Australia Day honour for researchers

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

A Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) researcher has received an Australia Day honour.

Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood has been awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medicine, particularly through stem cell research.

Australia Day honour recipient Ngaire Elwood

This accolade recognises dedication and service to a specific locality, field of activity or to a particular group.

Associate Professor Elwood is Director of the BMDI Cord Blood Bank, a partnership between MCRI, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and Fight Cancer Foundation that sits within the Blood Development Group. Associate Professor Elwood is also the current Chair of AusCord, Australia’s public cord blood bank network.

Associate Professor Elwood’s research uses blood, collected from the umbilical cord of babies post-birth. This cord blood is a valuable source for treating blood cancer and is increasingly used in immunotherapies and other types of regenerative medicine due to its ability to create blood and immune cells, and to assist in tissue repair.

Through this work, Associate Professor Elwood is dedicated to improving blood transplant outcomes and exploring other innovative and unique therapies.

The BMDI Cord Blood Bank has supplied 597 cord blood units for bone marrow transplants as of January this year.

Clinical Associate Professor Jenny Hynson is an Honorary Fellow Manager of Clinical Paediatrics at MCRI and the Medical Director of the Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program.

This statewide program provides services to children who have palliative care needs and helps to support families with all key decisions.

Clinical Associate Professor Hynson has over 20 years of experience in this field and helps to drive advocacy for families, carers and young people as well as health professionals and support organisations.

She is also involved in the Paediatric Palliative Care National Action Plan, a project that addresses the needs of parents and carers while assisting health professionals that respond to the needs of children with life-limiting conditions.

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