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At the Telethon Kids Institute our researchers are searching for answers to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families affected by some of  the most devastating, complex and common diseases and issues.  At any one time we have more than 200 active research projects and 700 staff and students that include laboratory scientists, clinicians, epidemiologists, bioinformaticians, statisticians, public health professionals and social scientists.

Our research is structured into Research Focus Areas, programs of work and teams.  We are committed to collaboration and work together with other research organisations, clinicians, practitioners, policy makers, consumers and the community to understand the complexity of factors that impact on a child's health and wellbeing and the translation of research findings into action. We actively reward research excellence and offer a range of schemes to support our researchers.

In August 2018, we moved to our new purpose-built facility located within Perth Children’s Hospital on the QEII Medical Centre campus - the largest centre of excellence in healthcare, research and education in the southern hemisphere. With a footprint across seven floors, our new home features more than 7000sqm of work space and 2000sqm of laboratories (including specialty suites, equipment rooms and freezer farms), as well as dedicated clinical suites and a cryogenics facility. Our co-location with the Perth Children’s Hospital will enhance our collaboration with clinicians, nursing staff and other allied health professionals, leading to better care, better treatments and better health and development outcomes for our children and young people.

We are an independent medical research institute based in Perth, Western Australia and affiliated with the State's major universities. Our research is  primarily funded through national and international competitive grants and generously supported by donors and governments.

Study subsites

Check out our study websites

June 2021

How new and expecting fathers engage with an app-based online forum: Qualitative analysis

Breastfeeding is important for infants, and fathers are influential in supporting their partner in their decision to breastfeed and how long they breastfeed for. Fathers can feel excluded from traditional antenatal education and support opportunities but highly value social support from peers. Online health forums can be a useful source of social support, yet little is known about how fathers would use a conversation forum embedded in a breastfeeding-focused app. Milk Man is a mobile app that aimed to increase paternal support for breastfeeding using a range of strategies, including a conversation forum.

Published research Alcohol and Pregnancy and FASD Research Food and Nutrition
April 2021

Immunisation with the BCG and DTPw vaccines induces different programs of trained immunity in mice

In addition to providing pathogen-specific immunity, vaccines can also confer nonspecific effects (NSEs) on mortality and morbidity unrelated to the targeted disease. Immunisation with live vaccines, such as the BCG vaccine, has generally been associated with significantly reduced all-cause infant mortality. In contrast, some inactivated vaccines, such as the diphtheria, tetanus, whole-cell pertussis (DTPw) vaccine, have been controversially associated with increased all-cause mortality especially in female infants in high-mortality settings.

Published research Immunisation Infectious Diseases Systems Vaccinology
April 2021

Immunisation with the BCG and DTPw vaccines induces different programs of trained immunity in mice

In addition to providing pathogen-specific immunity, vaccines can also confer nonspecific effects (NSEs) on mortality and morbidity unrelated to the targeted disease. Immunisation with live vaccines, such as the BCG vaccine, has generally been associated with significantly reduced all-cause infant mortality. In contrast, some inactivated vaccines, such as the diphtheria, tetanus, whole-cell pertussis (DTPw) vaccine, have been controversially associated with increased all-cause mortality especially in female infants in high-mortality settings.

Published research Immunisation Infectious Diseases Systems Vaccinology
May 2021

Determinants of sleep problems in children with intellectual disability

Children with intellectual disabilities are more likely to experience sleep disorders of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep breathing disorders than typically developing children. The present study examined risk factors for these sleep disorders in 447 children (aged 5-18 years), diagnosed with an intellectual disability and comorbid autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or Rett syndrome. Primary caregivers reported on their child's sleep using the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC), as well as medical comorbidities and functional abilities.

Published research Child Disability P4 Respiratory Health for Kids

Glenn Pearson

Director of Aboriginal Health

BA (Education) PhD Candidate

Stephen Zubrick

Honorary Emeritus Research Fellow

FASSA, FAAMHS, MSc AM PhD

Liz Davis

Head, Chronic & Severe Diseases Research Focus Area; Clinical Lead, Diabetes and Obesity Research

MBBS FRACP PhD

Deborah Strickland

Research Focus Area Head, Early Environment

PhD