Discovering 'why' is what we do
For more than 35 years, Telethon Kids Institute’s world class researchers have been making life-changing breakthroughs in Western Australia and beyond
Our team of experts, researchers and students are collaborating globally to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families, affected by some of the most devastating, complex, and common diseases and issues.
Our individual ‘why?’ is often what drives our passion and purpose. Together, with your support we can truly make lifechanging impact in Australia and around the world.
Discovering why is what we do, but we couldn’t do it without you.
When you donate to Telethon Kids you are supporting Western Australia’s only child health research institute, dedicated to discovering, curing, and preventing chronic disease and illness that affect our children.
It is because of the incredible generosity of our supporter community that life-changing breakthroughs are possible, but there is still so much to be done.
Dr Vincent Mancini
An advocate for early and effective interventions, Vincent is a Senior Research Fellow in the School and Community Wellbeing team at Telethon Kids Institute.
Initially studying psychology, Vincent never planned on becoming a researcher. He found it challenging working with only very few people and was in search of a role with wider impact, finding his passion in child health research.
His work is primarily focused on empowering fathers and father figures to improve the health and wellbeing of children. As a child of migrant parents, he learnt valuable lessons through his parent’s experience of facing adversity for different reasons. The common thread that helped them thrive in Australia were close family ties.
His research interests are diverse, spanning early neurodevelopment, parenting, child disability, grief, psychopathology, and emotion regulation. Vincent also maintains an active portfolio of teaching and student supervision, having successfully supervised students at the intern, undergraduate, and postgraduate level.
Vincent is also a self-proclaimed ‘stats-nerd’ – having a keen interest in research methodology and quantitative research methods, including scale development, psychometrics, latent profile analysis, latent growth curves, factor analysis, and advanced regression analyses.
"I would consider myself an example of how a supportive family can help defy other forms of disadvantage and am motivated to use my research to help equip all Australian families with the skills they need to support their children."
Dr Vincent Mancini
Dr Janessa Pickering
Dr Janessa Pickering is a Mum and a researcher. She loves bugs - not the insect kind, the bacterial kind.
Janessa is a research microbiologist investigating upper respiratory tract pathogens that cause disease in children.
Her focus is on accurate and rapid detection of sore throats caused by Strep A bacteria which is essential for correct diagnosis and treatment. Undetected Strep A or chronic reoccurrence of this disease, most prevalent in infants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under five, can lead to rheumatic heart disease and sepsis, both terrible but preventable diseases.
Diagnosed with a chronic illness herself, she depends on cutting-edge treatments to live a normal life. Her own health challenges have motivated her research thanks to the committed scientists and researchers who have made amazing discoveries so she can lead a happy, healthy life.
Janessa is in a unique position, witnessing the overlap of translation from lab to clinic and the impact of health research every day.
"We can all get on board to support the notion that kids deserve the best start to life. And that’s what child health research is about, supporting vulnerable populations to thrive in modern life."
Dr Janessa Pickering
Dr Hannah Thomas
Dr Hannah Thomas used to work in science outreach and education but saw many missed opportunities to connect abstract scientific concepts with students’ own lives.
Hannah now works in child health research to empower kids about their own health. Her focus is on health promotion and engaging kids not only to achieve better health outcomes but to build autonomy about their health and self-determination as they grow up.
She supports the coordination and scientific direction of the SToP Trial, which aims to reduce the burden of skin sores (caused by Strep A infection) and scabies in school-aged children through the implementation of a holistic skin control program of ‘See’, ‘Treat’ and ‘Prevent’ skin health activities in the Kimberley region of WA.
Understanding the burden of childhood skin infections in both remote and urban WA, Hannah and her team are co-developing and designing clinical resources and promoting health messages to empower healthy skin decision-making for children and families.
"I’m proud to be part of a generation of researchers who are facilitating community-engaged and community-led work, and I’ve learned just as much from the families who partner with us in our research as I have from my studies and academic upbringing."
Dr Hannah Thomas
What your support has recently helped us discover
Respiratory syncytial virus
A world-first study at Telethon Kids has found a new vaccine against the potentially deadly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is safe and effective for use in pregnant women, to help protect their babies.
Tiny babies could soon have much-needed protection from community transmission of potentially deadly whooping cough thanks to a world-first nasal spray vaccine being trialled at Telethon Kids Institute.
A team led by Telethon Kids Institute researchers have uncovered a new form of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) undetectable using traditional laboratory testing methods – in a discovery set to challenge existing efforts to monitor and tackle one of the world’s greatest health threats. AMR is expected to claim 10 million lives a year by 2050, with scientists racing to understand and get ahead of the diminishing benefits of antibiotics.
Exciting progress is being made in cancer research with a world-first immunotherapy trial, led by the Telethon Kids Institute Cancer Centre. The team are working at the cutting edge of immunotherapy treatments that harness the power of the immune system to hunt down and destroy cancer cells.
Make a tax-deductable gift by 11:59pm, June 30th