Coordinating Team

Stillbirth CRE coordinating team is based at the Mater Research Institute in Brisbane (MRI-UQ)

  • 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 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

    Postdoctoral Research Officer

    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 joined the Stillbirth CRE as a senior research assistant and now works as a postdoctoral research officer. She has a specific interest in the translation and implementation of quality research into evidence-based best clinical practice.

  • Dr Chrissie Astell

    Dr Chrissie Astell

    Research Assistant

    Chrissie Astell has a research background in neonatal health, respiratory physiology and diaphragm development. Chrissie completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2018 and has recently relocated to Brisbane from Perth. Chrissie joins the Stillbirth CRE as a Senior Research Assistant, providing research support across the Stillbirth CRE program.

  • Dr Mu Cheng

    Dr Mu Cheng

    Research Assistant

    Mu Cheng has a research background in the application of label-free technologies on drug discovery, especially the antibiotics against super bugs. Having completed her PhD through the University of Queensland with Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Dr Cheng worked as a project advisor in the industry where her experience in project coordination and administration has been developed.

  • Ms Sara Crocker

    Ms Sara Crocker

    Research Assistant

    Sara Crocker is a research assistant working on the Online Perinatal Bereavement Support Program project. Sara is also a provisional psychologist who is concurrently studying a Masters of Clinical Psychology at the USC Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute. Sara has research interests in maternal and perinatal mental health for women and families, as well as risk factors and prevention of clinician burnout following stillbirth and NND attendance. Sara is based at Mater Research Institute, Aubigny Place, South Bank.

  • Ms Madeline Forbes

    Ms Madeline Forbes

    Research Assistant

    Madeline has completed both a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Queensland and was awarded the Joan Lawrence AM prize by the University of Queensland for her studies in early 2020. Madeline joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2019 and is working as across several projects. These projects include developing an international classification system for causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths across data-rich settings, implementing a stillbirth education campaign across Australian populations with a focus on higher-risk populations, and an audit of current hospital practices following perinatal mortality throughout Australia.

  • Ms Marie Hobden

    Ms Marie Hobden

    Research Midwife

    Marie completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Hull in the UK with a background in Midwifery. Since then she has worked as a Midwife in a variety of roles in England, Australia and the USA. Her most rewarding role was working with Indigenous families in Tropical North Queensland. Marie has recently joined the Stillbirth CRE team as a Research Midwife and is dedicated to continually improving care for all women and families.

  • Ms Ann Lancaster

    Ms Ann Lancaster


    Ann Lancaster has completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and has over 20 years clinical experience in a diverse range of areas across the lifespan including brain injury, pain management, adjustment to disability, mental health, and perinatal mental health. Since 2012, Ann has been part of the Psychology team at the Mater Hospital developing a special interest in perinatal and infant mental health. With a strong background in CBT she has been able to incorporate other theories such as Attachment Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, including Mindfulness, to help her clients obtain the best possible outcomes. In recent years, Ann has trained to lead groups with Circle of Security founder Bert Powell, Perinatal Infant Research Institute training in Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression, and the Together in Mind Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Day Program developed by Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. Her recent experience includes running groups such as Circle of Security and Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression in the Parenting Support Centre at the Mater Mother’s Hospital as well as ongoing individual clinical work. Ann joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2020 to support the clinical phase of the research.

  • 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.

  • Ms Natasha Meredith

    Research Assistant

    Natasha Meredith completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences with the University of Queensland in 2016. Following this, she completed a Master of Dietetics Studies with the University of Queensland, where she undertook placements in both clinical and research settings. Natasha has joined the Stillbirth CRE as a research assistant, providing support on the Safer Baby Bundle project. Her previous experience in research has focused primarily on paediatric weight management, including an evaluation of a public paediatric multidisciplinary weight management service.

  • Ms Doreen Nabukalu

    Ms Doreen Nabukalu

    Research Assistant

    Doreen Nabukalu is a public health specialist with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters of Public Health. Before joining the Stillbirth CRE, Doreen worked as a research associate at the Department of Community Health, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, in South Western Uganda. Doreen was the principle investigator and coordinator of population based research projects in the area of HIV, maternal and child health. Doreen was behind the designing and implementation of the verbal autopsy project that leveraged community health workers to identify death and their causes that occur out of the formal health care settings including stillbirths. With an interest in causality of stillbirths, Doreen has joined the Stillbirth CRE team as a research assistant working on the area of improving knowledge of causes and contributors to stillbirth.

  • 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.

  • Ms Laura Singline

    Ms Laura Singline

    Research Administration Officer

    Laura graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in 2018. Her research interests include a broad range of social issues, including the social origins and patterns of health and illness. Before joining the Stillbirth CRE, Laura worked as a research assistant at the University of Queensland and the Institute for Social Science Research. Laura provides research and administrative support across all areas of the Stillbirth CRE, and is currently assisting the bereavement care team with their projects. 

  • 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.