Paediatrics Research

The Department has established a worldwide reputation for teaching and research excellence in child and adolescent health.

Arthritis Research Group

The goal of the Arthritis Research Group is to understand the complex interactions between cartilage cells and their matrix in both healthy cartilage and arthritic diseases. The Group focuses on the structure and function of the major cartilage molecules and the enzymes that destroy them in arthritic disease.

Research Group Leader: Professor Amanda Fosang

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Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study

The Australian Temperament Project (ATP) is one of Australia’s oldest longitudinal studies of social-emotional development that has followed a representative sample of over 2000 infants and their parents from 4 months (1983) to over 30 years of age.

Research Group Leader: Professor Craig Olsson

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Autism Research Team

With a focus on children and young people we are exploring possible genetic and epigenetic causes of subgroups of children with autism, as well as working toward understanding the prognosis, diagnosis, and best interventions. We are also working to understand mental health issues, participation and quality of life of children and young people living with autism, and their families.

Research Group Leader: Professor Katrina Williams

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Centre for International Child Health

The Centre for International Child Health (CICH) was established in 2001 within the University of Melbourne's Department of Paediatrics and the Royal Children's Hospital. CICH is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research & Training in Child & Neonatal Health, and works closely with WHO, and child health institutions especially in Asia and the Pacific Region. CICH is involved in basic, field and clinical research, epidemiology, child health policy, training and education.

Research Group Leader: Professor Trevor Duke

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Cerebral Palsy Research

Our research program has two aims: 1) to gain an improved understanding of the risk factors and causes of cerebral palsy with the ultimate goal of preventing some cases, and 2) to determine the optimal interventions (therapy, medications, surgery) for them. The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes, participation and quality of life for children with cerebral palsy and their families.

Research Group Leader: Professor Dinah Reddihough

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Community Child Health Group

The Community Child Health Group undertakes, synthesises and translates research so that it can inform policy, service delivery, professional practice and parenting.

Research Group Leader: Professor Sharon Goldfeld

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Genetics Education and Health Research

The Genetics Education and Health Research team explores and evaluates the provision and impact of genomic technologies and genetic services, as well as contributing to the development of educational programs. The research aims to promote understanding of genetics and genomics, and inform evidence-based practice, among families, health professionals and the community.

Research Group Leader: Professor Sylvia Metcalfe

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Infectious Diseases Group

The research of the Infectious Diseases Group focuses on improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children. It comprises both clinical and laboratory-based research studies. The clinical research aspect includes randomised controlled trials, observational studies and systematic reviews of best practice. Our laboratory research encompasses basic and applied medical microbiology, as well as immunological studies to explore the mechanisms by which pathogens cause disease and their interaction with the host immune response.

Research Group Leader: Professor Nigel Curtis

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Intestinal Failure and Clinical Nutrition Group

The most common cause of death in patients with short bowel syndrome is sepsis in the setting of severe intestinal failure-associated liver disease.Liver disease occurs in ~65% of infants requiring long-term parenteral nutrition therapy following small bowel resection and is the cause of death in 3-19% of SBS infants. However, despite this, the cause and the complex mechanisms underlying the development of IFALD are poorly understood.

Research Group Leader: Professor Julie Bines

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Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration

Around 10-20% of kidney disease is inherited. In children with kidney disease, this is closer to 50% although in many instances, the disease-causing mutation is unknown, therefore limiting treatment options. In our research group, we investigate the genes required for normal kidney development and what happens as a result of genetic or environmental damage during development.

Research Group Leader: Professor Melissa Little

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Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Genetics of Neurodisability

The Genetics of Neurodisability Group aims to improve the lives of children with neurodisability through improved diagnosis and treatment. The majority of neurodisabilities have a genetic cause, yet even using the latest genetic testing technologies, a specific cause is identified in only 25% of affected children.

Research Group Leader: Professor David Amor

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Neurodevelopmental Genomics Research

The Neurodevelopmental Genomics Research Group is dedicated to identifying disease genes that affect the normal development and function of the brain and neuronal cells. By studying the functions of these genes we hope to gain a better understanding of the biology of these neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research Group Leader: Professor John Christodoulou

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Rotavirus Group and Enteric Virus Group

The Rotavirus Group has contributed to the understanding of the safety of rotavirus vaccines, in particular Intussusception. The Group were responsible for leading the development of the Brighton Collaboration clinical case definition for intussusception and the validation of the use of this tools for large scale clinical trials of rotavirus vaccines and post-licensure surveillance actvities. The Enteric Virus Group hosts the Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Network and the WHO Asia-Pacific Regional Reference Laboratory.

Research Group Leader: Professor Julie Bines

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Surgical Research Group

The Surgical Research Group works on a number of surgical problems affecting children, including: normal and abnormal descent of the testis, normal and abnormal postnatal germ cell development, the causes of intractable chronic constipation, the cause of duodenal atresia, novel treatments of colorectal disorders, and using state-of-the-art manometry to understand surgical problems in the gut.

Research Group Leader: Professor John M Hutson AO

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