About us

Research in the Department of Paediatrics

Clinical research into the diseases affecting newborns, children and adolescents is conducted at the Monash Children’s Hospital, Monash Health and the Department of Paediatrics, with basic research at The Ritchie Centre.

To ensure the best long term outcome for premature babies, it is very important to prevent or minimise the lung disease of prematurity, and brain damage from perinatal hypoxia or cerebral haemorrhage. Our key areas of translational research are in neuroprotective strategies and the prevention of lung disease through optimising non-invasive respiratory support, the timing of cord clamping, functional cardiac echocardiography and the management of pulmonary hypertension. Animal and clinical studies in the use of Melatonin to prevent brain damage from birth asphyxia are funded by the Gates Foundation. Vaccine safety research in pregnancy and childhood is funded by the World Health Organisation, US National vaccine Program Office, and Monash Health Foundation.

The Ritchie Centre (TRC) is the largest perinatal research centre in Australia and functions as a major research arm for the Department of Paediatrics. The Ritchie Centre has an annual research budget of about $10M. Academically, TRC enjoys an especially close relationship with Monash Newborn.

Our research focuses on immunology, cancer, infectious diseases, vaccine safety, sleep disorders, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and the integration of databases in primary, secondary and tertiary care. The clinical research into diseases of childhood are funded by the NHMRC, philanthropic foundations, and industry grants. Clinical trials are conducted by Monash Kids Research in infectious diseases, immunisation, endocrinology, urology and neurology.

Head of Department

Professor Nick Freezer

Our first breaths are our most important, but for the growing number of children with asthma, they can also be the most traumatic, especially when the best asthma treatment can damage their health. Professor Nick Freezer was among the first group of researchers to alert the world to the dangers of overdosing asthmatic children with inhaled corticosteroids.

As Professor and Head of Paediatrics at Monash University, the Medical Director of the Women's and Children's Program for Monash Health, where he's also Medical Director of Monash Children's, and as a practising respiratory physician, Nick continues to research the dangers of corticosteroid use in children, especially children aged under six.

Find out more about Professor Nick Freezer.

Teaching in the Department of Paediatrics

Teaching is at the core of our department focus. We are responsible  for delivering Paediatrics and Children's Health curriculum for the Bachelor  of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) program. Both taken  at Year 4 of the MBBS, students have the opportunity to study these  units at a range of locations throughout our network, including; the Monash Children's  Hospital/Monash Health, Eastern Health, Peninsula Health, Cabrini Hospital, Northern  Victoria (NVRMN), Gippsland  Medical School and at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and  Health Sciences at Monash University in Malaysia.

We actively support students and practitioners/clinicians wanting to undertake research in paediatrics. We encourage applications for Honours (Bachelor of Medical Science, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Science) and PhD research, and have fantastic opportunities for early career (ECR) academic paediatricians and scientists who have recently completed a higher degree and are transitioning to independent research funding.

More about us

Read our brochure (2.88 MB pdf) to find out more about us.