New appointments to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology


University of Melbourne welcomes Professor Peter Davis, A/Professor Brett Manley and A/Prof Louise Owen, into the University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Women’s Hospital.

On announcing the news Professor Susan Walker AO, Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said, “These are international leaders in their field- they are absolutely stellar academics and neonatal clinicians. They have worked alongside, rather than within, our Department for many years, and it is well overdue for this to change. They have an exceptional research record, and we are hugely proud of them. We are keen to strengthen our relationship with this group of neonatal specialists in the Parkville Precinct and to grow our partnership with the Royal Women’s Hospital in the area of neonatology into the future.”

Professor Peter Davis

Professor Peter Davis joined the Women's as a consultant neonatologist in 1993. He trained in Brisbane and McMaster University, Canada where he developed an interest in Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence Based Medicine. He continues to work clinically in Neonatal Intensive and Special Care Nurseries and remains involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education at the Women's. He became Professor/Director of Neonatal Medicine in 2009.

He has a keen interest in the dissemination of highest quality medical evidence to practitioners and consumers and is the Regional Coordinator of the Neonatal Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. He is the author of more than thirty Cochrane Reviews and is responsible for the recruitment and support of reviewers within Australasia. His other research interests include alternative methods of respiratory support of premature babies, neonatal resuscitation and identification of important outcomes of neonatal intensive care. He has considerable experience in the design and conduct of international collaborative randomized controlled trials. His research work is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council through a Practitioner Fellowship, a Program Grant with colleagues at Monash Medical Centre and a Centre for Research Excellence. He is a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) which is responsible for formulating guidelines for neonatal resuscitation which are used worldwide.

His team at the Women’s comprises young nurses and doctors, many of whom undertake higher degrees through which they investigate ways to improve outcomes of preterm and very unwell newborn babies.

Associate Professor Brett Manley

Brett is a Consultant Neonatologist at The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne and an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Melbourne. Brett designs and conducts clinical trials to improve outcomes for newborn infants, and has led or supervised multiple randomised trials in tertiary and non-tertiary centres. He currently leads the international, multicentre PLUSS trial of intratracheal budesonide mixed with surfactant to improve rates of survival free of chronic lung disease in extremely preterm infants. He is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine and co-deputy chair of the PSANZ IMPACT trials network.

Associate Professor Louise Owen

Louise completed her undergraduate and specialist Neonatal medical training in the UK, she then relocated to the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne in 2006. She undertook a higher research degree which was awarded in 2011. Louise now divides her time between her work as a clinical Neonatal Consultant in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the Women’s, and her clinical research. Louise’s research focuses on newborn resuscitation and breathing support strategies for premature babies. Louise was granted an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship in 2014, followed by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in 2018. Louise is part of the Newborn Research Department within the University of Melbourne Department of O&G, where she leads the Respiratory Support Group. Louise has led several important clinical trials in her field, collaborating internationally and resulting in high profile publications and direct impacts on clinical care for premature babies worldwide. Louise has worked in an honorary capacity for the UoM since 2010 and is now joining the department of O&G as a Principal Research Fellow.