You are here

Projects

Research project
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) are finalists in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 & Change program, a $US100M grant for the winning world-changing team. This achievement recognises the outstanding contribution that teams from MCRI and The University of Melbourne Centre for International Child Health have made towards improving oxygen access globally – over many years. Why is oxygen important? Oxygen is one of the most essential elements of life. When we breathe in air (which contains 21% oxygen), our lungs extract oxygen and it is transported around our body by red blood cells. Oxygen is used by our cells to release energy so that we can stay alive and well. Hypoxaemia (low blood oxygen levels) is a life-threatening complication of many illnesses such as pneumonia, preterm birth, and sepsis. Hypoxaemia increases patients’ risk of death enormously – resulting in hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths each year. What is oxygen therapy? ...
Research project
Childhood outcomes of genomic copy number variants: The PrenatAL Microarray (PALM) study Why do we need the PALM study? The PALM study will follow up the health outcomes of children whose mothers had a particular genetic test during their pregnancy. This test, known as a microarray, looks at baby’s chromosomes, which are the packages of DNA contained in each cell. To be able to do this test the mother would have undergone a needle procedure (amniocentesis or CVS) during her pregnancy to collect a sample of the baby’s DNA. Some pregnant women who have a microarray will be told that their unborn baby has a known chromosome condition. Others will be told that there were no changes detected by the microarray. About 1 in 20 women will be told that their baby has a chromosome change that is ‘unknown’ or ‘uncertain’. This means that the health care workers do not ...
Research project
What is this project about? This study aims to understand the experiences of refugee background parents and the health and social care professionals caring for them in pregnancy and early parenthood during the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria. The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for the entire Victorian community. Through the application of a health equity lens, it is apparent that some members of our community may experience greater challenges than others, including refugee background parents and health and social care professionals working with these families on the front-lines of the pandemic response. The knowledge generated by this phenomenological study will help to ensure our short-and-long term responses to the pandemic are informed by the needs of refuge background parents and the professionals caring for them. Listening to What Matters is a collaboration between the MCRI Refugee and Migrant Research Program and the Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture (Foundation ...
Research project
What is the project about? Until now maternal suicide has remained largely unseen by society, researchers, and many health professionals. Our study, Making Sense of the Unseen, will begin to address this important gap in our knowledge. The study aims to understand women’s experiences of thoughts of suicide during pregnancy and the following year (a time known as the perinatal period). The experiences that women share with us will help us to understand and find a way to help women and families impacted by suicidality in the perinatal period. Making Sense of the Unseen is a collaboration between MCRI, James Cook University, and PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia . Who can take part? We would like to hear from women who: Had thoughts of suicide during pregnancy and/or the following year within the last 5 years Lived in Australia at the time Are over 18 years of age ...
Research project
What is the MIND the Vax Gap project? We want to understand parents' views on vaccination and factors that may affect their decisions about vaccinating their children. We know that getting children vaccinated may not always be easy. We are looking at three groups: children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism), children with Down Syndrome, and children from the general population. We want to learn more about what factors affect vaccine uptake for these children and their siblings. We also want to find out what concerns parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders might have about getting their children vaccinated. We hope this information will help us develop better ways to support parents to make their vaccination decisions and access vaccination services more easily. Who can take part? Parents with children: aged under 18 years who have a diagnosis of autism, or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, or from general population (typically ...
Research project
What is PEAT? We are studying egg oral immunotherapy in combination with probiotics to see if it is effective in treating children with egg allergy. Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in childhood affecting almost 9 per cent of babies in Australia and up to 2.5 per cent of children worldwide. Because eggs are a common cooking ingredient, accidental ingestion is common, causing frequent and sometimes life-threatening reactions. Currently the standard of care for treatment of egg allergy is the total avoidance of egg. We want to see if probiotic food immunotherapy is effective in treating egg allergies. Who can take part? Children: Aged 5-17 years Allergic to hen’s egg What will I be asked to do? For this study, the children will be randomly allocated into one of two groups. Half the children will go into an active group (probiotic and egg oral immunotherapy) and ...
Research project
Brain, cognition, mental health and functional outcomes in Type 1 diabetes – ~thirty year follow-up of the Royal Children’s Hospital Cohort What is the project about? We are conducting research examining the impact of Type 1 Diabetes on long-term brain, cognitive, mental health and functional outcomes. In order to interpret our results, we need to compare the outcomes of our Type 1 Diabetes participants with a group of healthy individuals of similar age. We are looking for adults who are happy to be part of this healthy control group! Who can take part? Individuals who are: aged between 28 – 44 years willing to attend a one off assessment appointment at MCRI (approximately 3.5 hours) Who cannot take part? Individuals with: a history of neurological illness history of brain injury current chronic illness What will I be asked to do? Complete a short questionnaire asking questions about your education, employment ...
Research project
What is PrEggNut? By 1 year of age, 10% (1 in every 10) of babies will develop a food allergy. Evidence to date suggests that the ideal time to prevent food allergy may be during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but little is known about the effect of what mothers eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding on the risk of food allergies in their babies. This research is testing whether the amount of eggs and peanuts a mother eats during pregnancy and breastfeeding has an influence on her baby’s food allergy development. Study results will be used to develop national recommendations about how much egg and peanut to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding to reduce egg and peanut allergies in babies. Who can take part? Pregnant women who: are less than 23 weeks gestation (singleton pregnancy), AND have at least two family members (themselves, partner or child/ren) with or with a history of ...
Research project
Program leader: Ken Pang Referrals of young transgender individuals to clinical services are rising exponentially across the western world. Consistent with this, recent population-based estimates suggest that the prevalence of young people identifying as transgender is around 1%, which is much higher than previously thought. Providing optimal clinical care for transgender young people is critical. A recent community-based survey of 859 Australian trans youth found a significant proportion had been diagnosed with depression (75%) and anxiety (72%), with 80% of respondents reported having self-harmed and 48% having attempted suicide (Strauss et al, 2017). Many of these young people lacked access to gender-affirming health care, and there is increasing evidence that providing supportive clinical care to transgender youth significantly improves mental health and wellbeing. The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service (RCHGS) provides care to transgender children and adolescents, and is one of the largest multidisciplinary clinics of its kind in the ...
Research project
Program leader: Frank Muscara Overview of team Global demand for accessible, evidence-based and cost-effective healthcare is rising. Advances in technology together with its increasing use and declining costs have opened up valuable opportunities for its application in healthcare. The Digital Health team is focused on identifying new ideas and approaches to the incorporation of technology in the paediatric health setting, and aims to develop and evaluate digital health solutions, that can be implemented into clinical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Overview of individual projects that are currently/actively being worked on within the team Banksia App study Safety plans are an important intervention to mitigate suicide risk and self-harm. When patients are treated within the inpatient mental health ward, safety plans are completed on paper. Patients may keep the paper based safety plan visible in a specific location, hide it or lose it. This may result in the plan not ...