After a science degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology/Immunology at the University of Tasmania I undertook a PhD at Flinders University of South Australia studying the cytokine response of the placenta and implications of this for preterm birth. On completion of my PhD she was awarded a CJ Martin Post-doctoral Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) Australia. This enabled me to pursue post-doctoral studies at the Universities of Southampton and Western Australia investigating the antenatal determinants of immune function of newborns.
I have been at Swansea University for 16 years and am now Professor of Human Immunology studying various aspects of the immunology of pregnancy and early childhood. This includes studies of the basic mechanisms underlying functional differences in immune function at birth through to translational studies around pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes. I am internationally recognised for my expertise in the early life origins of immune mediated diseases and work in my laboratory has been funded by EPSRC, BBSRC, Life Sciences Research Network and Diabetes UK. My research skills are also utilised in commercial settings supporting activity in the area of inflammation and blood handling medical devices, including with support for Innovate UK. I am currently a Deputy Head of the Medical School, and oversee the School’s flow cytometry facility and human tissue research activity.