This year’s Annual Scientific meeting started off with a warm welcome from Professor Leon Straker, the Scientific Director of the Raine Study, followed by an official opening from University of Western Australia’s Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Simon Biggs.
Over 150 guests attended this year’s Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting, including our keynote speaker, Professor Melissa Wake, a community child health researcher and Scientific Director of the Generation Victoria (GenV) initiative led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Professor Melissa Wake presented her findings on the importance of longitudinal studies towards early prediction of later life health conditions and a team of experienced Raine Study researchers presented longitudinal trajectories in the Raine Study. Her description of studies like the Raine Study as being not just “jewels in the crown’, but “crown jewels” struck a chord with the audience.
Other outstanding presentations included Early Career Research, Dr Laura Wijs’ discoveries of the potential risks and implications associated with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on the long-term health of offspring, as compared to ‘natural’ reproductive methods. Dr Laura Wijs was awarded the prize for top Early Career Researcher Presentation by Dr Amanda Cleaver, Director of the Raine Medical Research Foundation, alongside Jan Stewart, the Chair of The Raine Study Board of Directors. Dr Jason Charng also received an Early Career Researcher Prize for his presentation on the effectiveness of the national sun-safety campaign in reducing cases of pterygium in Australia.
In total, we had 25 different research presenters who shared their unique key research findings looking into a wide variety of health aspects, including eyesight, psychological behaviour, bone health and adiposity.
We were given the opportunity to hear the unique insights and perspectives from two of our life-long 30-year Gen 2 participants, as they reflected on their experiences participating in the study. It was interesting to get feedback from our participants to see how we can make future adjustments and improvements to our study to make the experience easier and more enjoyable to them.
Dr Leesa Costello shared some interesting insights on how we can improve participant engagement through effective use of social media and why doing this is so important. She found that in general, active participants are more involved in the study because they value the personal benefits of the study and may perceive it as a contribution towards ‘the greater good’ of global health, whilst inactive participants are more interested in the benefit of having occasional free health check-ups.
Team members from The Raine Study; Aggie Bouckley, Dr Juliana Zabatiero, Alex D’Vauz, Diane Wood and Lorelei Campbell; shared portfolio updates on their individual roles in the organisation as well as their key achievements and areas for future endeavours.
The event was closed by a lovely celebration and cutting of The Raine Study’s 30th Year Anniversary cake by Raine Study founder, Professor John Newnham.
We greatly appreciate the effort and contributions made by researchers and key speakers at the 2019 Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting and hope that those who came enjoyed the event. Here’s to another 30 years at The Raine Study and many more scientific contributions to come.
Visit our Facebook Album to see more photos from the day.