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Projects

Research project
Studying how genes may be involved in speech disorders in adults and children The Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language is an international collaboration of experts in the fields of speech pathology, neurology, neuroscience and genetics. Our CRE is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying childhood speech disorders to develop novel targeted therapies. Researchers at The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are studying the genetic causes of speech disorders. They are looking for children and adults who have speech sound disorder such as childhood apraxia of speech or severe phonological disorder. Our team have identified that, in many cases, severe speech disorder seems to simply arise in a child in a family, without any prior history of speech difficulties from the parents. In other cases, there is a strong history of speech difficulties from one or both sides of the family. At present, we have found we can identify ...
Research project
The Victorian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Special Interest Group (VIC FASD SIG) was established in 2017 to provide an opportunity for professionals, families and researchers to connect and collaborate to build capacity to prevent, diagnose, understand and respond to FASD in Victoria. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Victoria with an interest in FASD. The current Chair of the SIG is Dr Kerryn Bagley from the La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University in Bendigo. Coordinators are Prof Jane Halliday and Evi Muggli from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Prue Walker from VicFAS. Meetings are usually held every 2 months, with additional meetings called as required. We always welcome new members, please email our Chair Dr Kerryn Bagley for more information ( k.bagley@latrobe.edu.au ) Our Terms of Reference: To promote awareness and knowledge of FASD in Victoria and its service systems To share information ...
Research project
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute awarded $10M to lead a global program to wipe out the scabies parasite. What is scabies? Scabies is a skin disease caused by a tiny mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) that burrows under the skin and lays its eggs, resulting in traumatic itching – an irritation so severe people cannot sleep and may scratch themselves until they bleed. What happens to people with scabies? Constant scratching caused by the mites opens up the skin, leading to bacterial skin infections and that in severe cases blood poisoning, kidney failure and heart disease. Who does it effect? Globally, there are an estimated 455 million cases of scabies every year, and around million people are affected at any time. Mites thrive in hot, crowded conditions – schools, villages, refugee camps and prisons – and can be widespread in some low-income communities, including in remote communities in northern Australia, and parts of ...
Research project
The Monash School of Psychological Sciences, together with MCRI, are interested in understanding whether a game-based attention training program can strengthen attention in children who have experienced an acquired brain injury (ABI). What is an acquired brain injury? An acquired brain injury can have a big impact on the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. The term describes any type of brain injury that happens after birth, and includes damage due to infection, tumours, stroke, lack of oxygen or trauma. It is estimated that as many as 20% of children with an ABI will go on to develop clinically significant attention deficits. What is the study about? Attention problems are a common feature of ABI and can have far-reaching consequences for learning, social relationships, and behaviour in childhood. Therefore, finding effective early interventions that can help improve attention is key to improving overall outcomes for children with ABI. Rehabilitation ...
Research project
Why are survivors of childhood cancer 15 times more likely to have heart failure? How can the incidence of cardiovascular disease, which is 8 times higher in childhood cancer survivors than the general population be reduced? How do we identify at risk patients earlier and provide the best management regimen to improve the long-term cardiovascular health of these children and AYA? ACOR is a world first paediatric and young adult prospective cardio-oncology registry designed to capture the clinical, epidemiological and pharmaceutical data from every Australian child and young adult that receives cardiac toxic therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, molecular and immunotherapy). This strategically places ACOR in a position to provide data to underpin research and generate hypotheses that will address some of the above questions. About ACOR aims to provide a research platform from which longitudinal data can be attained and through which further research can be developed to better provide outcomes ...
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? We are studying a nasal spray to see if it can reduce snoring, improve sleep, and decrease the need for surgery. 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 a serious long-term health problem have had surgery to remove tonsils and/or adenoids What will I be asked to ...
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 .