Bairnsdale Babies to be Part of World-Leading Health Study

GenV research project staff person Leanne Clothier meets baby Huxley Bradbury and mum Joanne at BRHS this month. Huxley and Joanne will take part in one of the largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies in the world.
Photo courtesy GenV.


The babies of East Gippsland will one day play an important role in finding answers to some of our most pressing public health challenges.

A number of East Gippsland’s newest residents born at BRHS this month will take part in one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies, known as GenV.

The opt-in project will follow babies and their parents to help solve problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity and mental illness – mostly using data that is already routinely collected.

Every family with a newborn baby will be able to join up over a two-year period, no matter where they live.

BRHS joins other birthing hospitals across Victoria in offering local families the opportunity to take part in GenV.

Professor Melissa Wake, GenV Scientific Director and a paediatrician of 30 years, 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, and mental illness,” she said.

“We are seeking to address the inequities 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.”

BRHS Director of Clinical Operations and Chief Nurse and Midwife, Bernadette Hammond, said this research will support the prevention of common conditions we see in children in our community.

“MCRI pioneers new treatments, trials better vaccines and improves ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents, and is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions,” she said. “The more we can learn about how our babies grow and develop, the better placed we are to make sure that future generations of young Australians grow up happy and healthy.”

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.

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