Recently a group of Equity-One staff visited the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to tour their facility and chat to some of their researchers about their areas of expertise.
Our lovely tour host Anna Skelton led us through working labs, robotic genetic freezers and research hubs, as well as previewing some of the artwork made by young people who have experienced mental health conditions.
Our tour began with a visit to the Gen-V freezer labs that store de-identified genetic samples. The Gen-V lab is the only of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and can hold a maximum of 7.1 million samples. It is the biggest pregnancy and newborn biobank in Australia, and reaches an internal temperature of -80°C!
Next, we met Dr Cathy Quinlan, team leader and honorary Fellow Manager in the research area of Stem Cell Biology and Kidney Regeneration. Cathy introduced us to her team in the Centre of Health Analytics who talked us through how the team identifies potential kidney conditions from a sample and reaches out to those who could be affected. This innovative process gives individuals a potentially dangerous diagnosis early, allowing for a treatment plan to become underway before the condition becomes problematic or even present.
The last stop on our visit was the laboratories dedicated to heart regeneration. Team leader Dr Kevin Watt shared his work in creating patches made from stem cells that can be attached to a heart, almost like a bandaid, to help it beat regularly. You can see by the expression on our faces how amazed we were!
Equity-One has been a sponsor for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute for many years now, and this year we have become an Impact Partner, continuing to support their work towards creating a healthy and bright future for sick children, not only in Melbourne, but across the globe. Head to MCRI – Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to learn more about their numerous life-changing research projects, and how to donate or become associated.
See below to read our Managing Director Dean Koutsoumidis’ Q&A, discussing the importance of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to Equity-One:
How did you first hear about Murdoch Children’s Research Institute?
Several years ago, I read an article about the break-through in the area of SIDS (previously referred to as Cot Death).
I then contacted the MCRI and was really taken by the incredible work they do across many areas. When this research leads to break-throughs, it not only changes the life of one child, but rather benefits all children, globally…instantly.
To me, the research and hard work of all the dedicated team at the MCRI literally changes the world. It’s amazing.
Why has Equity-One become corporate supporters of MCRI?
Solving problems today, which leads to better outcomes for the future, is something I found very compelling. When I engaged with some of the team there, I was very moved by what they do. It seemed a perfect fit for us to participate and be a part of it.
We are always looking at the bigger picture, especially for our future generations and their wellbeing.
Why is supporting child health research so important to you and your organization?
Well, I have children too, so anything to do with the betterment of kids, generally, is a big deal to me. Also, the MCRI isn’t solely focussed on one area of health. They have a long list of projects and wonderful discoveries in many areas, so they have a powerful impact on future generations.
What is something Equity-One staff plan to do to get more involved with MCRI?
Getting involved with MCRI means getting to know the research team through face-to-face chats, to build a good repertoire with those at the forefront of the research, and hear why they are passionate about what they do.
We’d like to share the work MCRI has done with our community to really get the word out about the institute. As MCRI and Equity-One are based in different industries it’s really special how we share similar values which should take us far into the future.