Three scientists wearing lab coats, having a discussion in a laboratory

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Researchers lead on ground-breaking genomic Federal Government Awards Grant   

The Australian Federal Government, through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), has recently granted a substantial research award of more than $2.9 million into ground-breaking genomics (genes) research into the causes of cerebral palsy.

As the most common physical childhood disability, the cause of cerebral palsy is the least understood. This research grant will allow resources to be allocated to genetically test 500 children in Australia with cerebral palsy to gain a more accurate understanding of its origins.   

A national research group has been established for the project including esteemed Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) researchers, Nadia Badawi, Iona Novak, Cathy Morgan, Sarah McIntyre, Yana Wilson, and Tash Garrity. Together, with University of Adelaide Professors Dr Clare van Eyk and Jozef Gecz, the group members are leaders in the international field and recognise that at least one in three cases of cerebral palsy is often linked to a genetic susceptibility.  

This project is close to the heart of Tash Garrity who lives with cerebral palsy and is a research assistant at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute working on this study.  

“It is wonderful that this technology may lead to a better understanding of the causal pathways of cerebral palsy. I look forward to a time when this genomics technology, in combination with current and emerging therapies, can reduce the burden of CP to be negligible,” said Tash.  

The project aims to refine clinical criteria for genomic testing and identify new genetic causes of CP for 50-70% of children within their first year of life.   

Researchers from CPA will also establish a consumer reference group dedicated to cerebral palsy genomics and support recruitment for the study through Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s ground-breaking Early Diagnosis Clinics.   

“This funding will assist in establishing a community reference group, giving people with cerebral palsy and their families a meaningful voice in cerebral palsy genomics that will extend beyond the life of this project,” said Yana Wilson, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Officer, Genetics, University of Sydney who is also working on the study.  

 The ground-breaking research project was awarded as part of the Albanese Government’s $66 million in genomics research grant. By applying genomic testing systematically to the diagnosis of CP, the researchers hope to establish effective, national pathways for clinical recruitment, assessment, and genomic testing of CP.

This research is not only a significant step forward in understanding the genetic basis of cerebral palsy, but also a testament to the commitment of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute and the Federal Government to advance medical research offering hope for children with cerebral palsy and their families for a brighter and healthier tomorrow.

To learn more about the Cerebral Palsy genomics community reference group, please contact Yana Wilson on or Tash Garrity on