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Your Impact

We regularly host events at the 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 have been made possible with your help. Results that have led to real improvements to children’s health and wellbeing in Australia and around the world.

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

To speak to a member of the Engagement and Philanthropy team about the impact of your support, our initiatives or to find out about attending our events please contact us on (03) 9936 6362 or

Brilliant Minds in Conversation, Wednesday 11th September 2019

“It’s always wonderful to meet with our supporters and to connect your interests and passions with the brilliant research minds at MCRI. This connection is what creates extraordinary outcomes for children and their families in Australia and around the world. It’s great to have the chance to thank the people who make it all possible.” Head of Engagement & Philanthropy, Matthew Hannan

Research highlights

At our most recent event we heard from talented MCRI researchers whose work is changing children’s lives and giving hope for the future:

Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu

Dr Bozaoglu completed her PhD at the Metabolic Research Unit at Deakin University, Geelong in 2009. She began her post-doc in the Genomics and Systems Biology Lab at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and joined MCRI in February 2017 as a Senior Research Officer within the neurogenetics group headed by Paul Lockhart.

Kiymet’s research focus is on understanding the genetics of complex diseases. She has been involved in a number of large human datasets to identify novel genes associated with complex diseases and then characterising these genes using functional genomics.

Dr Bozaoglu’s current project is on understanding the molecular mechanisms of autism using stem cell models. She spoke to the group about how she aims to make a difference for children with autism by understanding the way that brain cells “talk to each other”.

Prof. Angela Morgan

Prof. Angela Morgan is a speech pathologist and speech neuroscientist. She leads the Speech and Language group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Angela’s current program of work is focused on understanding the genetic and brain bases of childhood speech and language disorder. She leads the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language Neurobiology.

Prof Morgan talked to the group about how important a genetic diagnosis can be for children with severe speech disorders. She also spoke of the future for children with these disorders now that the causes can be better understood – with the first speech genetics clinic based at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the potential to target individual therapies for each child.




Brilliant Minds in Conversation, Tuesday 11th June 2019

"It was wonderful to see so many generous and MCRI supporters at our recent Brilliant Minds event. I always welcome the chance to meet the people who make our work possible and share some of the outcomes of our latest and most innovative research projects." MCRI Deputy Director, Professor Andrew Sinclair


Research highlights

We heard from two of MCRI's "Brilliant Minds" followed by a tour of the Institute:

Dr Cathy Quinlan

Dr Cathy Quinlan is a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist in The Royal Children's Hospital and Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Her research interests include inherited kidney disease, cardiovascular disease in kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, cystic fibrosis renal disease and peritoneal dialysis. 

“Our kidneys play a vital role in removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. If the kidneys fail, then dialysis or transplant are the only options. People with chronic kidney disease also have two to three times the risk of death from heart disease. However, kidney disease is treatable, especially if detected early. About 1.7 million Australians have some indication of chronic kidney disease, but only 10 per cent of those with the condition know they have it. If it is identified early enough, then progression of the disease can be slowed”.

Dr Quinlan spoke about our new Kidney Flagship and how genomic medicine has the potential to transform the diagnostic pathway for kidney disease by providing an early and definitive diagnosis. Cathy also described how, through our Kidney Flagship, we can take blood samples from patients, model their disease using stem cell biology, and potentially provide a more precise treatment for each individual child.

Dr Laila Ibrahim

Dr Laila Ibrahim is a post-doctoral researcher with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and general paediatrician at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Her current research is focused on avoiding unnecessary hospitalisation from the Emergency Department through clinical risk scores and investigating the efficacy and safety for treatment at home through high quality randomised controlled trials.

“We know that children with chronic health care needs treated at home have better psychological outcomes, are less exposed to hospital-acquired infections, have less adverse events and there is less disruption to family life”

Dr Ibrahim gave an engaging talk on her research to date and her vision for the future - where fewer children will need to visit hospital.


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


“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 6362 or if you would like to visit again, introduce friends to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute or if you require more information.