Paediatrics

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Projects Title Research Node (Project Site) Department Project Description Number of Places Available (Masters) Number of Places Available (Honours) Primary Supervisor UoM Staff ID Number Primary Supervisor Title Primary Supervisor First Name Primary Supervisor Surname Primary Supervisor Email Co-Supervisor 1 Title Co-Supervisor 1 First Name Co-Supervisor 1 Surname Co-Supervisor 2 Title Co-Supervisor 2 First Name Co-Supervisor 2 Surname Co-Supervisor 3 Title Co-Supervisor 3 First Name Co-Supervisor 3 Surname Additional Supervisors (Please include the title and full name) Opportunity
A clinical trial-in-a-dish using iPSC-derived cartilage and bone organoids Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We have developed new protocols to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells into cartilage and bone cells so that we can model inherited skeletal disorders. This project focusses on a disorder called metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, type Schmid (MCDS) which is an autosomal dominant genetic skeletal disease caused by mutations in COL10A1, the gene for the hypertrophic cartilage structural protein collagen X. It is a serious chronic medical condition. We have shown that MCDS mice treated with carbamazepine (CBZ), a drug that relieves ER stress by stimulating intracellular protein degradation, have improved long bone growth and decreased hip dysplasia. Based on this, an EU funded world-wide clinical trial is underway to test if CBZ, an FDA approved drug, can be repurposed to treat MCDS. Most MCDS patients have private mutations and the precise cellular pathology will vary between mutation types and affect therapeutic outcomes. A/Prof Shireen Lamande shireen.lamande@mcri.edu.au Prof John Bateman Dr Louise Kung n/a PhD students
A high throughput drug screen to identify candidate targets for the treatment of Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics NF1 is a single-gene disorder caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the NF1 gene resulting in a reduction of the protein neurofibromin. Cognitive deficits occur in approximately 80% of children with the genetic syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), making them the greatest cause of disability for individuals with this lifelong genetic condition. These manifest as academic failure due to learning disabilities (70%), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 40%) and a significantly increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD; 25%). Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu kiymet.bozaoglu@mcri.edu.au Prof Paul Lockhart A/Prof Jonathan Payne n/a PhD students
Adverse health consequences of infant food allergy: a population-based longitudinal study. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A PhD project is available for a student to assess the adverse health consequences of food allergy throughout childhood and adolescence. Dr Rachel Peters rachel.peters@mcri.edu.au Dr Jennifer Koplin n/a PhD students
Antibiotic stewardship and related polices impact on child health outcomes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Study associations of hospital antibiotic stewardship and prescribing policies among pregnancy and newborn and its impact on childhood health outcomes Dr Yanhong Jessika Hu jessika.hu@mcri.edu.au Prof Melissa Wake n/a PhD students
Antibiotic stewardship and related polices impact on child health outcomes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Antibiotic stewardship and related polices impact on child health outcomes Dr Yanhong Jessika Hu jessika.hu@mcri.edu.au Prof Melissa Wake n/a PhD students
Assessment and management of fatigue following paediatric acquired brain injury Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Assessment and management of fatigue following paediatric acquired brain injury Dr Sarah Knight sarah.knight@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Adam Scheinberg n/a PhD students
BRACE trial PhD opportunities Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Looking for a clinical or laboratory PhD project? If you’re interested in being part of the world’s largest study on the off-target effects of BCG vaccine, you’re in the right place. Based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the BRACE trial has some exciting opportunities for both clinical and laboratory PhD projects. Prof Nigel Curtis brace@mcri.edu.au Dr Nicole Messina Dr Laure Pittet n/a PhD students
Cluster RCT of a multi-component intervention package to improve maternal and childhood vaccination in Victoria Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Cluster RCT of a multi-component intervention package to improve maternal and childhood vaccination in Victoria A/Prof Margie Danchin margie.danchin@rch.org.au Dr Jessica Kaufman n/a PhD students
Common severe childhood infections, innate inflammatory responses and cardiometabolic risk: The VASCular changes aFter INfectious Diseases (VASCFIND) study Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Infection, the commonest reason for childhood hospital admission, is a major driver of inflammation and is associated with cardiometabolic risk and disease. This established prospective study investigates how severe childhood infection affects innate inflammatory immune responses and cardiometabolic health. It encompasses both clinical assessments and laboratory studies. Prof David Burgner david.burgner@mcri.edu.au Dr Siroon Bekkering TBA n/a PhD students
Concussion Essentials: A clinical trial for reducing persisting symptoms after child concussion Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A single-centre randomised controlled trial to assess if a novel multimodal intervention can speed recovery from child concussion compared to usual care. Professor Vicki Anderson Vicki.Anderson@rch.org.au n/a PhD students
Controlling nephron patterning and segmentation in kidney organoids Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Controlling nephron patterning and segmentation in kidney organoids Prof Melissa Little melissa.little@mcri.edu.au Dr Jessica Vanslambrouk n/a PhD students
Developing computational approaches to analyse development and disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Developing computational approaches to analyse development and disease Prof Melissa Little melissa.little@mcri.edu.au Dr Kynan Lawlor n/a PhD students
Developing high content screens of novel treatments for congenital nephrotic syndrome Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Developing high content screens of novel treatments for congenital nephrotic syndrome Prof Melissa Little melissa.little@mcri.edu.au Dr Aude Dorison n/a PhD students
Developing novel methods for the diagnosis of tree nut allergies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics With the rapid rise in food allergy incidences, there is an urgent need to correctly identify food allergic sufferers. This project will focus on develop novel diagnostic techniques for tree nut allergy using large population cohorts. Dr Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perrett@mcri.edu.au Dr Thanh Dang n/a PhD students
Development of novel human stem cell derived models of beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration for disease modelling and drug screening Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Beta-propeller Protein-Associated Neurodegeneration (BPAN) is a rare, X-linked neurological disorder characterised by intellectual disability, seizures and ataxia in early childhood. The condition progresses rapidly leading to development of Parkinsonism, dystonia and cognitive impairment in adolescence/early adulthood. Children affected by BPAN display brain iron accumulation at an early age, leading to classification of BPAN under a group of disorders known as neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA5). Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof Martin Delatycki Dr Jay Shukla n/a PhD students
Discovery of new treatments for brain development disorders linked to epigenetic regulatory genes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Discovery of new treatments for brain development disorders linked to epigenetic regulatory genes A/Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof David Amor Dr Jordan Wright n/a PhD students
Dose optimisation of antibiotics in children with cystic fibrosis Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The aim of this project is to use pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling to optimise antibiotic dosing in children with cystic fibrosis. Dr Amanda Gwee amanda.gwee@rch.org.au Prof Sarath Ranganathan n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Expression systems for pluripotent stem cells and their differentiated derivatives Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the design and development of gene expression systems that can be used to controllably regulate transgene expression in cells derived from pluripotent stem cells. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcri.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Post Doctor Researchers
Gene regulation in the developing retina and the childhood eye cancer retinoblastoma Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Paediatrics Retinoblastoma is the most common eye cancer of infancy and childhood; these tumours are considered to be developmental in origin. The seven cell types of the retina all derive from a pool of retinal progenitor cells (RPC). The distalless (DLX) family of evolutionarily-conserved homeobox genes encode transcription factors expressed in the developing and mature retina as well as the majority of retinoblastoma tumours examined to date. The DLX transcription factors are necessary for retinal ganglion cell (RGC) development, in part due to direct regulation of other transcription factors that are either activated or repressed during eye development. The student will undertake RNAseq and ChIPseq studies in the developing mouse retina to identify DLX2 gene regulatory networks, validate in transgenic mouse models available in the laboratory and assess expression of these DLX2 targets in retinoblastoma and/or retinal organoids. The student will also contribute to the generation of a conditional, retina-specific knockout of Dlx2 or both Dlx1/Dlx2 in the developing and/or postnatal mouse. The student will learn key methods in molecular, cell and developmental biology, including primary cell culture, 3D organoids, and advanced microscopy skills. The student should preferably have an undergraduate or advanced background in cell, developmental and/or molecular biology. Prof David Eisenstat david.eisenstat@mcri.edu.au Dr Maree Faux n/a PhD students
Genetics of childhood hearing loss Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Genetics of childhood hearing loss Dr Valerie Sung valerie.sung@rch.org.au Prof David Amor n/a PhD students
High Dimensional Immune and Epigenetic Profiling of Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Paediatrics Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that is one of the leading causes of childhood disability, affecting around 6000 Australian children. It typically causes joint pain and inflammation in the hands, knees, ankles, elbows and/or wrists. Despite its relatively high incidence, the molecular and cellular changes associated with JIA remain poorly understood. We hypothesise that blood cells (e.g. T cells, monocytes and B cells) from JIA patients will show differences in cellular proportions, responses to activation in culture, and have a distinct molecular profiles relative to controls. We will test this in the current project by applying state-of-the-art immunology and molecular genomic sequencing techniques to circulating blood cells from JIA patients and matched controls as part of our CLARITY (Childhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification Study) biobank which is one of the largest, most biospecimen- and information-dense collections in the world. Prof Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Dr Boris Novakovic A/Prof Jane Munro n/a PhD students
Identifying the genetic causes of brain malformation in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Identifying the genetic causes of brain malformation in children A/Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof Richard Leventer n/a PhD students
Immune mechanisms of peanut allergy remission Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Immune mechanisms of peanut allergy remission Prof Mimi Tang mimi.tang@rch.org.au Dr Sarah Ashley n/a PhD students
Immunoregulatory effects of Vitamin D supplementation on the development of allergy in the first year of life Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The rise in food allergy in developed countries is well documented. Early life determinants are thought to be key given the increase is most pronounced in children under 5 years of age. We have shown that low vitamin D at birth or during infancy is associated with an increased risk of food allergy and eczema and the prevalence of these diseases is higher the further away from the equator a person resides. Low vitamin D may play a role in aberrant immune development in early life and increase the risk of developing food allergy and eczema. VITALITY (n=2739, recruitment near completion) is a randomised placebo-controlled trial aiming to determine if vitamin D supplementation in the first year of life leads to a reduction in food allergy. VITALITY has an internationally unique comprehensive set of data variables from infants and families through questionnaires and clinic visits including oral food challenged confirmed food allergy, eczema and matched biological samples (plasma, PBMCs, granulocytes) from 2 to 12 months of age. Prof Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Kirsten Perrett Dr Melanie Neeland n/a PhD students
Implementation considerations for a national program for expanded reproductive carrier screening Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The PhD student will take responsibility for a mixed-methods, longitudinal analysis of the Mackenzie's Mission reproductive genetic carrier screening program with a focus on implementation from the perspective of couples. This will include intrinsic and extrinsic influences on couples’ decision-making about screening and about future reproductive choices.  Dr Alison Archibald alison.archibald@vcgs.org.au Dr Belinda McClaren Dr Stephanie Best n/a PhD students
Improving lifetime outcomes for babies in special care nurseries Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Improving lifetime outcomes for babies in special care nurseries Prof Melissa Wake melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au Dr Jing Wang Prof Jeanie Cheong n/a PhD students
Inequities in children’s mental health: evidence to inform precision policy responses Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The project will use a mixed-methods approach to investigate how evidence related to the modifiable social determinants of inequities in children’s mental and developmental health can inform policy decision making and action. The project will involve quantitative analysis of existing data and interviews with stakeholders. Professor Sharon Goldfeld sharon.goldfeld@rch.org.au Associate Professor Susan Woolfenden Dr Sarah Gray n/a PhD students
Interplay between Streptococcus pneumoniae and respiratory viruses Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics In this project, you will elucidate the underlying microbiological and/or immunological mechanisms that govern the synergistic and antagonistic relationships between pneumococci and respiratory viruses. Key approaches to this project include: working with in vitro and/or in vivo models to understand the effect of coinfection on the host and microbes, including microbiological and immunological analysis of local and systemic samples. Your project will provide novel insights into bacterial-viral interactions. A/Prof Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Sam Manna n/a PhD students
Investigating the molecular basis of parkinson's disease using novel genetic models Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Investigating the molecular basis of parkinson's disease using novel genetic models A/Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Dr Yujin Gao n/a PhD students
Linking determination of cell fate in the developing nervous system to paediatric brain tumours Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Linking determination of cell fate in the developing nervous system to paediatric brain tumours Prof David Eisenstat david.eisenstat@mcri.edu.au n/a PhD students
Long-term impact of moderate and late preterm birth: effects on neurodevelopment, brain development and respiratory health at school age Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The Victorian Infant Brain Studies group at The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is seeking a PhD student to join their team on a project investigating the impact of moderate-late preterm (MLP; 32 to <37 weeks’ gestation) birth on neurodevelopment, brain development, and respiratory health at 9 years of age. The majority of preterm births are attributed to MLP births, and there is a growing evidence-base demonstrating that children born MLP experience more adverse outcomes in early childhood than their term-born peers. Professor Jeanie Cheong jeanie.cheong@thewomens.org.au n/a PhD students
Longitudinal and secular trends in outcomes for adolescents with hearing impairment in Victoria Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Longitudinal and secular trends in outcomes for adolescents with hearing impairment in Victoria Dr Valerie Sung valerie.sung@rch.org.au Dr Lisa Mundy Dr Jing Wang n/a PhD students
Making B-lymphocytes form pluripotent stem cells Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the generation of B-lymphocytes from pluripotent stem cells. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcri.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Post Doctor Researchers
Mapping hospital health records in Victoria, Australia for tracking pregnancy medicines use Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Mapping hospital health records in Victoria, Australia for tracking pregnancy medicines use Dr Yanhong Jessika Hu jessika.hu@mcri.edu.au Prof Melissa Wake n/a PhD students
Measuring developmental outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This PhD opportunity is focusing on the design, validation and evaluation of a psychometric measure to evaluate developmental outcomes in Australian Aboriginal children. Dr Anita d'Aprano anita.daprano@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students
Metabolic reprogramming of the failing heart Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Metabolic reprogramming of the failing heart Dr Alejandro Hidalgo-Gonzalez alejandro.hidalgogon@mcri.edu.au Dr Holly Voges A/Prof Enzo Porello n/a PhD students
Microbial changes following pneumococcal conjugate vaccination Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Pneumococci are a major global pathogen. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) protect against a subset of pneumococcal serotypes. Introduction of PCVs result in major changes to pneumococcal epidemiology and to the microbiota more broadly. In this project, you will examine nasopharyngeal samples and isolates collected from children from vaccine studies in low-income settings from the Asia-Pacific region. You will apply traditional and molecular microbiology approaches including culture and serotyping, qPCR, DNA microarray, whole-genome sequencing and antimicrobial resistance testing. Your results will inform vaccine strategies world-wide. A/Prof Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Laura Boelsen n/a PhD students
Modelling T-cell Development using pluripotent stem cells Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the generation of T-cells from pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcir.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Post Doctor Researchers
Molecular remodelling of endothelial cells in response to specific lymphocytes and other signals Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Paediatrics This project will reveal novel insights into the role of circulating lymphocytes and other factors in modulating endothelial molecular function, a key determinant in a range of adverse health outcomes, including atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Prof Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Dr Boris Novakovic n/a PhD students
Nephrotoxicity screening using stem cell-derived proximal tubules Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Nephrotoxicity screening using stem cell-derived proximal tubules Prof Melissa Little melissa.little@mcri.edu.au Dr Jessica Vanslambrouk n/a PhD students
Neuropsychological profile of children with childhood apraxia of speech Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Neuropsychological profile of children with childhood apraxia of speech This project will examine cognitive contributions in childhood apraxia of speech associated with our speech genetics clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital. A greater understanding of cognitive contributions to the condition, combined with new genomic data, will lead to more targeted therapeutic interventions and help to explain the mechanisms which lead to this symptom profile. Professor Angela Morgan angela.morgan@mcri.edu.au n/a PhD students
Optimising use of everyday technology for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Optimising use of everyday technology for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury Dr Sarah Knight sarah.knight@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Adam Scheinberg n/a PhD students
Pain in children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This PhD project will focus on tools that identify and measure pain and validating these in children with cerebral palsy as well as developing innovative methods using technology to measure pain in children who are unable to self-report. A/Professor Adrienne Harvey adrienne.harvey@mcri.edu.au n/a PhD students
Partnering to reduce neonatal pain Royal Women’s Hospital Paediatrics Breastfeeding, skin-to-skin (SSC) and very small amounts of sugar water reduce pain in healthy, sick and premature infants during painful procedures, yet research conducted around the world shows these strategies are infrequently used in clinical practice. There are no current data regarding Australian newborn pain management practices. Through an online survey, this project will ascertain current newborn pain management practices at the Royal Women's Hospital (Parkville and Sandringham campuses), ascertain perceptions of a brief healthcare provider-targeted video in promoting use of breastfeeding and SSC (https:www.youtube.comwatch?v=lpZNwP7bnkg&feature=youtu.be) and explore barriers and enablers to facilitating parents' involvement during painful neonatal procedures. 1 Professor Denise Harrison deniseh@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours students
Placental Cord Blood Cell Therapy in Children at High Risk of Heart Failure Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Placental Cord Blood Cell Therapy in Children at High Risk of Heart Failure A/Prof Salvatore Pepe salvatore.pepe@mcri.edu.au Prof Christian Brizard A/Prof Michael Cheung n/a PhD students
Precision prediction of maternal and child outcomes from routine fetal ultrasounds Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Precision prediction of maternal and child outcomes from routine fetal ultrasounds Prof Melissa Wake melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Joanne Said n/a PhD students
Predictors of infection, clinical severity and immunological legacy of SARS-CoV-2 in extant longitudinal LifeCourse population cohorts of children and their household/family contacts Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will use data from the COVID-Immune and YoungLives cohort studies which harness the MCRI’s unique population cohorts of children to investigate whether pre-COVID immune phenotypes and biomarkers predict susceptibility to and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, this project offers the opportunity to further understand the clinical features, natural history, transmission dynamics and long-term effects/legacy of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, adolescents and young adults. The findings will have immediate translational importance and will inform prevention, interventions and policy. Associate Professor Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perett@rch.org.au Professor David Burgner David Burgner n/a PhD students
Prevention of nut allergies in high risk infants Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Peanut allergy affects around 3% of children and around a third of those will go on to develop further nut (tree nut) allergies. Early introduction of peanut and egg into the diet has been found to be protective for the development of peanut and egg allergies and as such introduction before 12 months of age is now part of many international infant feeding guidelines. We have observational data that suggests timely introduction of tree nuts may also be protective and avoidance detrimental for the development of tree nut allergy. TreEAT (n=212) is a randomised controlled trial testing a new model of care for the prevention of tree nut allergies in infants at high risk. Infants with newly diagnosed peanut allergy are randomised to receive an in hospital supervised multi-nut (4 tree nut butter) food challenge or standard care (individual cautious tree nut introduction at home). This is a world-first trial of an intervention for the secondary prevention of tree nut allergies. The findings will have immediate translational importance and inform allergy prevention guidelines globally. A/Prof Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perrett@mcri.edu.au Dr Vicki McWilliam n/a PhD students
Rare Diseases Now - Great care for rare Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Rare Diseases Now - Great care for rare A/Prof Tiong Tan tiong.tan@vcgs.org.au A/Prof Sue White Prof John Christodoulou n/a PhD students
Regulating the vascularisation of the human glomerulus in vitro. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Regulating the vascularisation of the human glomerulus in vitro. Prof Melissa Little melissa.little@mcri.edu.au Dr Aude Dorison n/a PhD students
Resolving inflammation in childhood respiratory disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project, funded by the NHMRC and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will apply a multi-omic approach to define the immune response in the upper and lower airway, as well as the peripheral blood, in children with chronic pulmonary diseases. Using cutting edge technology and clinically relevant patient sample from globally important paediatric cohorts, this project has a strong pathway to translation with the ultimate goal of informing strategies to improve clinical care and respiratory health throughout life. The project would suit a clinician or a scientist with an interest in immunology, bioinformatics, or pulmonary development. Dr Melanie Neeland melanie.neeland@mcri.edu.au Prof Sarath Ranganathan Dr Shivanthan Shanthikumar n/a PhD students
Respiratory strategies to protect the preterm lung at birth Paediatrics An exciting opportunity for a PhD Student who is enthusiastic and self- motivated to apply for a PhD Scholarship for research into preterm lung injury. The successful scholar will work with our molecular and translational program, which focuses on better understanding the physiological and biological response to mechanical ventilation, using proteomics and imaging tools such as Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT), to develop ventilation strategies that improve lung function and prevent long-term injury. Dr Prue Pereira-Fantini prue.pereira@mcri.edu.au A/Prof David Tingay n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Supporting young people with complex disability to participate in important life situations Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Supporting young people with complex disability to participate in important life situations Prof Christine Imms christine.imms@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students
Taking placenta to scale: The population burden of disordered placentation and placental function Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Taking placenta to scale: The population burden of disordered placentation and placental function Prof Melissa Wake melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au Prof Richard Saffery n/a PhD students
Targeting novel mediators of chronic pain to improve analgesia for Epidermolysis Bullosa Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Paediatrics This PhD project research seeks to improve understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of chronic pain in EB by defining its critical mediators, and its outcome will be to advance the development of new analgesic options in EB. To achieve this goal, the student will join a team of accomplished basic scientists and clinical researchers, who have a proven record of bench-to-bedside innovation in EB. The project will involve use of a unique murine model of EB that we recently generated as well as EB patient samples to maximise clinical translation of our studies, and will see the student apply existing drug discovery approaches to rationally target EB pain for the first time. A/Prof Ken Pang ken.pang@mcri.edu.au Dr Nicholas Veldhuis A/Prof Johannes Kern n/a PhD students
Towards treatment of intellectual disability caused by errors in the chromatin machinery Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will identify and characterize mutations in the chromatin machinery in infants and children with brain development disorders, delineate human phenotypes associated with these mutations, and characterize the phenotypic, cell biological, molecular and biochemical consequences of the patient-specific mutations in model systems. The longer term objective is to test potential therapeutic interventions in genetic models. Professor David Amor david.amor@mcri.edu.au n/a PhD students
Understanding and defining supportive health/NDIS service environments Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Understanding and defining supportive health/NDIS service environments Prof Christine Imms christine.imms@unimelb.edu.au Prof Dinah Reddihough n/a PhD students
Understanding pneumococcal pathogenesis Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia and a leading killer of children world-wide. However, it is also commonly found as an asymptomatic coloniser of the upper respiratory tract (carriage). Pneumococcal carriage is an important reservoir for transmission and a precursor to disease.Your research will provide new insights into how pneumococci colonise and cause disease. A/Prof Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Sam Manna n/a PhD students
Understanding the neurobiology of autism in NF1 using patient derived stem cell models Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics vAutism (or autism spectrum disorder; ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by debilitating impairments in social communication and restricted interests and repetitive behaviours. In most cases, the cause of autism is unknown and because of this, there are no effective treatments for autism in the general population. However, a subset of individuals (15-20%), autism occurs in children with a clinically defined syndrome which arise from a single gene disorder. This is the case in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the NF1 gene. Studying a monogenic disorder with a high prevalence of autism will allow a more targeted and deeper understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of ASD in NF1. Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu kiymet.bozaoglu@mcri.edu.au Prof Paul Lockhart A/Prof Jonathan Payne n/a PhD students
Unravelling the Inflammatory Signatures of Paediatric Respiratory Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Unravelling the Inflammatory Signatures of Paediatric Respiratory Disease Dr Melanie Neeland melanie.neeland@mcri.edu.au Prof Sarath Ranganathan n/a PhD students
Utilizing technology to optimise ADHD care Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Real world clinical outcomes for ADHD fall far below those delivered in clinical trials. This project explores the use potential for improving outcomes through the use of wearable technologies and phones. Professor Dave Coghill david.coghill@unimelb.edu.au Dr Melissa Mulraney n/a Masters by Research
Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of allergy in the first year of life Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The rise in food allergy in developed countries is well documented. Early life determinants are thought to be key given the increase is most pronounced in children under 5 years of age. We have shown that low vitamin D at birth or during infancy is associated with an increased risk of food allergy and eczema and the prevalence of these diseases is higher the further away from the equator a person resides. Low vitamin D may play a role in aberrant immune development in early life and increase the risk of developing food allergy and eczema. VITALITY (n=2739, recruitment near completion) is a randomised placebo-controlled trial aiming to determine if vitamin D supplementation in the first year of life leads to a reduction in food allergy. VITALITY has an internationally unique comprehensive set of data variables from infants and families through questionnaires and clinic visits including oral food challenged confirmed food allergy, eczema and matched biological samples from 2 to 12 months of age. A/Prof Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perrett@mcri.edu.au Dr Jennifer Koplin n/a PhD students