NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, University of Adelaide

A number of pathologies of pregnancy, including up to 50% of miscarriages, preeclampsia (hypertension and proteinuria in pregnancy), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), preterm labour, unexplained stillbirth and placental abruption are characterised by impaired cytotrophoblast invasion and inadequate response of the uterine spiral arteries to undergo physiological transformation. Together these conditions affect more than one quarter of pregnant women in developed societies. Our laboratory takes a "bench to bedside" approach to discovery and solving clinical problems in pregnancy that have their origins in placental development and maternal adaptation to pregnancy. We undertake basic cellular and molecular experiments to elucidate mechanisms that govern normal and abnormal placental development. We also have a strong focus on identifying genetic, nutritional, lifestyle and clinical factors that associate with pregnancy outcome in the SCOPE and PAPO pregnancy cohorts. Current projects include single nucleotide polymorphisms in mother, father, baby trios in prediction of pregnancy complications, the role of vitamin D in placentation (in human and knockout mice), the role of hypoxia in early placental differentiation, and sex differences in the human placental transcriptome.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, University of Adelaide