Coordinating Team

Stillbirth CRE coordinating team

  • Dr Sarah Henry

    Dr Sarah Henry

    Research Manager

    Sarah Henry has a research background in maternal and fetal health, developmental biology and renal physiology. Having completed her PhD through Monash University in 2015, Dr Henry is now working as part of the coordinating team in the establishment of Stillbirth CRE. In addition, she is the national coordinator of IMPROVE, an educational workshop aiming to improving perinatal mortality clinical practice across maternity hospitals throughout Australia.

  • Ms Jessica Sexton

    Ms Jessica Sexton

    PhD candidate and research assistant

    Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland


    Jessica Sexton is an epidemiology PhD student. Prior to joining the Stillbirth CRE, Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science – Medical Laboratory Science from the University of New Hampshire in 2012, a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Georgia Southern University in 2015, and will earn a Master of Science in Spatial Analysis from Johns Hopkins University in 2018. As an MPH student, she investigated the determinants of neonatal sepsis in Ghana, participated in environmental laboratory studies of Vibrio spp., and studied the 2014 influenza outbreak. Upon graduation, she earned a position working for the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention as an Allan Rosenfield Global Epidemiology Fellow in Lilongwe, Malawi. At CDC, Jessica was responsible for the design and implementation of surveillance programs designed to address the HIV epidemic and served as the point of contact for HIV drug resistance activities. In 2017, Jessica was honoured by United States Ambassador Virginia E. Palmer to receive a Franklin Award for her service and innovation through diligence, coordination, and skilled collaboration to improve use of laboratory data and health systems in surveillance and research studies in Malawi.

  • Dr Aleena Wojcieszek

    Dr Aleena Wojcieszek

    Associate Investigator; ECR lead: Care After Stillbirth; Co-lead: Care in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth

    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 Early Career Researcher (ECR) lead for its Care After Stillbirth program. She completed her PhD thesis on informing clinical practice for care during subsequent pregnancies following a stillbirth in 2019 and co-leads the Stillbirth CRE's subsequent pregnancy research stream.

  • Ms Megan Weller

    Ms Megan Weller

    Research Midwife


    Megan Weller completed both her Bachelor of Nursing and Graduate Diploma of Midwifery at ACU. Megan’s clinical background includes oncology nursing and practicing as a midwife in continuity of care models. Megan has recently joined the Centre of Research Excellence - Stillbirth team as a Research Midwife. Megan is very passionate about providing quality, holistic and woman-centred care for all women and their families.

  • Dr Christine Andrews

    Dr Christine Andrews

    Senior Research Assistant

    Christine Andrews has a research background in paediatric burn injury pathophysiology and prevention. Prior to undertaking a research higher degree she worked as a veterinarian in private practice. Having completed her PhD through the University of Queensland with the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Dr Andrews joins the Stillbirth CRE as a senior research assistant. She has a specific interest in the translation and implementation of quality research into evidence-based best clinical practice.

  • Ms Kara Warrilow

    Ms Kara Warrilow

    Research Assistant 

    Kara completed both a Bachelor of Psychology and Public Health with Griffith University in 2012. She has also recently completed a Masters of Epidemiology with the University of Queensland, focusing on disease spread from rural to urban Queensland. Kara has recently joined the Stillbirth CRE as a research assistant. She is working particularly on data management of the My Baby’s Movements Multi Centre Clinical Trial.

  • Ms Susannah Leisher

    Ms Susannah Leisher

    Honorary Fellow

    Susannah Hopkins Leisher spent over 20 years working on global poverty alleviation, including 10 years based in Vietnam, where she was for five years the Vietnam country representative for Oxfam Hong Kong, as well as consulting for a wide range of agencies including the UN, DFID, the World Bank and various NGOs. Subsequently she spent five years as director and then vice-president for programs of Trickle Up, an NGO that works to move women out of extreme poverty in India, West Africa and Central America. Ms Leisher holds a BA (magna cum laude) in mathematics from Carleton College, an MA with distinction in international economics and social change and development from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, and an MSc with distinction in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a second-year doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University with a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award. Her research interest is stillbirth, and perinatal mortality generally, including the overlap between stillbirth and inequity, reducing unexplained stillbirths, the global socio-political environment for stillbirth prevention, and translating research into practice. Her current research includes a retrospective study of the association between socio-economic deprivation and stillbirth in Queensland, Australia, between 1994 and 2011, and a literature review of the perinatal mortality burden associated with Zika virus globally. Ms Leisher sits on the board of the International Stillbirth Alliance, and is a member of its Scientific Advisory Committee and a co-chair of the Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group. She lives in New Jersey, USA, with her husband and three sons, and is also the mother of stillborn son Wilder Daniel.