have any questions about the research, please contact the Mild Matters research team on 03 9345-6180 or mild.matters@mcri.edu.au .
Research project
The HearS-cCMV project team is working with the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) to provide additional services to Victorian families. This project involves an extra test for babies who do not pass their second hearing screen who are born at selected Victorian hospitals: The Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville The Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg The Monash Medical Centre, Clayton Sunshine Hospital, Western Health, Sunshine Video instructions for taking a saliva swab This extra test uses a sample of the baby’s mouth saliva (spit) to see if there was a virus (germ) called cytomegalovirus (CMV) present at the time of their birth. If the virus is present from birth it is called congenital CMV. For a very small number of babies, congenital CMV can be the cause of life-long hearing loss. For some of these babies, there may be a treatment available if the doctors know this virus is present...
Research project
This project aims to learn more about the health, development, wellbeing and fertility of young men conceived using ICSI whose fathers either had a problem with sperm production or a blockage preventing the passage of sperm. A number of studies have assessed the health and development of ICSI-conceived children, but only one study so far worldwide has evaluated ICSI-conceived young adults aged more than 18 years. We think it is extremely important to evaluate the health and fertility of young men conceived using ICSI because it is being used more and more frequently. More knowledge in this area will help us better inform couples who are struggling with infertility and assist fertility specialists worldwide. We conducted a similar study in 2013 in Victoria that looked at the health and development of young adults conceived with standard IVF (without ICSI) compared to young adults conceived spontaneously. The study was well received...
Research project
What is Vitality? There has been an increase in food allergy in recent years. The cause of this is unknown; however, the number of people experiencing allergic reactions has significantly increased. The aims of this study are to see the relationship between food allergy, vitamin D and immune function in infants. Who can take part? Mothers with infants: Age 6-8 weeks Planning to be primarily breastfed until 6 months of age (not exclusively bottle-fed) Living in Greater Melbourne, Victoria Who cannot take part? Infants already receiving vitamin D supplementation Infants born under 37 weeks gestation, under 2.5kg or with a significant medical problem What will I be asked to do? Participate in one initial home visit where we will collect samples. Complete 4 online surveys in your child’s first year of life. Attend a free allergy test appointment when your child turns one year old at the Royal Children’s Hospital...
Research project
CardioRegen The Melbourne Children’s Centre for Cardiovascular Genomics and Regenerative Medicine (CardioRegen) is an integrated clinical and research program across the Melbourne Children’s Campus and Parkville Precinct. Our vision is to transform the clinical care of patients with childhood heart disease by bringing together researchers across the translational continuum from discovery science to the clinic. CardioRegen encompasses three major research programs in Diagnostics, Discovery and Translation, which are broadly focused on understanding the genetic causes of childhood heart disease and developing novel regenerative therapies for children with heart failure. Childhood Heart Disease and Heart Failure Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in children, affecting up to 1 in 100 live births. Complex forms of childhood heart disease (CHD) often require multiple surgical interventions during early childhood and adolescence. Surgical advances over the past 20 years have dramatically increased survival rates, with more than 85% of children...
Research project
About the Australian and New Zealand Childhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification STudY (ANZ-CLARITY) In this research project, we are establishing a national juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) biobank, called ANZ-CLARITY (Australian and New Zealand ChiLdhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification sTudY). The ANZCLARITY study working to better understand the form of childhood arthritis called JIA in hopes of improving care, identifying cause, and eventually, finding a cure. JIA belongs to a group of illnesses called autoimmune diseases. Your body has an immune system, which fights germs and keeps you healthy. In autoimmune diseases the body’s immune system mistakes a normal part of the body for something foreign (like a germ), and starts attacking the body itself. In JIA the immune system attacks the joints and sometimes other body tissues. This is called an autoimmune process and we do not understand exactly how and why this happens. The symptoms of JIA are joint...