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Projects

Research project
The Vaccine & Immunisation Research Group of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at The Royal Children’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne is conducting a research study on an investigational vaccine against pneumococcal infections in infants. What is Pneumococcal disease? Pneumococcal disease is caused by a type of bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae. This bacterium is a major cause of infection that may be in the ears, sinuses, blood, lungs or brain. There is already a licensed vaccine which protects against pneumococcal disease and this is being used to compare to the study vaccine. What is the study about? The purpose of this study is to compare the study vaccine with a currently licensed vaccine to study its safety, how well it is tolerated, and how well your child responds to the investigational vaccine. Who can participate? Participants must: Be aged between 6 to 12 weeks of age Not have received ...
Research project
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when trauma causes damage to the brain. Within Australia, there is an annual incidence of 149/100,000 cases of traumatic brain injury across the age spectrum, of which 43.8% occur in children and adolescents. In a typical year approximately 3,000 children present to the Emergency Department (ED) at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) with TBI. TBI can have enduring symptoms including fatigue, headache, poor concentration and irritability which have a significant impact on a young person’s capacity to return to school, leisure and sports. Consequently, they may fall behind in their studies and be unable to participate fully in daily life. While some young people adjust to these limitations, a significant number will have difficulty adjusting, and develop depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. These internalised mental health problems may go undetected and untreated, further impacting the young person’s quality of life. A research team led by ...
Research project
Program Leader: Associate Professor Brigid Jordan BSW PhD Research in our team is focused on understanding the relationship between early life stress – as a result of serious illness and hospital experience or significant family stress and social disadvantage – and the health and mental health of infants and young children and their families. Our research has a strong focus on clinical and translational outcomes in paediatric social work and infant mental health. Research Project 1: Changing the Trajectories of Australia's Most Vulnerable Children - The Early Years Education Program Randomised Controlled Trial Click here or visit eyerp.org for more information. Project 2: Infant and Family Wellbeing after Cardiac Surgery: Life as a Pre-schooler The aim of this project is to investigate the developmental trajectory and predictors of emotional and behavioural regulation in children who had cardiac surgery early in life. This is a longitudinal, prospective cohort study of a ...
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 ...
Research project
Program leader: Louise Crowe, PhD A developmental insult is when normal brain development is interrupted. This could occur through an injury such as a traumatic brain injury or stroke, or could be due to other causes such as epilepsy, exposure to medication prenatally or a genetic disorder. Early childhood is a time of intense brain and skill development. If brain development is interrupted it can have a long-term impact on function, with young children often particularly vulnerable to poor outcome. The research in this group is focused on the outcomes of these insults in cognitive, behavioural and social areas. Research is also focused on the benefits of intervention for children following developmental insult. The goal of our team is to enhance the understanding of how an insult can influence development in early childhood and the vulnerabilities of young children. Additionally, we are focused on tailoring and administering interventions for young ...
Research project
Program leader: Jonathan Payne Overview The vision of the Genetics and Neurodevelopment team is to better understand the developmental neuroscience and abnormal psychology of genetic conditions that cause common neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Rather than researching these neurodevelopmental disorders in the general population, in which the cause of the condition is unknown, our research examines the mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental pathology in the context of a single gene mutation where the cause is known. Our research program integrates four main goals: (1) characterising symptoms and clinical outcomes (2) identifying novel neuroimaging markers (3) disease modelling using state-of-the-art laboratory protocols and (4) translating findings into disease-directed clinical trials. Characterising the neurodevelopmental profile of children with a single gene mutation will further our understanding of the difficulties and outcomes experienced as part of these conditions. Our research will have significant implications for developing ...
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
The 2000 Stories project (Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study) is a landmark longitudinal study spanning more than 27 years. The project began in 1992, when a group of around 2000 Year 9 students aged 14 to 15 were selected to participate. In 2006, additional funding was received to extend the 2000 Stories study to examine health and well-being across generations in the Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study.
Research project
Mi-iron is a research project which aims to measure the effect of reducing moderate iron overload back to the normal range in people with haemochromatosis. This study will compare two groups of people and measure improvement of symptoms such as fatigue, mood and general feeling of well-being.
Research project
The newly established Australian Hand Difference Register (AHDR) is a database of children born with a hand difference and/or arm difference. The AHDR is managed by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is located at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. To begin with, the AHDR will focus on children attending The Royal Children’s Hospital, before being extended within Victoria, and then Australia-wide. The AHDR aims to: find out how many children are born with a hand/arm difference in Australia learn more about possible causes and risk factors gain information to help plan services identify possible participants for future research The AHDR is currently funded by Aussie Hands ( The Aussie Hands Foundation Inc. ), a support group for people who have a hand difference and their families, and additional funding has been obtained from the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery . Funding organisations do not have access ...