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School of Women’s and Infants’ Health. Overview of Research by Jeff Keelan. SWIH research. Major programmes Raine study; genetics; sheep studies Group-based research Obstetrics, neonatology, reproductive health, placentology.

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School of Women’s and Infants’ Health

Overview of Research


Jeff Keelan

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SWIH research

  • Major programmesRaine study; genetics; sheep studies

  • Group-based researchObstetrics, neonatology, reproductive health, placentology

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Raine studyPennell, Newnham, Doherty, Hart et al(plus many TICHR researchers)

  • WA pregnancy cohort (DoHaD resource)

  • 2900 women (2686 babies), 1989-91

  • Ante-natal / cord blood samples, growth, development, perinatal/obstetric parameters

  • Follow-up at 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17-18, 20 years

  • Data: health, fitness, obesity, BP, asthma, nutrition/diet, mood & mental health, cognitive function, stress…

  • Studies: Ante-natal exposure to androgens, estrogens, vitamins, plasticizers, endocrine disrupters

  • Impact of genes on health and development

  • Ante-natal / postnatal risk factors for autism spectrum disorders

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Genetic Epidemiology and PredictionPennell, Palmer, Beilin, Newnham et al

  • GWAS, Raine cohort, epigenetics.

  • Genetic associations with birth weight, asthma, eczema, obesity, age of menarche, insulin resistance/glycemia

  • Preterm birth Genome Project (PREBIC) – 4000 women (800 to date), 75% PTB rate.

  • 1200 DNA samples genotyped, results pending.

  • Variety of other genetic associations studies in progress

  • Funding: Channel 7 Telethon Trust, WIRF, NHMRC, CIHR, WHO, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

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NIH collaborationNewnham, Pillow, Kemp et al(Jobe, Kallapur)

  • Fetal sheep (large animal) model

  • Intrauterine ureaplasma infection

  • Fetal lung development / inflammation

  • Fetal lung ventilation strategies

  • Fetal brain development / inflammation

  • Fetal skin development / inflammation

  • Funding: NIH (20 years), NHMRC

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Obstetric ResearchNewnham, Dickinson, Pennell, Doherty, Simmer, Fletcher et al

  • Fetal futures – long term outcomes of children with antenatal & perinatal problems

  • Effects of fetal blood transfusions on cardiac function

  • Gastroschisis - long term health implications

  • Umbilical gas / lactate monitoring

  • Maternity care in remote aboriginal communities

  • Vascular risk factors in prediction of preeclampsia

  • Exercise effects on gestational diabetes

  • Funding: WIRF, Channel 7 Telethon Trust, NHMRC, WA Department of Health

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Neonatal ResearchSimmer, Pillow, Hartmann et al

  • Neonatal immune development, infection and late onset sepsis.

  • Neonatal lung function and development – ventilation strategies; diaphragm structure and development; nebulizer-based surfactant supplementation; caffeine therapy; mathematical modeling of lung epithelia during ventilation.

  • Neonatal nutrition – breast milk quality and quantity; alternative sterilization procedures; Prem Milk Bank; w3-PUFA supplementation, FAD genetics and infant development; probiotic supplementation; fat emulsions of parenteral nutrition.

  • Funding: NHMRC, SHRAC, Fisher & Paykel, Madela AG, WIRF, Raine Foundation, NIH, Channel 7 Telethon Trust, Viertel Charitable Foundation.

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Reproductive Health ResearchHart, Hickey, Newnham, Dickinson, Pennell, Doherty, Leung, Hammond, Salfinger et al

  • Early childhood origins of PCOS

  • Early life origins of impaired testicular function

  • Epidemiology, histology, genetics and treatment of ovarian cancer

  • Laparoscopic detection of endometrial cancer

  • Funding: NHMRC, WIRF, Raine Medical Research Foundation, TICHR

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Placental function and pathophysiologyKeelan, Waddell, Dharmarajan, Mori

  • Inflammation and oxidative stress in placenta and pregnancy disorders

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – prevention and treatment of placental inflammation

  • Lipid derived mediators in pregnancy – lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, endocannabinoids, prostanoids, oxysterols, isoprostanes, lysophospholipids, sphingolipids etc

  • Placental differentiation – b-catenin/Akt signalling, sphingolipids (ceramide, S1P)

  • Placental transport – lipids, drugs, nanoparticles

  • Funding: NHMRC, Raine Foundation, March of Dimes Foundation

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Education researchMcGurgan, Carmody, Tregonning

  • Teaching of clinical skills in intimate examinations

  • Use of audience transponders in teaching

  • Effects of presence of medical students in delivery suites

  • Effects on peer review of teaching

  • Simulation training in obstetric emergencies

  • Research on professional development