Mater researchers recognised for their extensive collaborations

Thursday 24 January 2019

Professor Vicki Flenady and her team at the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) at Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland were awarded the UQ Faculty of Medicine Collaborators of the Year Award.

The award recognises their broad collaborations that have resulted in significant, tangible outcomes and demonstrated the impact of their research.

Over 2000 Australian families are affected by stillbirth each year; there has been little improvement in stillbirth rates for over 20 years.

The main objectives of the Stillbirth CRE are to reduce stillbirth rates and improve care for families, through focus on four priority research areas:

  • improve care and outcomes for women with risk factors for stillbirth
  • develop new approaches for identifying women with increased risk of stillbirth
  • implement best practice in care after stillbirth and in subsequent pregnancies
  • improve knowledge of causes and contributors to stillbirth.

The Stillbirth CRE team collaborate nationally and globally to work toward these goals. In the first two years they have established formal partnerships with 12 organisations, four parent advocacy groups, four peak professional bodies and two international associations.

“I naturally transitioned from a clinical role as a midwife and neonatal nurse into research through my passion to ensure that the care provided to all women and newborns was based on the best available evidence. My research has evolved from my original interests in improving outcomes for preterm infants, then to perinatal mortality and finally to the perplexing and tragic loss of lives through unexplained stillbirth. I am passionate about ensuring a multidisciplinary approach that places the women and her family at the centre of research to improve care. I am also committed to providing leadership in research that translates into better outcomes by nurturing the careers of the young researchers” Professor Flenady said.