Focus of the research

Five focus areas have been chosen to reflect the burden of disease being experienced in each of the areas, and to reflect the team’s significant research capability.

  1. Environment and Lifestyle: incorporating fetal, infant and parental nutrition; physical exercise; microbiome; lactation; growth and body composition; and environmental interactions.
  2. Neurodevelopment, Learning and Mental Health: incorporating research relating to mental health, brain development and cognition, education, and social determinants of health.
  3. Genetics and Physiology: incorporating research relating to genomics and bioinformatics, kidney function, musculoskeletal function cardiovascular function, respiratory function, sleep and medication usage.
  4. Pregnancy and Disease: incorporating research into immunology (infection, asthma and allergy), medication usage, pregnancy and pregnancy complications.
  5. Public Health and Health Services: incorporating research into epidemiology, health economics and health services.

Other research projects which will use data from the pilot birth cohort study

  • Composition of breast milk and its relationship to maternal diet and the microbiome
  • Effect of early life events on postnatal kidney development and function
  • Maternal health during pregnancy and neonatal and infant body composition—early risk factors for obesity
  • Placental androgen receptor and its role in fetal growth and neonatal outcomes
  • The relationship between placental blood flow and fetal cardiovascular function and sleep patterns and position during pregnancy
  • Nutritional intake in pregnancy and its relationship to neonatal body composition
  • The role of maternal and paternal mental health in placental stress axis
  • Spatiotemporal analysis of indoor and outdoor urban air quality: application of novel monitoring technologies in residential houses and its relationship to pregnancy outcomes
  • Determination of plasma biomarkers and micronutrient concentrations in women prior to the onset of pregnancy
  • Maternal micronutrients and the impact of pregnancy supplements
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and reproductive health outcomes: Investigating relationships and trends
  • Early detection of GBS in pregnant women
  • Snapshot of health of pregnant population in relation to lifestyle and mental health

Research themes

For the pilot study alone there are 21 research themes:

  • Cardiovascular function
  • Education
  • Environmental and Occupational Interactions
  • Epidemiology and Health Economy
  • Fetal growth
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Immunology (Infection, Type 1 diabetes, Asthma and Allergy)
  • Kidney Function
  • Lactation
  • Medications Usage
  • Mental Health, Brain Development and Cognition
  • Microbiome
  • Musculoskeletal function
  • Neonatal/Child Body Composition and Growth
  • Nutrition
  • Oncology
  • Physical Exercise
  • Pregnancy and Pregnancy Complications
  • Respiratory
  • Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
  • Social Determinants of Health Outcomes