Desiree T. Silva, Erika Hagemann, Jacqueline A. Davis, Lisa Y. Gibson, Ravisha Srinivasjois, Debra J. Palmer, Lyn Colvin, Jamie Tan, Susan L. Prescott
August 27, 2020
Objectives Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) pose the greatest threat to human health globally. The dramatic rise in early onset NCDs – such as childhood obesity, the allergy epidemic and an increasing burden of mental ill health in children and youth – reflect the profound early impact of modern environments on developing systems. The ORIGINS Project is a research platform enabling world class investigation of early antecedent pathways to NCDs, and how to curtail these. As well as facilitating strategic long-term research capacity, ORIGINS is a pipeline for short-term productivity through a series of clinical trials, early interventions, mechanistic studies, and targeted research questions to improve maternal and paternal health and the early environment. Methods ORIGINS is a decade-long collaborative initiative between the Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) and the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) to establish a Western Australian (WA) birth cohort of 10,000 families, enrolled during pregnancy. It is currently funded to follow up participating children and their families to five years of age. Comprehensive data and biological samples are collected from participants at up to 15 different timepoints, from the first antenatal clinic visit. In the process, ORIGINS is creating a major research platform, consisting of an extensive, world class biobank and databank. Of key strength and novelty, ORIGINS includes a series of harmonised nested sub-projects integrated with clinical and diagnostic services and providing real-time feedback to improve the health of individuals and the community. Conclusions At its core, ORIGINS aims to improve the health and quality of life of the next generation through improved pathways to optimise the early environment and reduce adversity by promoting primary prevention, early detection and early intervention. This dynamic, interactive, community-based project not only provides novel research capacity, productivity, collaboration and translational impact on future generations – it is also anticipated to have flow on benefits for community engagement, cohesion and purpose. This will provide a sentinel example for tailored replication in other communities around the world as part of interconnected grass root strategies to improve planetary health.