The Melbourne Children’s LifeCourse Initiative
There are few centres worldwide with such extensive population and clinical studies designed to address different questions central to early life health and development. These studies provide a unique opportunity to inform new approaches to prevention and treatment across childhood and adolescence. The vision of LifeCourse is to maximise the value of these studies to inform better outcomes for children and adolescents across the continuum of care.
Our aim is for the Melbourne Children’s Campus to lead the national integration of early lifecourse data to create an unparalleled resource for informing practice and policy – a resource that will enhance the capacity of the clinical and medical research community to inform Government and the healthcare sector about the best timing and targeting of interventions that prevent disease and disorder, enhance treatment of disease and disorder, and promote wellbeing.
The LifeCourse Cohorts
LifeCourse brings together resources and data to aid new research questions that cannot be addressed using lone studies. Such questions centre on rare exposures and new and important risk relationships. LifeCourse includes over 40 separate clinical and population-based longitudinal studies, spanning 0-35 years (including two trans-generational studies), involving over 70,000 participants, 10 million data points and 250,000 biospecimens aliquots.
The LifeCourse portal provides a platform to explore the information contained in these studies as well as contact the researchers involved. Please feel free to explore our affiliated cohorts in the cohorts tab.
Impacting Health, Wellbeing and Learning
These studies have already shaped policy and clinical care nationally and internationally. By bringing these resources together our researchers continue to build our understanding of the burden, causes and consequences of childhood diseases in Victoria and globally.
This alliance will generate robust evidence on the burden, causes and consequences of childhood conditions in Victoria and globally. We are always looking to work with other researchers, policy makers and service providers to find answers to important questions. The LifeCourse initiative is jointly supported by campus partners: The Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The University of Melbourne
Maximising Research to Provide a “Healthy Start to Life”
Understanding heath and development of children is complex requiring significant expertise and multiple lines of investigation. Early life is a critical time of risk, but also a critical time of opportunity for promotion of health and wellbeing for the prevention of future diseases. There is already substantial evidence that providing a ‘healthy start to life’ can reduce the risk of both early and later disease and disorders with wide social and economic benefits.
The LifeCourse Development Team
Professor Craig Olsson
Craig was the Founding Convenor of LifeCourse and led bringing together campus population cohorts, developing the interactive study diagram lay out of the website and the measurement library. He currently sits on the LifeCourse Development Team and Management Committee. He leads one of Australia’s oldest longitudinal studies of social-emotional development, The Australian Temperament Project Generation 3, and is National Convenor of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Longitudinal Studies Network. For more information on Craig, please view his bio.
Will has been involved with LifeCourse since its inception in 2013 and is the previous project manager for LifeCourse. He continues to act as an adviser for the LifeCourse team and sits on the LifeCourse management committee; liaising between the Generation Victoria and LifeCourse teams on the development of collaborative infrastructure and sharing know-how in lifecourse research implementation locally, nationally and internationally, such as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society of Australia and New Zealand’s (DOHaD ANZ) ActEarly working group. For more information on Will, please view his bio.
Anna has been a member of the LifeCourse team since August 2014. She works with LifeCourse cohorts, the LifeCourse management committee, other Melbourne Children’s Campus groups such as Generation Victoria, and the LifeCourse team on the development and maintenance of the LifeCourse portal; developing collaborative infrastructure, resources and sharing know-how in lifecourse research implementation; liaising with cohorts to share information; maintaining team cohesion and effectiveness; and participating in workshops, presentations and committees.
Tehani joined the LifeCourse team in January 2019. She communicates with the LifeCourse cohorts across the institute to maximise resources, foster collaborations and facilitate effective research. She works with cohort team members to ensure their presence on the LifeCourse website remains relevant and up-to-date. She also works with researchers to develop resources and protocols that can be of benefit to everyone on campus.