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First published Wednesday 10 July 2019.

It’s been a big two years for the collaborative ORIGINS Project, a longitudinal birth cohort study which launched in 2017 with plans to recruit and follow the progress of 10,000 Perth babies and families over a decade.

The largest study of its kind in Australia, ORIGINS is a partnership between Telethon Kids and the Joondalup Health Campus, aimed at reducing the rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases by providing a healthy start to life. ORIGINS researchers are collecting detailed information about babies and their families to understand more about how the early environment influences the risk of diseases like asthma, allergies, diabetes and obesity.

So far almost 2,000 families have been recruited, and more than 1,500 ORIGINS babies have been born. Of those, almost 500 have attended their one-year clinic

Unique among other birth cohort studies, ORIGINS currently has 600 fathers participating in the research. The project has ensured active community involvement, holding dozens of events bringing study participants and community members together with paediatricians and health nurses to monitor and discuss childhood health.

Milestones so far include:

  • More than 250 local, national and international researchers, clinicians and consumers

  • 15 sub-projects have been launched off the main project, looking at multiple aspects of child and family health and development

  • 12 active ORIGINS Research Interest Groups have been launched, to facilitate collaboration, provide expertise, develop nested sub-projects, and support students

  • More than 3,000,000 data points collected from participant samples and questionnaires

  • Wide media coverage – more than 30 media items with an audience reach more than two million people

  • ORIGINS Forum held in August 2018 attracted more than 160 attendees, generating collaborative ideas for future ORIGINS Project research and sub-projects

  • Annual family fun day attracted almost 200 attendees

  • Researchers have presented at more than 30 conferences and community events

  • 10 research papers have been published from the data and knowledge obtained from the project

  • A book chapter called ‘The ORIGINS Project’ was published in the international book

  • Pre-emptive Medicine: Public Health Aspects of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

  • Co-Director Prof Susan Prescott won the Independent Book Publishers 2018 Gold Medal in the health category for her book Secret Life. She was also a finalist in Forward Review's Indie Book of the Year.

For more information on ORIGINS visit