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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

August 2020

Meta-analysis of the neural correlates of vigilant attention in children and adolescents

Vigilant Attention (VA), defined as the ability to maintain attention to cognitively unchallenging activities over a prolonged period of time, is critical to support higher cognitive functions and many behaviours in our everyday life. Evidence has shown that VA rapidly improves throughout childhood and adolescence until young adulthood and tends to decline in older adulthood.

Published research Early Childhood Development Youth Health Youth Mental Health
September 2020

Methylome-wide association study of central adiposity implicates genes involved in immune and endocrine systems

We conducted a methylome-wide association study to examine associations between DNA methylation in whole blood and central adiposity and body fat distribution, measured as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio adjusted for body mass index, in 2684 African-American adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

Published research Diabetes and Obesity
July 2020

Linking the westernised oropharyngeal microbiome to the immune response in Chinese immigrants

Human microbiota plays a fundamental role in modulating the immune response. Western environment and lifestyle are envisaged to alter the human microbiota with a new microbiome profile established in Chinese immigrants, which fails to prime the immune system. Here, we investigated how differences in composition of oropharyngeal microbiome may contribute to patterns of interaction between the microbiome and immune system in Chinese immigrants living in Australia.

Published research Genetics and Health P4 Respiratory Health for Kids
September 2020

The development of a consensus statement for the prescription of powered wheelchair standing devices in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

PURPOSE: To develop a consensus statement for the prescription of a Powered Wheelchair Standing Device (PWSD) in young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: An international multidisciplinary panel comprising clinicians and users (young people with DMD) along with their parents was consulted. A literature review was undertaken and a Delphi method was utilised to generate consensus statements.

Published research Early Childhood Development Child Disability Airway Epithelial Research

Glenn Pearson

Deputy Director, Aboriginal Health

BA (Education) PhD Candidate

Stephen Zubrick

Research Focus Area Head, Brain and Behaviour


Liz Davis

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


Deborah Strickland

Research Focus Area Head, Early Environment