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
Adapt an evidence-based healthy lifestyle program to an Australian context Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The goal of this program of research is to identify what information young people with cerebral palsy need, and how best to provide this education in order for them to live a healthy and happy life. This work sits within the NHMRC funded Centre for Research Excellence 'CP-Achieve' program, and aims to develop and test a consumer-informed evidence-based healthy lifestyle program. Prof Dinah Reddihough dinah.reddihough@rch.org.au Prof Prue Morgan n/a PhD students
Adjunct Cord Blood Cell Therapy for Paediatric Heart Failure Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Our work examines how cord blood immune and stem cells influence adaptive processes involved in muscle growth and metabolism, inflammation and fibrosis by promoting growth and limiting adverse myocardial remodelling in the paediatric heart at risk of failure. Project opportunities may involve studies of immune cell metabolism, paracrine cell-cell interactions in models of inflammation, fibrosis and angiogenesis, in vitro and in surgical models, in addition to clinical trial work (medical/nursing graduates). A/Prof Salvatore Pepe spepe@unimelb.edu.au Prof Christian Brizard 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
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
Can the allergic march from infant food allergy to asthma be prevented? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A PhD project is available to (1) evaluate the role food allergy and eczema play in the development of asthma, hayfever, and impaired lung growth up to age 10 years, and (2) identify modifiable risk factors for the progression from infant food allergy to chronic allergic and/or respiratory disease. A/Prof Rachel Peters rachel.peters@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Jennifer Koplin 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 Dr Toby Mansell 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
Defining the mechanisms that underpin the beneficial off-target effects of BCG Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics In addition to protecting against its target disease, tuberculosis, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has beneficial off-target ('heterologous' or 'non-specific') effects on human health. This includes reducing all cause infant mortality, likely by protecting against non-mycobacterial infectious diseases. The protection is proposed to result from the immunomodulatory effects of BCG. Dr Nicole Messina nicole.messina@mcri.edu.au Prof Nigel Curtis n/a PhD students
Determinants of COVID-19 risk and severity Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will establish an immune signature of COVID-19 susceptibility and reveal key immunological pathways for protection against COVID-19 to be targeted in future vaccine development and COVID-19 treatments. Dr Nicole Messina Prof Nigel Curtis n/a PhD students
Discovering novel genes and pathways to ataxia Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Discovering novel genes and pathways to ataxia Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof Martin Delatycki Dr Justin Read n/a PhD students
Does neonatal BCG vaccination protect against infection and allergic disease in the first 5 years of life? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Using data collected from participants in MIS BAIR you will investigate the clinical off-target effects of BCG in the first 5 years of life. Moreover, you will identify factors which influence the off-target effects of neonatal BCG vaccination. In this project you will have the opportunity to combine clinical findings with existing immunological data from MIS BAIR. Prof Nigel Curtis nigel.curtis@rch.org.au Dr Nicole Messina n/a PhD students
Expanding pancreatic progenitor cells for treatment of type 1 diabetes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The goal of this project will be to identify factors that can expand human PSC-derived pancreatic progenitor pools, thus allowing for efficient generation of large numbers of human PSC-derived endocrine cells for subsequent use in transplantation therapies. Prof Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcri.edu.au Dr Jacqui Schiesser n/a PhD students
Expanding the molecular understanding, and advancing personalised therapeutics for KIF1A-Associated Neurological Disorders Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Background Kinesin-3 family member 1A (KIF1A) encodes a neuron-specific kinesin motor protein essential for ATP-dependent anterograde axonal transport of synaptic cargos along the microtubule network in brain cells. The N-terminal motor domain of KIF1A forms the “head” that “walks” along the microtubules in a stepwise manner for anterograde transportation of specific cargos docked at the C-terminal “tail” domain using energy from ATP hydrolysis. Variants in the KIF1A gene have been found to result in a complex spectrum of neurodegenerative conditions, collectively referred to as KIF1A-associated neurological disorders (KANDs). In this proposal, we will address a wide gap in our understanding of KIF1A at the molecular and therapeutic level. Success in this project has the scope to accelerate the long-term vision of scientific therapeutics-based research to improve the health of children battling with the progressive KAND disorder and related neurological disorders. Dr Simranpreet Kaur simran.kaur@mcri.edu.au Prof John Christodoulou A/Prof Wendy Gold n/a PhD students
Foot deformities in children with cerebral palsy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will explore methods for analysing foot function from 3D motion analysis and plantar pressure data, and their relation to structural measures from radiology and physical examination. These methods will be used to compare foot structure and function pre- and post-surgery and will ultimately serve as an objective clinical measure for assessing and grading foot deformities in children. Dr Elyse Passmore elyse.passmore@rch.org.au A/Prof Erich Rutz n/a PhD students
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
Healthy Trajectories: Promoting wellbeing and quality of life for those with child-onset disability and their families Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Stipend available for successful applicant Healthy Trajectories has several programs of research. This doctoral scholarship is available for those interested in research that focuses on either of the following areas of need: (i) reducing co-morbidities associated with disability to improve wellbeing and quality of life; or (ii) research about the complex and intersecting needs of those experiencing multiple disadvantages that compound the experience of disability. Prof Christine Imms christine.imms@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Adrienne Harvey n/a PhD students
healthYpulse: A Learning Healthcare System for Improving Paediatric Patient Experience and Outcomes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics healthYpulse: A Learning Healthcare System for Improving Paediatric Patient Experience and Outcomes Prof Jim Buttery jim.buttery@mcri.edu.au Dr Gerardo Luis Dimaguila 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 causes of brain malformation in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Identifying the causes of brain malformation in children Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof Richard Leventer Dr Sarah Stephenson 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
Interrogating the spatial dynamics of gene regulatory networks during embryonic development and disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The aims of this project are to first, reconstruct developmental GRNs at single-cell and spatio-temporal resolution by integrating mining bulk, single-cell, spatial transcriptomics and epigenomic datasets with imaging data. Second, the GRNs will then be mined to identify region- and time-specific developmental circuits that if perturbed, would lead to specific forms of congenital defects. A/Prof Mirana Ramialison mirana.ramialison@mcri.edu.au n/a PhD students
Investigating 'silent' newborn viral infections and outcomes in the GenV cohort Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Investigating 'silent' newborn viral infections and outcomes in the GenV cohort A/Prof Valerie Sung valerie.sung@rch.org.au A/Prof Gabrielle Haeusler Prof Melissa Wake n/a PhD students
Investigating a Unique Dwelling Space for New Mothers and Babies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Ensuring a calm and healthy first two weeks of life is thought to provide important health outcomes for both mother and infant. Yet this immediate post-partum period is largely under investigated. This study is embedded in a complimentary residential facility specifically designed to provide a supportive and comfortable environment for post-partum mothers and their babies. But how do their outcomes compare with those mothers and infants who are unable to benefit from such a facility? Prof Samuel Menahem samuel.menahem@unimelb.edu.au Prof Margaret Hay n/a PhD students
Investigating the role of FBX proteins in Neurodevelopment Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Investigating the role of FBX proteins in Neurodevelopment Dr Sarah Stephenson sarah.stephenson@mcri.edu.au Prof Paul Lockhart Dr Jordan Wright n/a PhD students
Learning Health System for identification and prevention of vaccination errors Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Learning Health System for identification and prevention of vaccination errors Prof Jim Buttery jim.buttery@mcri.edu.au Dr Hazel Clothier 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
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
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
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
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
Motor function assessment using video-based motion capture and machine-learning for children with movement disorders Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD candidate to join our multidisciplinary team of researchers and health professionals working collaboratively across MCRI and the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) to develop remote motor function assessment options for children with movement disorders using video and machine-learning approaches. Dr Elyse Passmore elyse.passmore@rch.org.au Dr Gareth Ball n/a PhD students
Neuropsychological profile of children with childhood apraxia of speech Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Our team has an exciting PhD opportunity for a project examining cognitive contributions in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) associated with our speech genetics clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital. Prof Angela Morgan angela.morgan@mcri.edu.au Prof David Amor 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
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
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
RCT of Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of allergy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The candidate will analyse the wealth of VITALITY data to determine whether vitamin D supplementation has a role in optimising infant immune health in the first year of life and reducing the risk of allergic disease. A/Prof Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perrett@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Jennifer Koplin 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
SNOTWATCH: Mapping real-time respiratory and gastrointestinal viral information to inform and improve health outcomes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics SNOTWATCH: Mapping real-time respiratory and gastrointestinal viral information to inform and improve health outcomes Prof Jim Buttery jim.buttery@mcri.edu.au Dr Hazel Clothier n/a PhD students
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
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
The impact of air pollution and other environmental factors on food allergy and other allergic diseases across the first 10 years of life: a population-based, longitudinal study. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A PhD project is available for a student to examine the association between air pollution and the risk of food allergy, eczema, asthma, and hay fever across childhood. This project would suit a student with an interest in epidemiology, the environment, climate change, pediatrics, and population health. A/Prof Rachel Peters rachel.peters@mcri.edu.au Dr Suzanne Mavoa n/a PhD students
The LongSTEPPP Project Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We are recruiting for a PhD student with a background in psychology or a related discipline to undertake research into mental health trajectories in young people with period, pelvic pain and endometriosis. Prof Sonia Grover sonia.grover@rch.org.au Prof Andrew Chanen Dr Courtney Munro 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 beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration using stem cell models Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Understanding beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration using stem cell models Prof Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Prof Martin Delatycki 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
Use and impact of psychotropic medication in pregnancy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This PhD student will work within the landmark 'Generation Victoria' (GenV) cohort, targeting all 150,000 babies born over two years (Oct 2021-Oct 2023) and their mothers at all 58 birthing hospitals in the state of Victoria, comprising consent, biosamples, and wide-ranging exposures and outcomes including administrative and clinical data. The student will contribute to creating a unique whole-state prescribing dataset within GenV by linkage/access to both primary care/outpatient medicines (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)) and birthing hospitals prescribing data during pregnancy and the perinatal period. They will map ante/perinatal psychotropic medication use in the GenV cohort and then use causal techniques (including consideration of regional variations in medication use) to assess impacts on perinatal and infant/toddler outcomes such as language development, fine motor skills, and body composition. Prof Melissa Wake melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au Dr Yanhong Jessika Hu Prof David Coghill n/a PhD students
Using single-cell omics to determine disease mechanism and improve clinical management of children with epilepsy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Using single-cell omics to determine disease mechanism and improve clinical management of children with epilepsy Dr Sarah Stephenson sarah.stephenson@mcri.edu.au Prof Paul Lockhart Prof Richard Leventer n/a PhD students
Vitamin D supplementation and food allergy risk in early life: immunological and molecular mechanisms Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The candidate will use a combination of laboratory-based, and other data analyses to more fully understand the potential pathways linking vitamin D, immune system development and function in the first year of life, with food allergy. Findings from VITALITY will directly inform global guidelines on the role of vitamin D supplementation to improve early infant health and, if successful, provide one of the first tangible ways to prevent food allergy around the world. Prof Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au A/Prof Kirsten Perrett Dr Melanie Neeland n/a PhD students
Why are babies in SCNs/NICUs at higher risk of permanent hearing loss? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Why are babies in SCNs/NICUs at higher risk of permanent hearing loss? A/Prof Valerie Sung valerie.sung@mcri.edu.au Dr Jing Wang Dr Peter Carew n/a PhD students