One of the world’s most significant medical research initiatives is taking place in Victoria, supported by the Andrews Labor Government – and all babies born before October have the chance to help inform research for generations and deliver better health outcomes now and into the future.
Minister for Medical Research Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the Royal Women’s Hospital to announce more than 90,000 Victorians are already taking part in GenV, calling on more families to sign up to this landmark study.
Open to all babies born in Victoria between October 2021 and October 2023, GenV is one of the world’s largest birth and cohort studies and asks the families involved to share information about themselves and the health and development of their newborn.
GenV is the largest and most up-to-date health picture ever mapped out in Australia - providing insights into how genetics, environment and other factors impact the health of young Victorians - and the massive take up will deliver higher-quality data and research.
GenV is also the world’s first and only study examining the first post-COVID-19 generation and will provide invaluable insights into the impacts of the virus and the pandemic on new generations of Victorians.
The study will help provide answers to complex health issues like asthma, allergies, obesity, and mental illness in children, and give into the health of young Victorians – with a number of studies already underway using data from GenV.
Of the 90,000 participants, more than one in five are from regional Victoria and almost one in ten live in a home where a language other than English is spoken with more than 70 different languages represented across the study.
Headquartered at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute within The Royal Children’s Hospital, it also includes a robotic biobank to store biological samples provided by participants, such as breast milk and saliva.
These samples will support research projects like the GenV Maternal Vaccine study, which will look at the impact of vaccines in pregnancy aiming to provide reassurance to women and better inform antenatal care providers.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research - Victoria’s medical research sector supports more than 30,000 jobs, contributing around $21 billion to the economy every year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas
“GenV will not only improve the health and wellbeing of this generation it will support medical research that will deliver better health outcomes for the next.”
“As one of the world’s largest medical research initiatives ever - this ground-breaking work will be used by health experts, researchers and policy makers for decades to come.”
“The more we understand about the health of our youngest Victorians and how the world around them effects their health - the better we will be able to deliver the health care they need in the future.”
Reviewed 24 April 2023