Three of our staff have been awarded prestigious scholarships to support their research and clinical practice.
Dr Rebecca Mitchell, PhD candidate has been awarded The Leslie Eric Paddle Neurology Scholarship, through the University of Melbourne.
Rebecca’s study, The DOTS Study (Developmental Outcomes in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex) is investigating developmental outcomes in children with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). ‘Developmental Outcomes’ include thinking skills, speech and language skills, social skills, learning, behaviour and movement. It is known that some but not all children with TSC experience difficulties in these areas. One of the specific developmental difficulties people with TSC may have is that of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
In this study we want to find out:
- What are the risk factors for developing ASD in TSC, and how do these risk factors contribute to the development of ASD with TSC?
- What are the particular developmental characteristics of people with ASD who also have TSC?
A better understanding of developmental difficulties in TSC will allow better and more targeted care for children with TSC, which we hope will ultimately improve developmental outcomes.
Ms Judy Wells received an educational scholarship to present at the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists Congress in South Africa, 13-16 March 2016. It was a valuable learning opportunity to further Judy’s knowledge in stomal therapy and continence management and to network with international colleagues.
Ms Jenny O’Neill received an Australian Postgraduate Award to support her PhD studies.
Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) are funded by the Australian Government and awarded by the University of Melbourne to students of exceptional research potential who undertake a graduate research degree.
Jenny’s research project aims to explore vaccine hesitancy in the population of families of children with developmental disabilities, specifically:
1. A Victoria-wide survey of parents of children with disabilities, to understand specific concerns regarding vaccination and to quantify vaccination uptake.
2. Qualitative focus groups with parents of children with disabilities, to understand the barriers and enablers to vaccination and the factors under-pinning vaccine hesitancy.
3. Development of a specific intervention to promote vaccination in children with disabilities. This data would be used to conduct a pilot study to support the design and conduct of a large-scale RCT.