Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Projects Title Research Node (Project Site) Department Project Description Number of Places Available (Masters) Number of Places Available (Honours) Primary Supervisor UoM Staff ID Number Primary Supervisor Title Primary Supervisor First Name Primary Supervisor Surname Primary Supervisor Email Co-Supervisor 1 Title Co-Supervisor 1 First Name Co-Supervisor 1 Surname Co-Supervisor 2 Title Co-Supervisor 2 First Name Co-Supervisor 2 Surname Co-Supervisor 3 Title Co-Supervisor 3 First Name Co-Supervisor 3 Surname Additional Supervisors (Please include the title and full name) Opportunity
Abnormal Placental Stem Cells And Their Role In Human Pregnancy Pathologies Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project will explore the molecular mechanisms by which extracellular vesicles derived from normal and pathological placental mesenchymal stem cells, modulate endothelial cell function. Dr Bill Kalionis kalionis@unimelb.edu.au Dr Maria Kokkinos n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Application of computational biology approaches to identify and develop biomarkers to predict preeclampsia Austin Health Obstetrics and Gynaecology Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a protein produced by the placenta during pregnancy that is critical to normal placental development. We know that it is reduced in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction. This project will focus on studying whether a signalling pathway, the JAK/STAT pathway, regulates PlGF in human placenta, and possibly identifying therapeutics that inhibit its expression/activation. 1 Dr Fiona Brownfoot fiona.brownfoot@gmail.com A/Prof Tu'uhevaha Kaitu'u-Lino n/a PhD students; Honours students
Application of computational biology approaches to identify and develop biomarkers to predict pregnancy disorders and guide clinical practice. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction and pre-term birth affect up to 10% of all pregnancies. This project will apply bioinformatics tools to develop biomarkers which may identify which women will develop preeclampsia leading to a predictive test for preeclampsia and personalised treatment options. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au A/Professor Kim-Anh Le Cao Dr Ellen Menkhorst n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Fertility decision tools for young women with breast cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology “As hard as the cancer treatment was, losing my fertility was the hardest thing” Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Fertility preservation in children with cancer Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology One in 900 children is a cancer survivor. Cancer treatment can significantly affect future fertility. Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe yasmin.jayasinghe@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Functional role of VEZT over expression in endometrium Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology VEZT is the first protein coding gene that can be directly linked to increased susceptibility for endometriosis. At a population level, SNPs associated with an increased risk for endometriosis are also associated with increased VEZT expression in the endometrium. To date, it is unclear what functional role VEZT has in the development or progression of endometriosis. To generate new knowledge about VEZT and endometriosis, we have developed a novel mouse model that conditionally over-expresses VEZT ubiquitously including the reproductive system. Our primary aim is to characterise the impact increased expression VEZT has on fertility as well as endometrial lesion formation. This project will include working with an animal model of endometriosis, protein and molecular studies. 1 1 Dr Jacqueline Donoghue jacqueline.donoghue@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Honours students; Master of Biomedical Science
Infertility in women and embryo implantation failure: identifying how infertility develops using new technologies Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Embryo implantation failure is a significant bottleneck for IVF treatment and a major reason for infertility in women. Currently there are no treatments for implantation failure. Embryo implantation requires an adequately endometrium to allow embryos to firmly adhere to initiate and establish pregnancy. There is no non-invasive method established to diagnose a receptive endometrium before embryo transfer. Human endometrial organoids have recently been established and pilot studies demonstrate that organoids recapitulate the histological phenotype of the tissue they are isolated from (for instance endometrial cancer). We have established a 3D human endometrial organoid culture system and will use these to investigate why women may be infertile. Identification of the mechanisms why women are infertile which is the first step to developing treatments for implantation failure and resultant infertility. 2 2 Prof Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au Dr Wei Zhou Dr Ellen Menkhorst n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Honours students; Master of Biomedical Science
Inflammatory mediators in the development of preeclampsia and pre-term birth. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Preeclampsia, pre-term birth and still birth are severe conditions affecting 10-15% of pregnancies worldwide. There are no treatments. This project will identify how these diseases develop and may lead to the development of new therapeutic targets. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Post Doctor Researchers
Studying novel proteins in preeclampsia Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project will involve laboratory studies of novel placental proteins that we have identified may play a role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Associate Professor Tu'uhevaha Kaitu'u-Lino t.klino@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Natalie Hannan Professor Stephen Tong n/a PhD students; Honours students
Testing therapeutics for infertility in organoid models Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project aims to recreate human organoid cultures of the endometrium to determine the cause and treatment of embryo implantation failure infertility. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au Dr Wei Zhou n/a PhD students; Masters by Research; Post Doctor Researchers
The prognosisdiagnosis of common pregnancy complications utilising genetic material found in extracellular vesicles derived from maternal blood and urine. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The ultimate objective of this research is to develop a test for the early detection of common pregnancy disorders. Dr Bill Kalionis kalionis@unimelb.edu.au Assoc Prof Harry Georgiou Dr Maria Kokkinos n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Use of a respiratory function monitor to improve training efficiency in neonatal face mask ventilation Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Face-mask ventilation is the most frequent and important intervention clinicians provide in newborn resuscitation. This skill is difficult to master, mainly due to inadvertent mask leak. This randomised control trial will analyse the benefit of using a Respiratory Function Monitor (RFM), which provides feedback on mask leak and tidal volume, to improve clinicians’ self-learning efficiency in face-mask ventilation. 2 Dr MD PhD Marta Thio marta.thiolluch@thewomens.org.au Dr Kate Hodgson n/a Honours students
WomenCAN: Promoting and advancing women’s health and wellbeing after cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The impact of cancer goes beyond just the treatment phase. Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Prof Martha Hickey n/a PhD students; Masters by Research