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World-first child health study reaches recruitment milestone

A world-first study tracking the health and wellbeing of Victorians, from birth to old age, has delivered a recruitment milestone of more than 90,000 participants.  

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s GenV, one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies, has seen 35,000 babies (90,000 newborns, mothers and fathers) sign up. GenV is recruiting across every birthing hospital in Victoria.  

Pictured: GenV Scientific Director Professor Melissa Wake, GenV family — mother Saada, son Ali and baby Mya — and Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas


The milestone was marked today by State Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas at the Royal Women’s Hospital 

GenV Scientific Director Professor Melissa Wake said the project aimed to better understand and treat the causes of modern health problems such as obesity, asthma, autism, food allergies and mental illness.  

“Families that take part in GenV will make a difference to the future health of generations to come,” she said. GenV aims to help solve the complex problems facing children and adults and provide the opportunity to better predict, treat and prevent many different conditions. 

“Even in its start-up recruitment stage, GenV is already meeting this goal at a speed and scale that might not otherwise have been possible. Collaborators are already testing out new screens that could detect infections and syndromes in the newborn period, providing data on the long-term safety of vaccines in pregnancy and supporting a new registry for children born with hip problems.” 

 Every baby born from October 4, 2021 to October 3, 2023 is invited to join, along with their parents, no matter where they live in Victoria or what language they speak. Participants can sign up to the study in person during their birthing hospital stay or at any time thereafter via a simple, guided online process.  

The recruitment team has recorded 70 languages, including Auslan, during the opt-in process. More than 6700 families in GenV do not primarily speak English at home.  

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

To find our more visit www.genv.org.au 

GenV Team
Article by GenV Team