Royal Women's Hospital Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine Pregnancy Research Centre

Researcher

Research Overview

The blueprint for a healthy life is largely determined by events which take place in the uterus before we are even born. The relationship between a mother and her baby is quite literally, therefore, a partnership for life.

Although most women enjoy a trouble free pregnancy and delivery, some women may experience complications, such as miscarriage, preterm labour, high blood pressure, poor fetal growth, diabetes and difficult or prolonged labour. Unfortunately, we do not always know what causes many of these complications or how best to prevent or treat them. These common pregnancy complications create significant emotional, social and economic costs within our community. Any decline in the incidence or severity of these pregnancy complications significantly reduces these costs. The principal beneficiaries of the outcomes of the research we undertake are mothers and their babies.

The focus of the Pregnancy Research Centre (PRC) is to better understand the causes of pregnancy disorders which compromise the health of mothers and their babies. We are extremely fortunate to be able to undertake our work in a maternity hospital of the size of the Women’s, which cares for more than 7,000 pregnant women each year. Our work on human pregnancy and its disorders ranges from basic biomedical laboratory research through to clinical studies, treatment trials and public health initiatives. Our mission is “to apply contemporary research techniques to the investigation of clinically important problems in maternal and fetal medicine and related fields, promulgate the findings of such investigations and to use such findings as the basis for evidence-based clinical practice”.

Staff

Collaborators

  • Assoc Prof Edward Araujo Junior, Federal University of Sao Paulo
  • Prof Christine East, Monash University
  • Dr Daniel Heath, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Rosemary Keogh, National Heart Foundation
  • Dr Ursula Manuelpillai, Monash University
  • Assoc Prof Wellington P Martins, University of São Paulo
  • Prof Eric Moses, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Padma Murthi, Monash Hospital
  • Prof Helena Parkington, Monash University
  • Assoc Prof Joanne Said, Sunshine Hospital
  • Clinical Assoc Prof Fabricio da Silva Costa, Monash Ultrasound

Funding

The research actiivities of the Pregnancy Research Centre (PRC) are funded by a variety of intramural and extramural sources. Since its formation in 1993, the PRC has secured over $15 Million in peer-reviewed, competetive national and international funding sources, such as, NHMRC, and NIH.

Research Outcomes

Recent publications (2015-2016) from the Pregnancy Research Centre
Abomaray F, Al Jumah M, Alsaad KO, Jawdat D, Al-Khaldi A, Al Askar A, Al Harthy S, Al Subayyil A, Khatlani T, Alawad A, Kushi A, Kalionis B, Abumaree M. Phenotypic and functional characterization of mesenchymal stem/multipotent stromal cells from decidua basalis of human term placenta. Stem Cells International Special Issue " Hematopoietic and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Biomedical and Clinical Applications". 2016:5184601
Abumaree MH, Abomaray FM, Alshehri NA, Almutairi A, AlAskar AS, Kalionis B, Al Jumah MA. Phenotypic and functional characterization of mesenchymal stem/multipotent stromal cells from decidua parietalis of human term placenta. Reproductive Sciences. 2016 Feb 22. pii: 1933719116632924. [Epub ahead of print]
Andrade E, Araujo E, Rolo LC, Da Silva Costa F. Risk factors for cerebral palsy in premature infants identified during the pre and perinatal periods: a case-control study. Minerva Ginecol. 2014 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Davies J, Yong HEJ, Kalionis B, Knofler M, Murthi P. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition during extravillous trophoblast differentiation. Cell Adhesion & Migration. In Press. (Accepted 21 Mar 16)
Di H, He Q, Liao Y, Kalionis B and Tai X. The Role of Inflammatory Cytokines in the Pathogenesis of Cerebral Palsy. Gynecol Obstet (Sunnyvale), 2016; 6:2 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2161-0932.1000360
E Holanda Moura SB, Park F, Murthi P, Martins WP, Kane SC, Williams P, Hyett J, Silva Costa FD. TNF-R1 as a first trimester marker for prediction of pre-eclampsia. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2016; 29(6):897-903
Gurgel Alves J, Bezerra Maia e Holanda Moura SB, Araujo Júnior E, Tonni G, Martins WP, Da Silva Costa F. Predicting small for gestational age in the first trimester of pregnancy using the maternal ophthalmic artery Doppler indices. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015 Jun 1:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]
Herren H, Araujo Júnior E, Martins WP, Cavalli R, Marcollin AC, Da Silva Costa F, Quintana SM, Duarte G. Reference ranges of Doppler parameters of foetal pulmonary artery segments between 19 and 39 weeks of gestation. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2016; 29(1):85-90
Hu B, Yang J, Huang Q, Bao J, Brennecke SP, Liu H. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model. Cytokine. 2016; 81:77-81
Hughes K, Kane SC, Araujo Junior E, Da Silva Costa F, Sheehan P. Short cervical length as a predictor of spontaneous preterm birth in high-risk pregnancy - current knowledge. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In Press. (Accepted 28.9.15)
Kaartokallio T, Lokki AI, Peterson H, Kivinen K, Hiltunen L, Salmela E, Lappalainen T, Maanselkä P, Heino S, Knuutila S, Sayed A, Poston L, Brennecke SP, Johnson MP, Morgan L, Moses EK, Kere J, Laivuori H. Preeclampsia does not share common risk alleles in 9p21 with coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Annals of Medicine. In Press. (Accepted 3.4.16)
Kusuma GD, Abumaree MH, Pertile MD, Perkins AV, Brennecke SP, Kalionis B. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells derived from 1 a reproductive tissue niche under oxidative stress have high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. Online 2016-02-18 doi:10.1007/s12015-016-9649-5
Kusuma G, Murthi P, Kalionis B. Function and Pathologies of the Human Placenta in “Placenta: The Tree of Life” Parolini O ed., Taylor and Francis pub. CRC Press 2016 ISBN 9781498700269
Liu L, Zhang C, Kalionis B, Wan W, Murthi P, Cheng C, Li Y, Xiah S. EGb761 protects against Aβ1-42 oligomer-induced cell damage via endoplasmic reticulum stress activation and Hsp70 protein expression increase in SH-SY5Y cells. Experimental Gerontology Available online 7 January 2016
McNamara HC, Kane SC, Craig JM, Short RV, Umstad MP. A review of the mechanisms and evidence for typical and atypical twinning. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Nov 6. pii: S0002-9378(15)02235-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.10.930. [Epub ahead of print] Review
Mundim GJ, Paschoini MC, Araujo Junior R, Da Silva Costa F, Rodrigues Junior V. Assessment of angiogenesis modulators in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia: a case-control study. Arch Gynecol Obstet DOI: 10.1007/s00404-015-3823-x Published online 24 July 2015
Murthi P, Yong HEJ, Ngyuen TPH, Ellery S, Singh H, Rahman R, Dickinson H, Walker DW, Davies-Tuck M, Wallace EM, Ebeling PR. Role of the placental Vitamin D receptor in modulating feto-placental growth in Fetal growth restriction and Preeclampsia-affected pregnancies. Frontiers in Physiology.2016; 7, 43, 1-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2016.00043
Nicolaides KH, Syngelaki A, Poon LC, Picciarelli G, Tul N, Zamprakou A, Skyfta E, Parra-Cordero M, Palma-Dias R, Rodriguez Calvo J. A Randomized Trial of a Cervical Pessary to Prevent Preterm Singleton Birth. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(11):1044-1052.
Qin SQ, Kusuma GD, Al-Sowayan B, Pace RA, Isenmann S, Pertile MD, Gronthos S, Abumaree MH, Brennecke SP, Kalionis B. Establishment and characterization of fetal and maternal mesenchymal stem/stromal cell lines from the human term placenta. Placenta. 2016; 39:134-136
Peixoto A, Caldas T, Martins W, Costa F, Araujo Júnior E. Unconditional reference values for the amniotic fluid index measurement between 26w0d and 41W6d of gestation in low-risk pregnancies.The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015 Dec 23:1-6 [Epub ahead of print]
Peixoto A, Caldas T, Martins W, Ferreira P, Nardozza L, Costa F, Araujo Júnior E. Reference range for the pulsatility index ductus venosus Doppler measurement between 11 and 13+6 weeks of gestation in a Brazilian population. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015 Nov3:1-4 [Epub ahead of print]
Wang R, Sheehan PM, Brennecke SP. Changes in myometrial expression of progesterone receptor membrane components 1 and 2 are associated with human parturition at term. Reproduction, fertility, and development. 2014 Sep 30. doi: 10.1071/RD13430. [Epub ahead of print]
Wu JZ, Huang JH, Khanabdali R, Kalionis B, Xia  SJ; Cai WJ* Pyrroloquinoline quinone enhances the resistance to oxidative stress and extends lifespan upon DAF-16 and SKN-1activities in C. elegans.  Experimental Gerontology Accepted 09 April 2016  Manuscript No. EXG-15-401R1
Zeisler H, Chantraine F, Vatish M, Staff AC, Sennström M, Olovsson M, Brennecke SP, Stepan H, Allegranza D, Dilba P, Schoedl M, Hund M, Verlohren S. Predictive Value of the sFlt-1:PlGF Ratio in Women with Suspected Preeclampsia. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016; 374(1):13-22
Abomaray FM, Al Jumah MA, Kalionis B, AlAskar AS, Al Harthy S, Jawdat D, Al Khaldi A, Alkushi A, Knawy BA, Abumaree MH. Human chorionic villous mesenchymal stem cells modify the functions of human dendritic cells, and induce an anti-inflammatory phenotype in CD1+ Dendritic cells. Stem Cell Rev. 2015; 11(3):423-441
Al-Amin A, Hingston T, Mayall P, Araujo Junior E, Costa F, Friedman D. The utility of ultrasound in late pregnancy compared with clinical evaluation in detecting small and large for gestational age foetuses in low-risk pregnancies. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015; 28(13):1495-1499
Alves JAG, Miyague AH, de Sousa PCP, Maia SB, da Silva Costa F, Martins WP. (2015) Brachial artery flow mediated dilation in the first trimester to predict the occurrence of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy. 37(4):316-320
Araujo Júnior E, Palma-Dias R, Martins  WP, Reidy K, da Silva Costa F. (2015) Congenital heart disease and adverse perinatal outcome in fetuses with confirmed isolated single functioning umbilical artery. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 35(1):85-87 Bardin N, Murthi P, Alfaidy N. (2015) Normal and pathological placental angiogenesis. Biomed Res Int. 2015:354359.
Barros F, Rolo L, Martins W, Moron A, da Silva Costa F, Araujo Junior E. Reference ranges for the volumes of fetal cardiac ventricular walls by three-dimensional ultrasound using spatiotemporal image correlation and virtual organ computer-aided analysis and its validation in fetuses with congenital heart diseases. Prenatal Diagnosis. 2015; 35(1):65-73
Bell S, O'Mahony E, Fink AM, Woodrow N, Reidy K, Palma-Dias R. Antenatal imaging of anomalies of the corpus callosum: a decade of experience. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2015; 292(3):537-542
Borg A, Yong HEJ, Lappas M,  Degrelle SA, Keogh RJ, Da Silva Costa F,  Fournier T, Abumaree M, Keelan JA, Kalionis B, Murthi P. Decreased STAT3 in human idiopathic fetal growth restriction contributes to trophoblast dysfunction. Reproduction. 2015;149(5):523-532
Borges Cavalcante M, Silva Costa F, Barini R, Araujo Júnior E. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and reproductive medicine: A review. Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2015; 13(4):195-202
Cavalcante MB, Costa FD, Araujo Júnior E, Barini R. Risk factors associated with a new pregnancy loss and perinatal outcomes in cases of recurrent miscarriage treated with lymphocyte immunotherapy. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015, 28(9):1082-1086
Chen Y, Sun T, Wu J, Kalionis B, Wan W, Huang J, Cai W, Wu J, Ding J, Tai X, Xia S. Icariin intervenes in cardiac inflamm-aging through upregulation of SIRT6 enzyme activity and inhibition of NF-kappa B pathway. BioMed Research International (Aging and Cardiovascular Risk). 2015:895976
East CE, Kane SC, Davey M-A, Kamlin CO, Brennecke SP. Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of fetal scalp blood lactate measurement to reduce caesarean sections during labour: the Flamingo trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015; 15:285
Fennessy KM, Doyle LW, Naud K, Reidy K, Umstad MP. Triplet pregnancy: is the mode of conception related to perinatal outcomes? Twin Research and Human Genetics. 2015; 18(3):321-327
Ferriera A, Araujo Junior E, Martins W, Jordao JF, Oliani A, Meagher S, Silva Costa F. Trans-Pacific tele-ultrasound image transmission of fetal central nervous system structures. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015, 28(14):1706-1710
Ferriera AC, O'Mahony E, Oliani AH, Araujo Junior E, Silva Costa F. Teleultrasound: Historical Perspective and clinical Application. International Journal of Telemedicine and applications. 2015:306259, 11 Pages
Georgiou HM, Di Quinzio MK, Permezel M, Brennecke SP. Predicting Preterm Labour: Current Status and Future Prospects. Dis Markers. 2015:435014. doi: 10.1155/2015/435014.
Hui L, Teoh M, da Silva Costa F, Ramsay P, Palma-Dias R, Richmond Z, Piessens S, Walker S. Clinical implementation of cell-free DNA based aneuploidy screening: perspectives from a national audit. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2015; 45(1):10-15
Kane SC, Dennis AT. Doppler assessment of uterine blood flow in pre-eclampsia: a review. Hypertensions Pregnancy. 2015; 34(4):400-421
Khong SL, Kane SC, Brennecke S, da Silva Costa F. First Trimester Uterine Artery Doppler Analysis in the Prediction of Later Pregnancy Complications. Review. Disease Markers. 2015:679730
Kusuma GD, Manuelpillai U, Abumaree MH, Pertile MD, Brennecke SP, Kalionis B. Mesenchymal stem cells reside in a vascular niche in the decidua basalis and are absent in remodelled spiral arterioles. Placenta. 2015; 36:312-321
Kusuma GD, Menicanin D, Gronthos S, Manuelpillai U, Abumaree MH, Pertile MD, Brennecke SP, Kalionis B. Ectopic Bone Formation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Human Term Placenta and the Decidua. PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0141246.
Magatti M, Caruso M, De Munari S, Vertua E, De D,  Manuelpillai U*, Parolini O*. Human amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal and epithelial cells exert different effects on monocyte-derived dendritic cell differentiation and function. Cell Transplantation. 2015; 24(9):1733-1752
Maia SB, Moura H, Kane SC, Costa Fda S. Pre-implantation genetic screening and diagnosis: what doctors should know. Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetricia. 2015; 37(2):53-8
Mitchell SE, Reidy K, Da Silva Costa F, Palma-Dias R, Cade TJ, Umstad MP. Congenital malformations associated with a single umbilical artery in twin pregnancies. Twin Research and Human Genetics. 18(5):595-600
Murthi P, Brouillet S, Pratt A, Borg A, Kalionis B, Goffin F, Tsatsaris V, Munaut C, Feige J, Benharouga M, Fournier T, Alfaidy N. An EG-VEGF-dependent decrease in homeobox gene NKX3.1 contributes to cytotrophoblast dysfunction: a possible mechanism in human fetal growth restriction. Mol Med. 2015:645-56
Negrini R, Assef LC, Da Silva Costa F, Araujo Junior E. Delivery modes and the neonatal outcomes of low birth-weight neonates in a Brazialian reference health center. Cesky Gynekologie. 2015; 80(5):366-371
Ning Y, Huang J, Kalionis B, Bian Q, Dong J, Wu J, Tai X, Xia S, Shen Z. Oleanolic Acid Induces Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells to Neurons: an Involvement of Transcription Factor Nkx-2.5. Stem Cells International, 2015:672312
Nguyen TPH, Yong HEJ, Chollangi T, Borg AJ, Brennecke SP, Murthi P. Placental VitaminD receptor expression is decreased in human idiopathic fetal growth restriction. Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2015; 93(7):795-805
Oliveira OP, Araujo Junior E, Lima J, Salustiano UMA; Ruano R, Martins WP, da Silva Costa F. (2015) Flow-mediated dilation of brachial artery and endothelial dysfunction in pregnant women with preeclampsia: a case control study. Minerva Ginecologica. 67(4):307-313
Pratt A, Da Silva Costa F, Borg AJ, Kalionis B, Keogh RJ, Murthi P.(2015) Placenta-derived angiogenic proteins and their contribution to the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. Review. Angiogenesis. 18(2):115-123
Rôlo L,  Santana E, Henriques P, Costa F, Nardozza L, Tonni G, Moron A, Araujo Júnior E. Fetal cardiac interventricular septum: volume assessment by 3D/4D ultrasound using spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) and virtual organ computer-aided analysis (VOCAL).  The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015; 28(12):1388-1393
Sheehan PM, Nankervis A, Araujo Júnior E, Da Silva Costa F. Maternal thyroid disease and preterm birth: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.  2015; 100(11):4325-31
Silva FT, Araujo Junior E, Santana EFM, Lima JWO, Cecchino GN, Da Silva Costa F. Translation and cross-cultural adaption of the Prregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) to the Brazilian population. Ceska Gynekologie  2015; 80(4):290-298
Sim S, Costa F da S, Araujo Junr E, Sheehan PM. Factors associated with spontaneous preterm birth risk assessed by transvaginal ultrasound following cervical cerclage. ANZJOG. 2015; 55(4):344-349
Souza PCP, Alves JAG, Maia SM, Araujo Junior E, Santana EFM, Da Silva Costa F. The 4G/4G polymorphism of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene as an independent insufficiency, which triggers fetal hemodynamic centralization. Česká gynekologie. 2015; 80(1):74-79
Stark Z, McGillivray G, Sampson A, Palma Dias R, Edwards A, Said JM, Whiteley G, Fink AM. Apert syndrome: temporal lobe abnormalities on fetal brain imaging. Prenat Diagn. 2015; 33(2):179-182
Stepan H, Herraiz I, Schlembach D, Verlohren S, Brennecke S, Chantraine F, Klein E,  Lapaire O, Llurba E, Ramoni A, Vatish M, Wertaschnigg D, Galindo A. Implementation of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio for prediction and diagnosis of preeclampsia in singleton pregnancies: guidance for clinical practice. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2015; 45(3):241-246
Sun T, Kalionis B, Lv G, Xia S, Gao W. Role of exosomal noncoding RNAs in lung carcinogenesis. BioMed Research International 2015:125807
Verburg B, Fink  M, Reidy K, Palma-Dias R. The contribution of MRI after fetal anomalies are diagnosed by ultrasound: correlation with postnatal outcomes. MRI and Ultrasound in Fetal Anomalies. 2015; 38(3):186-94.
Viana MC, Araujo Júnior E, Santana EM, Lima JWO, Costa F. Analysis of pulmonary function in high-risk pregnancies: a case-control study. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2015; 28(9):994-999
Wan W, Cao L, Kalionis B, Xia S and Tai X. (2015) Applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in studying the neurodegenerative diseases. Review. Stem Cells International. 2015:382530
Wan W, Cao L, Liu L, Zhang C, Kalionis B, Tai X, Li Y, Xia S. Aβ1-42 oligomer-induced leakage in an in vitro blood-brain barrier model is associated with up-regulation of RAGE and metalloproteinases, and down-regulation of tight junction scaffold proteins. J Neurochem. 2015; 134(2):382-393
Yong HEJ, Melton PE, Johnson MP, Freed KA, Kalioinis B, Murthi P, Brennecke SP, Keogh RJ, Moses EK. Genome-wide transcriptome directed pathway analysis of maternal pre-eclampsia susceptibility genes. PLOS ONE. 2015; 10(5):ee0128321
Yong HEJ, Murthi P, Wong MH, Kalionis B, Brennecke SP, Keogh RJ. Anti-angiogenic collagen fragment arresten is increased from 16 weeks' gestation in pre-eclamptic plasma. Placenta. 2015; 36(11):1300-9.
Yong HEJ, Murthi P, Wong MH, Kalionis B, Cartwright JE, Brennecke SP, Keogh RJ. Effects of normal and high circulating concentrations of activin A on vascular endothelial cell functions and vasoactive factor production. Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health. 2015; 5(4):346-53.

Research Publications

Pre-Eclampsia

Zeisler H, Chantraine F, Vatish M, Staff AC, Sennström M, Olovsson M, Brennecke SP, Stepan H, Allegranza D, Dilba P, Schoedl M, Hund M, Verlohren S. Predictive Value of the sFlt-1:PlGF Ratio in Women with Suspected Preeclampsia. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016; 374(1):13-22
Stepan H, Herraiz I, Schlembach D, Verlohren S, Brennecke S, Chantraine F, Klein E, Lapaire O, Llurba E, Ramoni A, Vatish M, Wertaschnigg D, Galindo A. Implementation of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio for prediction and diagnosis of preeclampsia in singleton pregnancies: guidance for clinical practice. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2015; 45(3):241-246
Huang Q, Liu L, Hu B, Di X, Brennecke SP, Liu H. Decreased seizure threshold in an Eclampsia-like model induced in pregnant rats with Lipopolysaccharide and Pentylenetetrazol treatments. 2014; PlosOne. 9(2):e89333
Johnson MP, Brennecke SP, East CE, Dyer TD, Roten LT, Proffitt JM, Melton PE, Fenstad MH, Aalto-Viljakainen Tia, Mäkikallio K, Heinonen S, Kajantie E, Kere J, and Laivuori H for the FINNPEC Study Group, Austgulen R, Blangero J, Moses EK. Genetic dissection of the preeclampsia susceptibility locus on chromosome 2q22 reveals shared novel risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Molecular Human Reproduction. 2013; 9(7):423-37.
Johnson MP, Brennecke SP, East CE, Göring HHH, Kent JW Jr, Dyer TD, Said JM, Roten LT, Iversen A-C, Abraham LJ, Heinonen S, Kajantie E, Kere J, Kivinen K, Pouta A and Laivuori H for the FINNPEC Study Group, Austgulen R, Blangero J, Moses EK. Genome-wide association scan identifies a risk locus for preeclampsia on 2q14, near the Inhibin, beta B gene. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7(3):e33666.

Labour & Delivery

Parkington HC, Stevenson J, Tonta MA, Paul J, Butler T, Maiti K, Chan EC, Sheehan PM, Brennecke SP, Coleman HA, Smith R. Diminished hERG K(+) channel activity facilitates strong human labour contractions but is dysregulated in obese women. Nature Communications 2014; 5:4108.
Wang R, Sheehan PM, Brennecke SP. Changes in myometrial expression of progesterone receptor membrane components 1 and 2 are associated with human parturition at term. Reproduction, Fertility, and Development. 2014 Sep 30. doi: 10.1071/RD13430. [Epub ahead of print]
Parkington HC, Tonta MA, Brennecke SP, Coleman HA. Contractile activity, membrane potential, and cytoplasmic calcium in human uterine smooth muscle in the third trimester of pregnancy and during labor. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1999; 181, 6, 1445-1451.
Parkington HC, Tonta MA, Davies NK, Brennecke SP, Coleman HA. Hyperpolarization and slowing of the rate of contraction in human uterus in pregnancy by prostaglandins E2 and F2a: involvement of the Na+ pump. Journal of Physiology, 1999; 514, 1, 229-243.

Preterm Labour

Nicolaides KH, Syngelaki A, Poon LC, Picciarelli G, Tul N, Zamprakou A, Skyfta E, Parra-Cordero M, Palma-Dias R, Rodriguez Calvo J. A Randomized Trial of a Cervical Pessary to Prevent Preterm Singleton Birth. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016; 374(11):1044-1052.
Georgiou HM, Di Quinzio MK, Permezel M, Brennecke SP. Predicting Preterm Labour: Current Status and Future Prospects. Dis Markers. 2015:435014. doi: 10.1155/2015/435014
Ni Chuileannain F, Bell R, Brennecke SP. Cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin testing in threatened pre-term labour — translating research findings into clinical practice. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 1998; 38, 4, 399-402.
Parker J, Bell RJ, Brennecke SP. Fetal fibronectin in the cervicovaginal fluid of women with threatened preterm labour as a predictor of delivery before 34 weeks’ gestation.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 1995; 35, 257-261.

Placental Stem Cells

Kusuma G, Murthi P, Kalionis B. Function and Pathologies of the Human Placenta in “Placenta: The Tree of Life” Parolini O ed., Taylor and Francis pub. 2016:13-38 CRC Press 2016 ISBN 97814987002694.
Kusuma GD, Menicanin D, Gronthos S, Manuelpillai U, Abumaree MH, Pertile MD, Brennecke SP and Kalionis B. Ectopic Bone Formation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Human Term Placenta and the Decidua. PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0141246.
Qin SQ, Kusuma GD, Al-Sowayan B, Pace RA, Isenmann SB, Pertile MD, Gronthos S, Abumaree MH, Brennecke SP and Kalionis B. Establishment and characterization of fetal and maternal mesenchymal stem/stromal cell lines from the human term placenta Placenta 2016; 39: 134-146.
Kusuma GD, Manuelpillai U, Abumaree M, Pertile MD, Brennecke SP and Kalionis B. Mesenchymal stem cells reside in a vascular niche in the decidua basalis, and are absent in remodelled spiral arterioles Placenta 2015; 36 312-321.
Castrechini NM, Murthi P, Qin S, Kusuma GD, Wilton L, Abumaree M, Gronthos S, Zannettino A, Gude NM, Brennecke SP and Kalionis B. Decidua parietalis-derived mesenchymal stromal cells reside in a vascular niche within the choriodecidua, Reproductive Sciences. 2012; 19:1302- 1314.

Fetal Welfare Assessment

East C E, Leader L R,Sheehan P, Henshall N E, Colditz P B, Lau R. Intrapartum fetal scalp lactate sampling for fetal assessment in the presence of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate trace. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 5.Art. No.: CD006174. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD006174.pub3
East CE, Brennecke SP, Chan FY, King JF, Beller EM. Clinicians’ evaluations of fetal oximetry sensor placement in a multicentre randomised trial (the FOREMEOST trial). Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2006; 46:234 - 239.
EEast CE, Brennecke SP, King JF, Chan FY, Colditz PB; FOREMOST Study Group. The effect of intrapartum fetal pulse oximetry, in the presence of a nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern, on operative delivery rates: a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial (the FOREMOST trial). American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2006; 194(3):606, e 1-16.
East CE, Chan FY, Brennecke SP, King JF, Colditz PB. Women’s evaluations of their experience in a multicenter randomised controlled trial of intrapartum fetal pulse oximetry (the FOREMOST trial). Birth. 2006; 33:101-109.

East CE, Gascoigne MB, Doran CM, Brennecke SP, King JF, Colditz PB. A cost-effectiveness analysis of the intrapartum fetal pulse oximetry multicentre randomised controlled trial (the FOREMOST trial). BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2006; 113(9):1080-7

Research Projects



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Director Prof Shaun Brennecke

Department / Centre

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Unit / Centre

Royal Women's Hospital Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine Pregnancy Research Centre


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