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Projects

Research project
The SENTINEL study aims to describe the epidemiology of hospitalised children treated for sepsis in Australia and New Zealand. The primary objective is to describe the prevalence, resource utilization, and outcomes in hospitalised children treated for sepsis in Australia and New Zealand. Why do we need the SENTINAL study? Sepsis is the leading cause of early childhood death worldwide, with an estimated 4 million children dying from this final common pathway for severe infections every year(1). The burden of disease in Australia and New Zealand is unknown, including mortality, duration of hospitalisation, requirement for intensive care and organ support therapies, and long-term functional outcome in sepsis survivors. Early markers of severe disease and predictors of poor outcome in childhood sepsis are unknown. Sepsis-related hospital costs are estimated at $4 billion per annum for children and $12 billion per annum for adults in the United States(2). The cost of hospitalisation for ...
Research project
What is OPTIMUM? The number of children diagnosed with food allergies has risen greatly in Australia and around the world in the last 20 years. There are many factors currently being investigated that may contribute to why so many more children have food allergies. The OPTIMUM Study is looking to determine whether one dose of ‘whole cell’ pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine given at two months of age instead of the current ‘acellular’ pertussis vaccine can help protect young children against allergic outcomes. Who can take part: Healthy babies aged 6-12 weeks of age (born after 32 weeks gestation) Living in Greater Melbourne, Victoria Who cannot participate: Babies who have already received their 6-8 week vaccines Babies with other serious health issues Babies where a food allergy has already been diagnosed What happens in the study? Participation will be for 18 months and will involve 3 study visits, including a free ...
Research project
What is the TreEat Study? A study to test a new model of care for the prevention of tree nut allergy for infants with peanut allergy. The TreEat study compares a multi-nut oral food challenge versus home introduction of single tree nuts. Infants will be eligible if: aged between 4 months and 11 months of age have confirmed peanut allergy with SPT (≥3mm) or sIgE (>0.35kU/L) Infants will be ineligible if: Any history of severe food induced anaphylaxis. (2 doses of IM adrenaline) Pre-existing tree nut allergy (parent-reported) Any tree nut already tolerated (ingestion on >3 occasions without reaction of around 1 teaspoon) SPT or sIgE performed to any tree nuts Not commenced or unable to eat solid food Prescribed beta-blocker medication Register interest The study is being conducted in Melbourne (Australia). Infants must be less than 11months of age and can only be referred to the study by their ...
Research project
The aim of the AMIE study aims to develop better understanding of the impact of lifestyle and environment on male infertility. Tens of thousands of couples trying to have children in Australia have fertility issues. Almost half of these are due to problems concerning the man. Unfortunately, not much is known about the causes of male infertility. There is some research that suggests lifestyle or environmental factors could play a part. We know that smoking, diet or environmental pollutants can lead to diseases like cancer or diabetes. What we do not know is whether these are also related to infertility. The AMIE study aims to understand how health, lifestyle and environmental factors may impact on male infertility and treatment outcomes for male infertility. This study is being done by an expert team of scientists and clinicians, led by the Reproductive Epidemiology group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). It ...
Research project
PRagMatic paediatric trial of balanced vs normal saline fluid in sepsis This study is now recruiting About PRoMPT BOLUS The goal of PRoMPT BOLUS is to compare 0.9% saline and balanced fluids that are currently both used in routine clinical care. Both fluids are commonly used, and both are helpful to treat paediatric sepsis, but we do not yet know which fluid is the safest and most effective. PRoMPT BOLUS is a pragmatic clinical trial, which means that the study conditions mimic “real life” as much as possible with simple inclusion criteria, few exclusion criteria, and very few elements of care that are protocolised. PRoMPT BOLUS is a large clinical trial that will enroll over 8,000 children with sepsis across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Study Population PRoMPT BOLUS will enroll children over 6 months and less than 18 years of age with possible sepsis during an ...
Research project
All pregnant women in Australia are offered voluntary prenatal screening for fetal chromosome conditions to learn more about their health of their unborn baby. The Reproductive Epidemiology group has led research in this field for many years, publishing scientific papers and reports on prenatal testing that have informed Australian clinical practice guidelines and health policy. Our team Professor Jane Halliday PhD (Principal investigator of the Victorian Prenatal Diagnosis Database) Associate Professor Lisa Hui MBBS PhD (Team leader) Cecilia Pynaker BSc MGH (Research Assistant) The Annual Report on Prenatal Diagnostic testing in Victoria This publication from the Victorian Prenatal Diagnosis Database (VPDD) analyses state-wide trends in fetal chromosome testing every year. The VPDD is a long standing collaboration between the Reproductive Epidemiology group, the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, Monash Pathology, and formerly, Melbourne Pathology and Australian Clinical Laboratories. A comprehensive description of numbers of tests, indications for testing and test results ...
Research project
Enhanced public health investigation of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Victorian schools and early childhood education and care. Why do we need the COVID Schools study? The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), together with the Victorian Department of Health (DH) and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), is conducting a study to increase understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in schools and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. It is anticipated that the findings from this research will inform the public health response to outbreaks in schools and ECEC services. Schools and ECEC services are an essential part of society and children’s lives. They provide safe and supportive learning environments for children and students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents and guardians to work. Ultimately, we need more evidence to understand how coronavirus(COVID-19) is spread in schools and ECEC, inform the best way to respond to outbreaks, and ...
Research project
What is the Australian Friedreich Ataxia Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Consortium? The Australian Friedreich Ataxia Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Consortium is a strategic alliance of pre-eminent experts in Friedreich Ataxia, Stem Cells, Gene Therapy, Policy, Advocacy and Regulation. The Consortium has been assembled by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) to develop strategies and undertake programs that will expedite Friedreich Ataxia cell and gene therapy clinical trial readiness and translation in Australia and internationally. Our vision is to facilitate and undertake Friedreich Ataxia cell and gene therapy clinical trials leading to successful outcomes and treatments for patients as soon as possible. Key facts: 1 in 30,000 people in Australia are born with Friedreich Ataxia. 1 in 90 unaffected people are carriers of a faulty Friedreich Ataxia gene. At least 7 companies and/or academic institutions are currently developing gene therapies for Friedreich Ataxia; 2 of these groups hope to file ...
Research project
What is the Early Awareness and Recognition of congenital CytoMegaloVirus (EAR-cCMV) study? Children born with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be faced with issues such as hearing loss and cerebral palsy. Screening for this virus in the first 21 days of life has been recommended by experts across the world. This would help diagnose these children early, and possibly provide treatment for those who are appropriate to receive treatment. Our research study explores parents’ experiences of their child’s diagnosis of congenital CMV. We also want to explore other parent’s perspective of screening for congenital CMV, such as those who have children with permanent hearing loss not caused by congenital CMV. These study results will help us understand the best way to screen for congenital CMV. Who can take part? Parents or caregivers of children who have been diagnosed with congenital CMV. Their child must: Currently be aged between 0 and 17 ...
Research project
Do you want to help us understand the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on young people? This study will explore young people’s physical health and emotional wellbeing through the pandemic. The findings are important, even if there are no or few further COVID-19 cases in Victoria. The YoungLives team, together with researchers from the SchoolNuts study at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (at Royal Children’s Hospital campus in Parkville), are leading important research to learn more about COVID-19. We hope to understand why some but not all people are infected, why symptoms vary between people, whether there are any long-term effects and young people’s experiences of the pandemic. Who can participate? Young people aged over 16 years who have previously participated in the SchoolNuts study What’s involved? Wellbeing & Allergy Questionnaires Health Check visit (at beginning and end of study) Self-reported fortnightly symptom checks How can I find out more? Click ...