Posted: 18 September 2023
A world-first study tracking the health and wellbeing of Victorians, from birth to old age, has reached a recruitment milestone of over 100,000 participants.
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Generation Victoria (GenV), one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies, has seen over 40,000 babies (100,000 babies, parents and guardians) join. And they’re inviting families from every birthing hospital in Victoria to join.
GenV is a research project with a simple yet important goal: to transform the health and wellbeing of an entire generation of Victorians – with inclusivity and equity at its heart.
A national asset led from the state of Victoria, GenV aims to create parallel, whole-of-state child and parent cohorts for discovery and research that could lead to better interventions for children and adults.
Challenging the way research has traditionally been conducted, GenV brings together information and samples already collected by services and combines it with parent-reported information. All information and samples are safely and securely stored and can be used in future ethically-approved projects. GenV is also designed to test new approaches to today’s problems. This information could help researchers, services and policy makers find new solutions to many of today’s most common childhood conditions.
Over a two-year period, GenV is asking parents of every newborn to take part. Each baby born from October 4, 2021 to October 3, 2023 is invited to join, along with their parents – no matter where they live in Victoria or what language they speak.
Joining GenV is easy for parents and participating takes little of their time. Parents can sign up in person during their birthing hospital stay or any time thereafter via a simple, guided online process.
While the focus up until now has been on babies, children born in this period can join GenV at any age – the GenV door is always open. Sign up at GenV today.
So far, the recruitment team has recorded 70 languages, including Auslan, and more than 7,000 GenV families primarily speak a language other than English at home.
GenV Scientific Director Professor Melissa Wake said, “Our goal is to help solve complex problems facing today’s children and parents. Our solution is GenV – the largest research partnership ever to be mounted with Australia’s families, now with over 100,000 participants.
“It was a thrilling moment when the first family signed up to GenV in December 2020,” she said. “Today, over 100,000 Victorians – from all regions, all walks of life and all languages – are taking part. We are so grateful for their generosity, trust and belief in the benefits of science.”
Professor Wake said GenV was already supporting better prediction, prevention, treatments and services for parents and children everywhere.
“We thank every family and all our supporters, collaborators and partners,” she said.
GenV is led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne and funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, the Victorian Government and The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Christine and her son Lorenzo joined GenV at the Royal Women’s Hospital and were part of the 100,000-participant milestone.
Christine said, “I wanted to join GenV because I have another son who has health conditions like asthma and eczema, and also had febrile convulsions (fits caused by a sudden change in a child’s body temperature, and usually associated with a fever), and I really want to help improve his outcomes in the future.
“As parents we want to provide the best care for our kids now and for their future. While we are blessed that our children are healthy overall, we wanted to be part of the program knowing we are part of a bigger healthcare picture that can benefit all Victorian children and families,” she said.