Carmel heads the Neonatal Nutrition Research Unit of the Child Nutrition Research Centre, Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children, SAHMRI and is the Neonatal Nutrition Research Theme leader, Department of Neonatal Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Carmel’s extensive background in midwifery and neonatal intensive care specialist nursing, coupled with her clinical trial expertise enables her to provide a unique role in the interface between research and clinical practice.
Her research program aims to develop new nutritional clinical practices that will optimise the growth, health, and development of preterm infants, and so help them reach their full potential.She leads the NHMRC funded multi-centre N3RO randomised controlled trial. The trial involves an international collaboration of neonatologists and neonatal research nurses in 13 centres throughout Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.It is the largest nutritional intervention trial for extremely preterm infants and the first trial designed to determine the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia - a chronic, serious lung disease of prematurity.
Carmel is committed to research partnership with parents of preterm infants and clinicians and is working with both in determining the research priorities in the nutritional management of preterm infants from their perspective.