Perinatal & Life Course Environmental SIG

SIG Leaders

  • Prof Jeff Keelan
  • Dr Shin Lee

List of Investigators


  • Prof John Newnham, University of Western Australia
  • A/Professor Alexander Larcombe, Curtin University
  • Dr Kym Guelfi, University of Western Australia
  • Prof Andrew Whitehouse, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Prof Roger Hart, University of Western Australia
  • A/Prof Andrew Lewis, Murdoch University
  • Dr Tim Fairchild, Murdoch University
  • Prof Vera Morgan, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Stuart Watson, Murdoch University
  • Dr Brad Hayhow, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr Gavin Pereira, Curtin University
  • Dr Caitlin Wyrwoll, University of Western Australia

Overview of the current data resources available in the SIG area

Data resources include:

  • Pregnancy (18 and 34 weeks), obstetric, birthweight and neonatal outcome data
  • Maternal blood (serum at 18 and 34 weeks), cord blood (serum), placentas (sections)
  • Breastfeeding data; placental/foetal growth data
  • Maternal anthropomorphic/demographic/ethnicity/lifestyle/drug intake data
  • Maternal exercise/diet and pregnancy outcome data
  • Maternal/foetal blood endocrine disrupter measurements
  • Cord blood immunology/endocrine/steroid/neurosteroid profile

Overview of current/recent SIG activity

  • Obstetric Complications and Offspring Mental Health Outcomes (PMED23 approval)
  • Describing the relationship between prenatal growth and developmental outcomes in childhood
  • Effects of antenatal exposure to steroids (androgens, estrogens and neurosteroids) and endocrine disrupters (BPA, phthalates) on sexual development, neurodevelopment and behaviour

Outline of SIG plans for next 5 years

  • Expand the focus of use of data from pregnancy into adulthood and into the next generation (3 generations) to look at pregnancy influences from one generation to the next
  • Expand the focus of perinatal mental health and mental health measures in current and future data

Brief list of potential student/early career researcher projects

  • How does the perinatal environment (external exposures and internal modulators) influence paediatric, adolescent and later-life development?
  • How does antenatal and postnatal growth and development influence adult health, behaviour and disease risk?
  • What biomarkers can be measured/defined/interrogated that predict later-life physical and mental health and disease?
  • Can cutting-edge ‘omic’ technologies be exploited in archived samples to provide insights into maternal and neonatal health and development?
  • What are the intergenerational aspects of pregnancy and perinatal health?
  • What is the impact of socioeconomic/societal factors in the antenatal and perinatal period on offspring health and development?