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Progress made possible with your help

We regularly host events here at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute so you can come and see the impact of your support.

These events give us the chance to let you know how deeply we appreciate your involvement and to share the results of the latest research that has been made possible with your help.

Below you can find out more about the current programs and future initiatives that were shared with supporters at our most recent events.

If you would like to join us at our next event or to find out more please contact us on 03 9936 6451 or mcrievents@mcri.edu.au.

 

MCRI Annual Showcase, Thursday 18th October 2018

With your help we’re moving ever closer to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of many childhood conditions. Four life-changing projects were given the spotlight recently at our Annual Showcase event. Our researchers had just five minutes to tell us about exciting progress they’re making thanks to your support.

Professor Kathryn North, Director of MCRI, also took us on a journey towards “precision child health”. Kathryn’s vision is a future where a child’s genetic and health information will be used to create personalised treatments and prevention plans for disease.

Please watch and share the short videos below:

 

Boardroom Lunch, Thursday 23rd August 2018

Boardroom Lunch 4

“I always welcome the opportunity meet with supporters of MCRI and share with them how much their support makes a difference. At our most recent Boardroom Lunch we were also able to acknowledge the amazing work of Uncle Bobs Club. Uncle Bobs Club's generous members and supporters have been raising money to benefit the lives of children with medical needs in Victoria since 1941. They have given a tremendous amount of funding and support to MCRI over time and we welcomed the chance to be able to thank them.” MCRI Deputy Director, Professor Andrew Sinclair

Research highlights

During the lunch and tour of MCRI we heard from three of our talented researchers:

Dr Marc Seal

“How does a child’s brain develop?”
“What impact do variations in brain development have on everyday functioning?"
“To what extent can environmental factors moderate childhood brain development?”

Dr Seal trained as a clinical neuropsychologist and has over 12 years experience in coordinating neuroimaging investigations of brain development. 

In his role as the Group Leader of Developmental Imaging research group at MCRI he is responsible for coordinating and facilitating research utilising the MCRI Research MRI Scanner and supervising a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, MRI technologists and neuroscientists. Dr Seal has a long-standing interest in neurodevelopment and cognitive neuroscience. His research focus is understanding childhood development and health through the use of sophisticated medical imaging acquisition and analysis techniques (MRI).

His ultimate goal is to actively translate our findings and innovations into improved diagnostic and therapeutic care for children & adolescents.

Professor David Amor

Proffessor David Amor is Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Chair in Developmental Medicine at University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. David was Director of Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) at MCRI from 2010 to 2016 which provides clinical and laboratory genetic services across Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. He is internationally recognised as a leading Australian clinical geneticist engaged in clinical care, teaching and research.

Professor Amor's research includes identifying genes for rare disorders, neurogenetics and the genetics of intellectual disability, genetic factors related to assisted reproduction, chromosome disorders, translation of new genetic technologies into clinical care, and population screening for genetic disorders.

David goes to great lengths to raise awareness about genetic conditions – in the community and on TV. He is also highly regarded for his ability to diagnose quickly and accurately, and to effectively communicate complex genetic information.

Doctor Louise Ludlow

Dr Louise Ludlow established and manages the Children's Cancer Centre Tissue Bank at MCRI, one of only three paediatric cancer tissue banks in Australia. Since 2014, tissue from children diagnosed with cancer has been collected and preserved for future clinical investigation and ethically approved research.

The Children's Cancer Tissue Bank is an incredible resource for MCRI researchers to have access to and ensures that we remain at the forefront of cutting edge paediatric cancer research. It is integral in our efforts to improve diagnostic techniques and develop better personalised treatments for children diagnosed with cancer in the future.

Dr Ludlow has extensive experience in cell and molecular biology completing her PhD in cancer research under the supervision of Prof Ricky Johnstone at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Louise's first postdoctoral position was undertaken in Prof Curt Horvath's Laboratory at Northwestern University, Evanston IL followed by a four year collaborative Research Officer position at The University of Melbourne and the Burnet Institute.

 

Boardroom Lunch, Thursday 28th June 2018

Boardroom Lunch 3

Research highlights
“I was very pleased to welcome a wonderful group of MCRI supporters to join us this month including 9-year-old Grace Shoolman who joined us with her family. Grace was sick of having cold hands on the playground in winter, so she came up with a clever idea to fix that, and turned it into her very own business! Monkey Mitts are grippy gloves for kids to wear in the playground when it’s cold. Grace is donating $2 from the sale of each pair of gloves to MCRI! So we wanted to say a huge thanks to Grace for giving MCRI researchers a helping hand with her amazing invention.” MCRI Deputy Director, Professor Andrew Sinclair

During the lunch and tour of MCRI we heard from three of our talented researchers

Dr Sarah Barton

Dr Sarah Barton is an emerging Postdoctoral researcher and neuropsychologist with an interest in neuroimaging and epilepsy. She conducts many studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate typical brain development in childhood, as well as in prematurity, childhood illnesses (cancer, epilepsy), neurodevelopment disorders (ADHD, autism) and acquired brain injury.

Dr Barton shared with us the positive outcomes that her team are having for children with epilepsy. Using complex MRI scans they are able to identify neural tracts so that surgery can be precisely planned to navigate around them and avoid damage to motor and cognitive pathways. The outcomes after surgery are life-changing for these children and their families who have previously been living with multiple seizures per day.

Prof John Christodoulou

Professor John Christodoulou is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, and has formal qualifications in paediatrics, medical genetics and genetic pathology, with his main current focus of clinical practice being in the diagnosis and management of children with inborn errors of metabolism.

Prof Christodoulou shared with us the results of a recent trial to provide rapid genome sequencing for babies and children with suspected genetic conditions during their first hospital admission. Results were able to be given within a matter of days instead of the typical four months which led to improvements in health outcomes for the children involved.

We are now working to transform this journey for as many children and families as possible by extending the use of rapid sequencing. This national project across multiple paediatric and intensive care units aims to deliver results in as little as 5 days and save parents the distress of not knowing the cause or exact nature of their child's illness.

Dr Margie Danchin

Dr Margie Danchin is a general paediatrician and senior research fellow at MCRI. Dr Danchin has worked on vaccine research around clinical trials, vaccine safety and vaccine social science for 10 years and her current focus is around developing new interventions to improve vaccine confidence and uptake. She is passionate about finding ways to help parents choose to immunise their children with confidence and have their questions addressed.

“I hope to mandate vaccine conversations with mothers, particularly first time mothers, early and at regular times in pregnancy so that vaccine discussions become a routine part of antenatal care in Australia. My team and I are developing innovative interventions for midwives and obstetricians to deliver these messages in public antenatal clinics, as well as easy to access resources for parents that address their concerns about both maternal and childhood vaccines. We’re also working to improve uptake of vaccines in primary care through GPs and immunisation nurses, in hospitals for medically at risk children, for at risk groups such as children with a developmental disability and in resource poor communities. I hope this work will help to inform effective vaccine policy in Australia to ensure high vaccine coverage for children.”

Please do get in touch with a member of our Engagement and Philanthropy team on 03 9936 6451 or mcrievents@mcri.edu.au if you would like to visit again, introduce friends to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute or if you require more information.