Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Science Week celebrated at Australian Museum


Every year, Children’s Medical Research Institute takes part in the Sydney Science Festival at the Australian Museum. Over 3000 primary school students from all over Sydney get hands on experience, learning about DNA, cells and how science can help sick kids. 

“Touching strawberry DNA and looking under the microscope lights up their faces,” said Dr Lorel Colgin, CMRI’s Head of Marketing and resident science communicator. “This year, most of the students, teachers and parents recognised that we were Jeans for Genes. 

“Many of the school kids asked about the poster of Linke,” Lorel said. Linke is one of the children featured in this year’s campaign. “They’d seen her picture on Sydney street banners and wondered what leukaemia is or if she was ok. I told them she was all better, and that’s why science was important. ‘Cool’ was the usual response, but it was clear seeing the relevance of our work to kids their own age was powerful. 

“That’s why we do this—to get kids excited enough about science to care about what we do and even become scientists or doctors themselves.”

Josh Studdert, another scientist at Children’s Medical Research Institute who volunteered, was interested to talk to children about why he loved working in research.

“Science isn't just about doing experiments,’’ Josh said. “It's about pushing boundaries and directing your thinking to a place that is outside of the normal. It's about building on ideas that are based on a community of knowledge and pushing beyond to come up with new ideas and new ways of finding answers.’’