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Victorian families stand to benefit as MCRI commences one of the world’s largest-ever studies

27 December 2020

News at a Glance:

  • MCRI has commenced recruiting Victorian families for its innovative Generation Victoria(GenV) birth and parent cohort research project
  • GenV aims to help solve problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity, autism and mental illness
  • In the first phase, GenV is inviting babies born at Joan Kirner Women and Children’s at Sunshine Hospitaland their parents to take part. It will scale up to partner with all Victorian birthing hospitals in 2021

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) has started inviting Victorian families to take part in its innovative Generation Victoria (GenV) project.

GenV is one of the world’s largest-ever cohort studies. It will follow babies and their parents to help solve problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity, autism and mental illness.

In the first phase, GenV is partnering with Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Sunshine Hospital. Parents of all new babies will be invited to take part.

It will scale up to partner with all Victorian birthing hospitals in 2021. Every family with a newborn baby will be able to join up over a 2-year period, no matter where they live.

The MCRI’s GenV Director, paediatrician Professor Melissa Wake, said that, by 2035, GenV’s vision is to have helped create a happier and healthier future for many children and parents.

“By involving children and families in this once-in-a-generation initiative, GenV can help solve pressing problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity, autism and mental illness.

“In addition, we are seeking to address the disadvantages that face so many children and families across Victoria. Because GenV will be in every community, it may be especially helpful to the most vulnerable individuals and communities in our state.

“GenV truly is a collaborative study and a partnership of many. We are profoundly grateful to the team at Joan Kirner Women and Children’s at Sunshine Hospital for partnering with us as we launch this significant research project.

“Given the timing of the launch of GenV, our project is also in a unique position to investigate, understand and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the next generation of Victorian children,” she said.

Professor Wake said that large whole-of-state research projects such as GenV could speed up answers to the major issues facing children and adults, today and for their futures.

“Over the next two years, around 150,000 children born in Victoria and their parents will have the opportunity to participate in the project. Put simply, by signing up to be a part of the GenV generation, parents will help to create a healthier future for all children and their families,” she said.

GenV is led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne and is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), the Victorian Government and the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Visit the GenV website for more information.

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About MCRI

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) is the largest child health research institute in Australia committed to making discoveries and developing treatments to improve child and adolescent health in Australia and around the world. MCRI pioneers new treatments, trials better vaccines and improves ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents. MCRI is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions.