Sydney Medical School Nepean • 62 Derby Street Kingswood NSW 2747


Research is essential to improve clinical care for our mothers and their babies. In general research is poorly funded in Australia despite it being an essential step to ensure the future good health of our nation. Our researchers are very successful in their research and in gaining support from national and international bodies. Nevertheless support is needed for local research projects in Western Sydney.

Within the University of Sydney Clinical School at Nepean research into women’s and children’s health is being carried out in a number of areas including:

  • The diagnosis and management of early pregnancy problems.
  • The early identification of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
  • The audit and management of serious medical disorders in pregnancy.
  • The management of pregnancies complicated by substance abuse.
  • The prediction of mode of delivery.
  • The identification and management of birth related pelvic floor damage.
  • The use of stimulants in attention disorders.

The following projects have been funded by OZWAC over the last ten years:

There are many more valuable projects we have worked on and they will be added to this new website very soon.

2014 Funded Projects

Prediction of maternal and perinatal outcome in vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC): A multi-centre prospective observational trial.

Dr Jessica Caudwell-Hall and Prof Peter Dietz

Funding Provided: $12,000

PROSYN trial: Evaluating the effects of synbiotics on breast milk oligosaccharide, gut microbiota in preterm neonates.

Dr Deshpande and Dr Pharande

Funding Provided: $12,000

Comparing the accuracy of two imaging modalities in predicting type of bowel endometriosis and bowel surgery.

Dr Uche Menakaya, Prof George Condous and Dr Alan Adno

Funding Provided: $12,000

Testing immune modulating effects of gut bacteria and their metabolites.

Prof Ralph Nanan

Funding Provided: $12,000

Vitamin D effect on “poppy eyes” during and after pregnancy in patients with thyroid disorders.

Prof Jack Wall, Dr Hooshang Lahooti and Assoc Prof Emily Hibbert

Funding Provided: $12,000

2013 Funded Projects

Poppy eyes following pregnancy in patients with thyroid disease.

Prof Jack Wall & Dr Hooshang Lahooti

Funding Provided: $20,000

Are gut oxygen levels compromised folliwing blood transfusion in premature babies?

Dr Kiran Kumar Balegar Virupakshappa

Funding Provided: $15,000

Why mothers do not reject their babies in healthy pregnancy – Analysis of CD4+HLA-G+ regulatory cells in healthy pregnancy & pre-eclampsia.

Dr Brigitte Santner-Nanan

Funding Provided: $20,000

Examining an important subset of T clls in healthy children and children with allergy.

Dr Peter Hsu

Funding Provided: $15,000

2012 Funded Projects

Developing a Screening tool for visceral fat in pregnant and non-pregnant individuals.

Professor Ralph Nanan & Dr Ann Quinton

Funding Provided: $15,000

The effect of Interleukin 10 on regulatory T Cell physiology – lessons learnt from human pregnancy.

Professor Ralph Nanan

Funding Provided: $20,000

Prospective cohort study of Obstetric admissions to Intensive Care Units in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Nhi Nguyen, Dr Ian Seppelt & Prof Michael Peek

Funding Provided: $20,000

Do maternal vitamin D levels influence the fetal and maternal immune systems in pregnancy?

Dr Bernard Champion

Funding Provided: $17,140

Probiotics for preterm neonates – A prospective observational study.

Dr Girish Deshpande

Funding Provided: $16,050

2010 Funded Projects

A prediction model for viability at the end of the first trimester after a single early pregnancy evaluation.

Associate Professor George Condous

Funding Provided: $39,000

Investigating the mechanisms of synchronisation of maternal and fetal T regulatory cells.

Professor Ralph Nanan

Funding Provided: $20,000

Effect of pregnancy on the eye changes associated with Graves’ hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Professor Jack Wall

Funding Provided: $20,000

HLA-G modulation of antigen presenting cells and T helper cell subsets, with specific reference to pregnancy.

Dr Peter Hsu

Funding Provided: $20,000

The Epi-No Study

Professor Hans Peter Dietz

Funding Provided: $20,000

2008 Funded Projects

Nepean Centre for Perinatal Care Seed Grant.

Funding Provided: $50,000

2006 Funded Projects

Clinical implications of slowing of growth in children on stimulants.

Dr A. Poulton and A/Prof L.

Funding Provided: $26,430

Evaluation of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to detect bacteraemia in neonates.

Dr Maheshwari

Funding Provided: $7,590

2005 Funded Projects

Purchase of a blood gas machine for Delivery Suite, Nepean Hospital.

Prof. M J Peek

Funding Provided: $40,000

Phenotypic and functional analysis of regulatory T lymphocytes in early infancy.

A/Prof R. Nanan and Dr B. Santner-Nanan

Funding Provided: $15,000

Screening for pre-eclampsia using immunological markers.

Prof R. Nanan and A. Quinton

Funding Provided: $19,000

Use of C-reactive protein (CRP) versus Pro-Calcitonin in Newborn infection.

Dr Coughtrey and Dr Suryawanshi

Funding Provided: $8,000

2004 Funded Projects

4D ultrasound system for use in pelvic floor research.

A/Prof H.P. Dietz and Prof M. Peek

Funding Provided: $100,000

2002 Funded Projects

Survey on the Management of Preterm Labour.

Miss C. M. Cook and Prof M. Peek

Funding Provided: $4,147

Prediction and measurement of the transfusion of blood from mother to foetus.

Dr B.S. de Vries and Prof Y.C. Cossart

Funding Provided: $12,000

The role of the thyroid gland in the maturation of the cells responsible for pulmonary surfactant production.

Dr P. McCullagh and Prof M. Peek

Funding Provided: $12,500

2001 Funded Projects

Development and validation of a neonatal pain assessment tool in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nepean Hospital.

Mr J.R. Marceau

Funding Provided: $1,127

An analogue recording system to collect physiological information from intensive care monitors in critically ill newborn babies.

Dr M. Tracy

Funding Provided: $2,056

Knemometer – an instrument to measure growth in premature babies.

Dr Mark Tracy

2000 Funded Projects

Research on 3D Ultrasound machine.

Dr Henry Murray

Funding Provided: $30,000

Intrapartum monitoring and neonatal resuscitation in the Growth Retarded Foetus (Stage 2).

Dr C.E. Pennell and Dr H. Coughtrey

Funding Provided: $13,000

Donation to the Brian Spurrett Scholarship Fund..

Funding Provided: $7,000

1999 Funded Projects

An Observational study of lower limb linear growth in ventilated newborns by knemometry.

Dr M. Tracy, Dr Hemani and Dr Shah

Funding Provided: $5,718

A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of intermittent versus regular doses of Ranitidine in increasing the gastric pH and reducing gastric haemorrhage in sick newborn infants.

Dr Wadhawan, Dr H. Coughtrey and CNC J. Dawson

Funding Provided: $6,665

Correlation between neuronal damage, oxidative lipid production and lactate production in the Chronically Cannulated Term Foetus (Stage 1).

Dr H. Murray and Dr C.E. Pennell

Funding Provided: $10,300

Future Directions

OZWAC’s commitment is to provide funding to continue supporting research into women and children’s health by harnessing the energy of the people in Western Sydney.

The majority of this funding must continue to come from the local community and businesses, in particular, are being urged to take note of developments in health research and asked to consider ways in which they may support these initiatives.

Businesses looking for investment opportunities would be well advised to consider possibilities of funding projects being conducted under the OZWAC banner.

With the support of the community the vision of establishing Nepean Hospital as a centre of excellence in women and children’s health medical research and education will be realised.

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c/o Sydney Medical School Nepean
Sydney Medical School Nepean
Nepean Clinical School Building Level 3
62 Derby Street KINGSWOOD NSW 2747


Australian Women and Childrens Research Foundation Sydney Medical School Nepean Nepean Clinical School Building Level 3 62 Derby Street KINGSWOOD NSW 2747