Through the study of early environments, maternal and paternal physical health and genetics, The ORIGINS Project aims to build a research platform to enable world class investigations into when and why NCDs develop. The goal is to reduce the rising epidemic of NCDs through 'a healthy start to life'.
The novel aspect of this initiative is that it will be fully integrated into the clinical and diagnostic services, led by a strong cohesive vision of Joondalup Health Campus Executive and Department Heads, across both public and private sectors. Clinicians (including midwives and laboratory staff) will have research appointments in addition to clinical duties, promoting a research culture.
ORIGINS will be a 'responsive' system with 'real-time' feedback. Early screening and identification of children at risk (for example, early autistic features, developmental delay, allergic diseases and/or unhealthy growth trajectory) will provide timely community benefits through early intervention. To our knowledge, this is completely unique and will be the first cohort to take this approach.
ORIGINS is focused on translational research and improving the health of the next generation through early intervention. In addition to observational data, ORIGINS will provide a framework for intervention studies and nested clinical trials within the main cohort (each to be funded separately). Strategic integration and coordination will streamline recruitment processes and generate greater economies of scale. An important aspect to this approach is the ability to translate research findings into clinical practice, and to inform policy changes, where necessary.
The business plan for ORIGINS incorporates a strong emphasis on sustainability. ORIGINS will build a large repository of biological and lifestyle data not otherwise available to researchers in Australia. When research teams apply to access the ORIGINS Project resource, access fees (a condition of approval) will assist with the ongoing collection and storage costs of ORIGINS.
The ORIGINS Project provides a framework for intervention studies and nested clinical trials within the main cohort.