Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies: Maternal metabolic disturbances, inflammation, and poor nutrition and their impact on pregnancy outcomes

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Burnet Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Philippe Boeuf 8506 2446 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor James Beeson 9282 2271 Personal web page

Project Details

The level of mortality and disease among newborns and children in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is very high. Every year, 5,000 newborns die and almost half of those who survive have poor growth and development (known as stunting). Low birthweight is a major cause of both newborn death and poor growth and development of young children and is largely due to poor fetal growth.

The single strongest determinant of fetal growth is nutrient supply to the fetus and largely depends on maternal nutritional status and on the nutrient transport capacity of the placenta. Poor maternal nutrition and infectious causes of maternal inflammation (such as malaria) restrict the nutrient transport capacity of the placenta, contributing to poor fetal growth.

This project is part of our flagship Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program ongoing in PNG in which we are following 700 pregnant women and their infants until 12 months after delivery. This project will use a combination of established assays (e.g. ELISA kits) and new powerful metabolomics/proteomic approaches to identify nutritional and inflammatory markers predictive of poor pregnancy outcomes, especially low birthweight. Currently, the major causes of low birthweight in PNG are poorly understood.

Interested students should contact Arzum,

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Burnet Institute

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