Perinatal Division

Group Head

Members of the Perinatal Group

Heads of research teams

Overview of research program

The Perinatal research team is dedicated to designing, performing and implementing research to improve the health of mothers and children.

Whilst every expectant parent looks forward to celebrating the birth of a healthy baby, unfortunately, for many this is not the case as the following statistics reveal. Every year in Australia:

  • over 2,200 babies are stillborn
  • the number of child-related deaths due to stillbirth is double the number of deaths reported for all children between the ages of 1-14 years
  • over 11,000 liveborn babies suffer life-threatening illness in the newborn period
  • almost 25,000 babies are born too early
  • over 1,500 babies are born very small
  • over 58,000 babies are admitted to hospital at least once in the first year of life, including 13,700 who are admitted multiple times
  • one in ten women may experience high blood pressure and/or bleeding in pregnancy
  • although maternal deaths are uncommon (approximately 20 each year), over 5,000 women suffer life-threatening illness associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

We now know that fetal experiences and exposures before birth can influence the course of our lives, and have been linked with increased risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, and even conditions more common in old age such as arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline.

Our multi-disciplinary research group comprises scientists, epidemiologists, data analysts, and clinicians, and utilises expertise in biomedical science, clinical research and population health research to investigate: pregnancy and its short and long term complications; the provision of maternity health services; and newborn and child health.

The commitment to address the national health priority of "a healthy start to life for all Australians" is the driving force motivating our talented research team.

Perinatal Health Research organisation chart (Click here to open in new tab.)