Improving outcomes and quality of life for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities


To generate new evidence for the causes of neurodevelopmental disabilities and determine whether new and existing therapies are effective in improving outcomes and quality of life for these children and their families.


The Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne

About the program

Intellectual disability occurs in 2-3% of newborn babies and results in a lifetime of dependency. Traditionally, intellectual disability has been viewed as an untreatable condition, but we are now investigating whether there may be ways to prevent or ameliorate such disability through cellular interventions.

Our vision is that all children with neurodevelopmental disabilities will have access to effective treatments from the earliest stage of development. Our program will bring together large datasets and assess both the causes of neurodevelopmental disabilities and the efficacy of new and existing therapies. We intend to build networks, collaborations and skills, in data science and clinical trials, to facilitate developments in neurodevelopmental research.

The research team

  • Professor David Amor, The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Chair in Developmental Medicine
  • Associate Professor Adrienne Harvey, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Daisy Shepherd, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Kylie Crompton
  • Sonja Gustin
  • Dr Gordon Baikie
  • Professor Vicki Anderson

Professor David Amor
The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Chair in Developmental Medicine

Photo of David Amor

Professor David Amor is a consultant clinical geneticist and clinician scientist with a research focus on human genetics. He completed RACP training in paediatrics and clinical genetics in 2000 before undertaking PhD studies in chromosome biology completed in 2004. Since 2005 he has worked as a consultant clinical geneticist at the Victorian Clinical Genetics Service (VCGS) and as a Research Group Leader at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. From 2009 to 2016 he was Director of Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, the main provider of clinical and laboratory genetic services across Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

In 2016, Professor Amor was named the inaugural Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Chair in Developmental Medicine in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Professor Amor works in partnership with the APEX Australia Chair of Developmental Medicine to provide a focus for research into causation of developmental problems within children across the University, the Royal Children's Hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Professor Amor has published more than 175 papers on a range of human genetic and medical genetic subjects. He is a co-author of the 5th edition of the reference text Chromosome Abnormalities and Genetic Counselling (Gardner RJM and Amor DJ, 2017) published by Oxford University Press. Over the last ten years he has been a Chief Investigator on more than $20 million worth of research grants, and currently holds three Project Grants and two Centre for Research Excellence Grants from NHMRC.