Monash Newborn with Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research

The Department has a long established and very close relationship with the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research whose scientific team has an international reputation for work that is relevant to the physiology and health of the fetus and newborn.

In addition to the research opportunities provided by the unit's extensive clinical caseload the Department enjoys the use of a neonatal laboratory, situated in the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research, in close proximity to the nursery. The Department also has easy access to world-class animal laboratories located within the main hospital complex.

Many joint collaborative research projects have been undertaken that bring together the clinical expertise of Monash Newborn staff and the scientific expertise of the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research. Unrivalled opportunities exist to undertake projects that have both clinical and basic scientific components which is reflected in the large number of clinical and scientific staff who have been jointly supervised as B.Med.Sc, Physiology Hons, MSc and PhD students.

Some areas of current research interest include:

  • Assessment of cerebral autoregulation in the fetus and newborn
  • Cerebral blood flow and oxygenation in the preterm infant using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Blood volume and NIRS in the immature brain
  • MRI and MRS in neonatal encephalopathy
  • Amplitude integrated EEG in neonatal brain injury
  • Objective analysis of movement abnormalities
  • Role of inflammation in development of chronic lung disease
  • Evaluation of novel therapies in a mouse model of chonic lung disease
  • Chest wall motion as a measure of lung inflation in HFOV
  • Evaluation of techniques of mechanical respiratory support
  • Measurement of lung volume and airway patency using acoustic methods
  • Mechanisms underlying respiratory irregularity in the preterm infant
  • Evaluation of non-invasive techniques of BP measurement
  • Role of baroreflex sensitivity in early hypotension
  • Evaluation of indomethacin in PDA using using functional echocardiography
  • RCT to test effects of use of frusemide in neonatal blood transfusion
  • Neurodevelopmental follow-up of high risk infants
The Department also has close associations with various Centres within the Monash Institute of Health Services Research. These include a project with members of the Health Operations Research Group that has been commissioned by the Department of Human Services, Victoria to employ simulation modelling to estimate statewide requirements for neonatal intensive and special care services.

A partnership has also been established with the Centre for Clinical Effectiveness to develop an evidence based guideline for establishing feeding in preterm infants.

The Australasian Cochrane Centre is also based within the Monash Institute of Health Services Research and provides a very valuable resource for those wishing to undertake systematic reviews.
General Enquiries
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Currently Southern Health is not recruiting new volunteers (January 2013), but enquiries about volunteering with Monash Children’s are always welcome. Please email:


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