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Closing the Gaps – Pediatric Reference Intervals of Pro-inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines.

Cytokines have attracted substantial attention as diagnostic biomarkers for infectious and inflammatory diseases in recent years. However, understanding of maturation of the immune system and normal ranges for various patient age brackets in health and disease have not been established. Cytokines play an important role in maintaining homeostasis on the one hand, and a wide range of childhood diseases on the other hand. Their potential as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that may guide treatment in infectious, autoimmune, allergic, and haematological diseases is beginning to be recognised. Studies have suggested that cytokine production is influenced by age; however, larger datasets on cytokine profiles for healthy neonates, infants and children are lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate cytokine concentrations in healthy infants and children, and to explore conditions that influence cytokine production in the paediatric age group. For Honours, this project will involve the following approaches and techniques: - Obtaining and working up samples in collaboration with the Department of Paediatrics and Pathology - Clinical data entry in an electronic database - Elisa or multiplex protein quantification assays to measure serum/plasma markers in infants and children. For candidates interested in a PhD, the study’s scope is easily expandable to investigate further age groups and diseases.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
cytokines, inflammation, reference ranges, pediatric, children, infants
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Monash Health Translation Precinct (Monash Medical Centre)
Steven Cho
Claudia Nold

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