Level D Promotions

Pictured: Associate Professor Fiona Brownfoot and Associate Professor Michelle Peate

We want to give a huge congratulations to The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology researchers, Associate Professor Fiona Brownfoot and Associate Professor Michelle Peate who were both successfully promoted to Level D in December 2022.

Associate Professor Fiona Brownfoot is a clinician scientist at The University of Melbourne and obstetrician at the Mercy Hospital for Women. She has had a long-standing interest in developing novel therapeutics for preeclampsia and has translated metformin and sulfasalazine from laboratory assay through to clinical trial.

More recently she has developed an interest in novel biomedical engineering technologies to reduce the most devastating pregnancy complications of stillbirth and cerebral palsy. She heads a multidisciplinary team of physicists, chemists, materials engineers and software engineers. Together they are utilizing novel fibre optic technology, flexible electrical hardware and artificial intelligence to develop innovative devices to detect fetal distress during pregnancy and labour.

Associate Professor Michelle Peate is the Program Leader for the Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing Research (emPoWeR) Unit – her team focuses on research that aims to improved the lived experience by combining the disciplines of psychology, oncology, and reproductive health. She has a particular interest in improving treatment decision-making.

Her main goals involve the development of resources for people who need them, and their evaluation through prospective, nation-wide studies. Her research portfolio has involved the development and implementation of a number of patient resources, including a fertility-related decision aid for young women with early breast cancer (now available from the Breast Cancer Network Australia) and a booklet on breast cancer and early menopause (available from the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre). Her work in this area is both nationally and internationally recognised - resulting in a number of awards, international invited presentations, and roles on clinical practice guideline committees.

Current projects include the exploration of the needs of women with endometriosis, adolescents with health menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, and of women who have electively frozen eggs. Also, meeting identified needs of patients through the development and evaluation of oncofertility and symptom management tools for cancer patients and for patients using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (such as elective egg freezing).

We congratulate both for this well-deserved achievement and celebrate their success.