MCRI launches GenV in Castlemaine

November 26th, 2021

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) is beginning to invite Victorian parents and their newborns to take part in its innovative Generation Victoria (GenV) project at Castlemaine Health.

GenV is a sophisticated research project with a simple goal: a better approach to child and adult health and wellbeing in Victoria.  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 two-year period, no matter where they live.

The first project of its kind in Australia, GenV will give Victoria’s research community access to a more complete picture of the health and wellbeing of a generation, providing the insight and information needed across some of the most complex problems faced by families.

MCRI’s innovative GenV research project has commenced at Castlemaine Health this month.

GenV is one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies. 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. Around 100 new jobs will be created in clinical settings across the state over the life of the GenV project.

GenV is entering an important phase as it scales up through mid-2021 to be available to all newborns and their parents across Victoria. Every family with a newborn baby will be able to join up over a two-year period, no matter where they live. Castlemaine Health 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.

“In addition, 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,” she said.

Castlemaine Health CEO Sue Race said: “I’m very excited that Castlemaine Health is part of this groundbreaking study. GenV?will provide the opportunity to better treat and prevent common and complex conditions to help improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients and community.”

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.

“GenV truly is a collaborative study and a partnership of many. We are profoundly grateful to the team at Castlemaine Health for partnering with us,” she said.

“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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