Associate Investigators

  • Professor Jeremy Oats

    Professor Jeremy Oats

    Perinatal Mortality Audit and Classification; Clinical guidelines

    Jeremy Oats has a strong record both nationally and internationally as a clinical academic Obstetrician specialising in the epidemiology of gestational diabetes and causes of mortality and morbidity related to pregnancy. With leadership roles in a number of major organizations responsible for the provision and enhancement of maternity services, Professor Oats has a proven capacity to play central and active roles in the translation of clinical research into both national and international practice enhancement. He is the Chair of the Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity, Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is a consultant Obstetrician at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. He is Co-Chair of the National Clinical Practice Guidelines – Antenatal Care and member of the AIHW National Maternal Mortality and Perinatal Mortality Advisory Group. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the ANZ Child Death Review and Prevention Group.

  • Professor Yee Khong

    Professor Yee Khong

    Perinatal Pathology

    Yee Khong has research interests in diagnostic placental pathology and social and diagnostic aspects of the perinatal autopsy. Professor Khong was an invited expert to contribute to the chapter on placental pathology in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s Taskforce on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy. He also recently convened an international collaboration to harmonise placental examination, nomenclature and definition of lesions (Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group). Professor Khong has been a tutor for the International Paediatric Pathology Association Advanced Course in 2001 and 2013, and the Update Course in 2015.

  • Professor Caroline Homer

    Professor Caroline Homer

    Partner, Australian College of Midwives; Clinical guidelines


    Caroline Homer is currently the President of the Australian College of Midwives and is a registered midwife in Australia. She has led research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care and the development of midwifery practice and education.  Professor Homer’s other research includes the translation of research into clinical practice particularly in maternity care, clinical risk management strategies, and the development of educational strategies to prepare midwives for practice.

  • Professor Vicki Clifton

    Professor Vicki Clifton

    Co-lead: Placental biomarkers of pregnancies at risk of stillbirth

    Professor Vicki Clifton is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow who is currently the Program leader of Mothers and Babies Theme at Mater Medical Research Institute in Brisbane Australia. Vicki was employed at the Robinson Research Institute, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide from January 2008 to April 2015 after many years at the Mothers and Babies Research Centre in Newcastle, Australia. While at the Robinson Research Institute she was Director of Clinical Research at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, Australia (2009-2014) and leader of the Allergy Research Priority. Prof Clifton spent many years as Treasurer and then President of the Endocrine Society of Australia (2004-2013). She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and obtained a Diploma of Management from the University of Adelaide. Prof Clifton is internationally recognized for her research into the human placenta and is currently Editor of the Placenta Journal (2012-present). She is also an Executive member of the International Society of Endocrinology Board that oversees and supports the activities of the national societies of endocrinology in 80 countries around the world. Her current research focusses on the impact of maternal asthma and other health complications during pregnancy on placental function, fetal growth and childhood development. She has a specific interest in the sex specific differences in the fetal-placental response to a complication of pregnancy understanding the different strategies male and female fetuses institute to cope with an adverse event in pregnancy and how this ensures their survival in early life.

  • A/Prof Emily Callander

    A/Prof Emily Callander

    Health Economics

    Emily Callander is a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University. She is also an honorary associate at the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney. Doctor Callander specialises in measuring the impact of health on family living standards and is part of an internationally leading research team quantifying the productivity impacts of illness, including leading her own research program making advances in clinical trials to capture productivity benefits of new neonatal interventions and impacts for families and government. 

  • Professor Susan McDonald

    Professor Susan McDonald

    Midwifery mentorship; Clinical guidelines

    Susan McDonald currently holds a full time joint professorial appointment between La Trobe University and Mercy Health in Victoria. Her role encompasses research training and education for midwives, women’s health and neonatal nurses. Professor McDonald is a member of the PSANZ ANZSA Steering Committee , a trainer for IMproving Perinatal mortality Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE), and has been involved in the development of a new PSANZ ANZSA education program related to fetal growth and prevention of stillbirth. Professor McDonald is the deputy Chair, Consultative Council for Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality Morbidity, and a member of the maternal, mortality, morbidity, and stillbirth sub committees. 

  • Dr Aleena Wojcieszek

    Dr Aleena Wojcieszek

    Associate Investigator; Clinical Epidemiology

    Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland


    Aleena’s research background is in health psychology and clinical perinatal epidemiology specific to reproductive health and decision-making. Her current work is focused on implementation science in the context of perinatal health, particularly improving mothers’ and babies’ health and preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth.

    Aleena worked on the Lancet series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths, published in January 2016, where she co-authored two series papers and drafted the series executive summary. She has also collaborated with the World Health Organization and Norwegian Institute of Public Health to develop global frameworks and customisable technical tools for electronic health registries for maternal and child health – coined eRegistries. Aleena is a Cochrane systematic reviewer and member of the Australasian node of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. She also works closely with the International Stillbirth Alliance and is a member of its scientific network and working groups.

    Aleena is an Associate Investigator on the Stillbirth CRE and completed her PhD thesis on informing clinical practice for care during subsequent pregnancies following a stillbirth in 2019.

  • Dr Glenn Gardener

    Dr Glenn Gardener

    Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist

    Dr Glenn Gardener is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and Director of the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals.

    Dr Gardener has a long held interest in fetal therapy including in-utero surgery and is currently the only specialist in Australia and New Zealand performing fetal surgery for diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida. He regularly performs surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in-utero blood transfusions and other complex in-utero procedures.

    With a particular interest in the prevention of stillbirth, Dr Gardener is involved in research and is a current board member for the International Stillbirth Alliance and leads a Fetal Therapy Special Interest Group through the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ).

    Dr Gardener is actively involved in teaching obstetric ultrasound and passing on his skills to new doctors.

  • Dr Sue Vlack

    Dr Sue Vlack

    Metro North Hospital and Health Service

    Sue Vlack is a public health physician and health services researcher with clinical experience in Indigenous community women's and children's health, working at Metro North Public Health Unit. Doctor Vlack chaired the original Indigenous Reference Group for Stillbirth Prevention at Mater Research, and contributed to development of Indigenous-specific resources such as Bubba’s Movements and what they mean;  BabyHelp: a diagnostic tool for Indigenous parents and Health Workers; and Indigenous Health Worker Resource Manual for Immunisation in Queensland. Her PhD project was Relating well to people: a mixed-methods evaluation of preventive care implementation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream, urban general practice.

  • Professor Alison Kent

    Professor Alison Kent

    IMPROVE and FGR programmes

    Alison Kent is known nationally and internationally as a clinician and academic with roles in provision of perinatal care, research, and medical education. She is currently a Senior Staff Specialist in Neonatology at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Canberra. Professor Kent has been invited to teach and speak internationally, including developing countries where she has provided education in perinatal mortality classification and prevention. Currently, Professor Kent is the Chair of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Perinatal Mortality Committee and the Continuing Practice and Education Committee of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Alliance. Professor Kent also works with the International Stillbirth Alliance sitting on the Scientific Advisory Committee Executive.