Nov 2022: Danks Seminar – Mental Health Research in Clinical Sciences at MCRI


You’re invited to the Danks Seminar:
Mental Health Research in Clinical Sciences at MCRI

Date: Tuesday, 29th November 2022
Time: 12:30pm
Zoom link:


Mental health research within Clinical Sciences spans different conditions of childhood and focusses on prevention, early intervention and evidence-based treatment for infants, children and families. In this month’s Danks Seminar, we showcase the recent work of senior leaders from Clinical Sciences whose research in mental health is having a direct impact on care for children. Each speaker will present details of the evidence they have generated on campus and its implementation into policy and practice. 

Professor Amanda Wood (Research Lead, Melbourne Children’s Campus Mental Health Strategy, and Psychologist in Neonatal Medicine, RCH) will host the seminar on behalf of Clinical Sciences.   


A/Prof Brigid Jordan 
Associate Professor Brigid is a social worker and infant mental health clinician researcher who worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 35 years. Her research explores the relationship between early life stress and the health and mental health of infants and young children. She has extensive experience extending infant mental health knowledge and skills into other fields including paediatric nursing, early years education and child welfare. Brigid is an Honorary Principal Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and an investigator on the University of Melbourne team that evaluated an intensive early childhood education and care model for babies and toddlers living with significant social adversity. 

A/Prof Maria McCarthy “eMental health and chronic illness: Transforming interventions for a new generation” 
Maria McCarthy is a Principal Research Fellow with the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), a Senior Mental Health Clinician and the Co-ordinator of the clinical psycho-oncology program at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Children’s Cancer Centre. Maria’s research interests relate to psychological and quality of life impacts of childhood cancer and other chronic illnesses. Maria’s research is focused upon development of e-mental health interventions, clinical trials in supportive care and survivorship, bioethics and family medical decision-making.  As a clinician-researcher, Maria and her team are particularly focused on translation and implementation of research findings into clinical care. 

A/Prof Ken Pang “Managing the increased demand for clinical services among transgender young people” 
Ken Pang is a Paediatrician and Research Lead in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, where he works to help support transgender young people and their families. He is also an Associate Professor (Honorary) at the University of Melbourne and leads a research team at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. In the past 5 years, Ken and his team have published >30 articles in trans health in journals such as JAMA Pediatrics, BMJ, Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, and Pediatrics. His team has also commenced an NHMRC-funded longitudinal study, known as Trans20, which is assessing the long-term health and wellbeing of >600 transgender children and adolescents attending the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service 

A/Prof Daryl Efron “Medicinal Cannabis - All hype or useful therapy?” 
Daryl Efron is a developmental-behavioural paediatrician at RCH, Senior Research Fellow at MCRI, and Associate Professor in the Uni Melbourne Dept Paediatrics. His research interests include ADHD, psychopharmacology, and models of care for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Over the past 4 or 5 years he has developed a program of clinical trials investigating the therapeutic role of medicinal cannabis. 

Prof David Coghill “Not quite ADHD: Understanding the associations of subsyndromal ADHD” 
Dave Coghill is the Financial Markets Foundation Chair of Developmental Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on increasing understanding of child and adolescent mental health using a range of approaches including longitudinal observational studies and big data approaches, neuropsychopharmacology, clinical trials, pharmacoepidemiology and patient reported outcomes. He has maintained a strong clinical presence developing clinical pathways that facilitate the rapid transfer of research evidence into routine clinical practice. His clinical work is split between the Royal Children’s Hospital and Orygen. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Aboriginal Flag
Progress Pride Flag
Torres Strait Islander Flag

At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.


Proudly supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation