Improving Maternal Child and Adolescent Health

Leadership Group

 

Network Coordinators:

Ben Marais (CAH); Mu Li (SPH)

Network Co-coordinator:

Sharon Eadie (CAH/SPH)

with invited representation from OGH; OGE; and SPH Head (Joel Negin)

Network Theme Leaders:

Nutrition

Infection & Immunisation

The First
1000 Days

Disability &
Chronic Disease

Anne Marie Thow
 (SPH)

Louise Baur
(CAH)

Sarah Bernays
(SPH)

Nick Wood
(CAH)

Camille Raynes-Greenow
(SPH)

Kirsten Black
(CCS)

Elizabeth Elliott
(CAH)

Gulam Khandaker
(CAH)

Nadia Badawi
(CAH)

CAH – Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health (mostly based at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead)
SPH – Sydney School of Public Health (Sydney Medical School, Camperdown)
OGH – Office for Global Health (Sydney Medical School, Camperdown)
OGE – Office of Global Engagement

CCS – Central Clinical School (Sydney Medical School, Camperdown)

 

Nadia Badawi

Nadia is an internationally recognised expert in cerebral palsy (CP) and childhood disability, as well as the Medical Director and Co-Head of the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care. She was appointed as the world’s first Chair of CP at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute. She was named as one of the “100 most influential women in Australia” for her contribution to international CP research, and develop research capacity in low and middle-income countries. Nadia has dedicated her life to provide high quality clinical care for critically ill children and to establishing a rights-based inclusive society for children with disability in both high and low income settings.

In response to a chronic lack of CP research support for investigators all over the world, Nadia took a leading role in establishing the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF), the largest funder of CP research globally to date, and supporting researchers from all over the world. In the last 10 years Nadia and her team have supported over 250 projects, over 50 early and mid-career researchers by dedicating over $30 million AUD to global CP research.

A significant proportion of this funding was directed to researchers from low and middle income countries including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The discoveries made for CP are expected to have a transformational impact and advance our understanding of causal pathways, prevention, early diagnosis and intervention for children with CP.

In 2015 Nadia helped to establish the International Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation in the USA and has been a Co-Chair of 7 International Cerebral Palsy Prevention and Cure Summits. Her expertise includes $23 million grants, 92 keynotes and 167 peer-reviewed journal articles.

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Louise Baur

Louise is Professor and Head of the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Sydney. She is Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood (EPOCH CRE) at the Prevention Research Collaboration at the University of Sydney. Her work includes a focus on the prevention of obesity in childhood and adolescence; double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia; health systems and obesity in low and middle income countries (a new and growing area of interest); food marketing and obesity; and the NHMRC CRE in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood.

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Sarah Bernays

Sarah is a lecturer in International Public Health at the University of Sydney. She was academic staff at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine from 2005-2017, where she was the Adolescent theme lead for the Maternal Adolescent Reproductive Child Health Centre. She leads an international social science research programme focused on adolescent health, with a primary focus on sexual health and infectious disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. Much of this research focuses on integrating social science and implementation science into large clinical trials, involving children and adults, to understand the impact of treatment adherence interventions and to maximise their efficacy and acceptability once rolled out beyond trial settings. Since coming to Sydney she is continuing her research in Africa and has begun also conducing collaborative research in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand on infectious diseases affecting young people.

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Kirsten Black

Kirsten is Associate Professor in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology at the University of Sydney. She is dedicated to capacity building in sexual and reproductive health and collaborates with colleagues to deliver clinical and public health training in the Asia Pacific region. Her research focuses on key areas of reproductive health including contraception, preconception health and antenatal care. Kirsten is involved in interdisciplinary collaborations that examine reproductive health issues facing women and adolescents in the Pacific. She leads a Maternal and Child Health research group that meets regularly with PhD students engaged in regional projects in maternal and reproductive health.

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Elizabeth Elliott

Elizabeth is Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Throughout her career she has been dedicated to improving health and quality of life for children in Australia and beyond, through education, research, clinical care and advocacy. During 30 years she has established an international reputation for high quality laboratory, clinical and public health research and holds a prestigious senior National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship and is the Director of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) for the study of chronic, complex and rare diseases frequently associated with disability. APSU has been used by >400 clinicians and researchers throughout Australia and has been funded by the NHMRC, the Australian Research Council and the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). She established and co-leads the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) system for inpatient disease surveillance, which was invaluable in monitoring pandemic influenza in 2009 pandemic. This project was named one of the ’10 of the Best’ of thousands of NHMRC funded projects for 2013. A major research theme is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – the neurodevelopmental disability that results from prenatal alcohol exposure, including its epidemiology, diagnosis and prevention. She has current research and education projects relating to chronic disease and disability in Vietnam.

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Gulam Khandaker

Gulam is an established career researcher with 67 peer reviewed publications, nine national and international awards and over $5 million in peer-reviewed research funds to date. Having completed a PhD from the University of Sydney, Public Health Medicine specialist training, and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship; currently he is working as a Public Health Physician and Director of Public Health for Central Queensland, Australia. He has established a population-based register for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Bangladesh, the first of its kind in a low and middle-income country setting. Gulam is also leading an international multi-centre register of children with CP in low and middle income countries (Global LMIC CP Register: GLM-CPR). This project aims to develop a platform for CP surveillance through the establishment of an online data repository for an international multi-centre register of children with CP in low and middle income countries. He is also leading a hospital based surveillance of CP in Hanoi, Vietnam, and a community based key informant’s method survey of children with CP in the remote Sumba Island of Indonesia. Gulam has been identified as one of the leaders in international CP research by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Centre for Research Excellence - CP in Melbourne. He has established a strong track record in international public health and childhood disability research, and has developed a team of researchers in Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia and Co-Director of the Asian Institute of Disability and Development (AIDD) and Honorary Executive Director of an international NGO working on disability rights and children with disability; CSF Global.

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Mu Li

Mu is Professor of International Public Health and Director of Master of the International Public Health program at Sydney School of Public Health. Her major research interests are maternal and child nutrition, micronutrient deficiency disorders and public health program evaluation. Recent projects include a collaboration between Fudan University, China and the University of Sydney in healthy infant feeding promotion project, a mobile health (mHealth) project, in China, published in the Lancet Global Health.

Currently, she leads the human nutrition component of a multi-disciplinary research project improving maternal and child food and nutrition security in Tanzania and Zambia.

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Ben Marais

Ben works in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. He is Deputy Director of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity and helps to lead the Centre for Research Excellence in Tuberculosis at the University of Sydney. His research has focussed primarily on how children are affected by the global tuberculosis epidemic and the spread of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains.

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Joel Negin

Professor Joel Negin, PhD, is Head of School at Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.  Joel has been at the School for 10 years during which time he has conducted research and capacity building activities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Solomon Islands and Fiji.  His current research focuses on health system development, infectious disease and the social determinants of health.  Before moving to Australia, he was awarded degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities and then worked for six years in sub-Saharan Africa on various health and development programs.

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Camille Raynes-Greenow

Camille is a perinatal epidemiologist, and an NHMRC CDF, and SOAR Fellow at the Sydney School of Public Health and was appointed as Associate Professor in March 2017. Her research aims to reduce the burden of perinatal morbidity and mortality particularly in developing countries. She conducts intervention research and uses multidisciplinary methods and collaborators to investigate factors in the perinatal period that are amenable to modification. Camille is the CIA on an NHMRC project grant, to conduct a large cluster RCT investigating an intervention to reduce perinatal mortality in Bangladesh. She is the academic lead for the SSPH’s engagement with Myanmar (to establish the National institute of Maternal and Child health), and co-head the Global Women’s and Children’s Health and Nutrition group in the SPH.

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Amanda Sayan

Amanda is the Director of Partnerships in the Office of Global Engagement at the University of Sydney. She has worked in international education for 15 years and is responsible for managing the implementation of the University’s international partnership strategy. A key objective of her role is to help the University build and monitor alliances with leading universities around the world, bringing together researchers to work on collaborative projects and creating innovative education opportunities. She presented to the Association of International Education Administrators conference at Washington in February 2018 on strategies to defend international cooperation in turbulent times. Amanda is an active member of the University’s India Advisory Group and has been responsible for leading the University’s engagement with prominent institutions in India. She holds a Master’s in Comparative Religious Studies from the University of Sydney.

  

Danielle Somers

Danielle (BBiomedSciences, MSc, MPH, JP) is the Director of the Office for Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, which is a position she has held since January 2013.  Danielle comes from a public health and biomedical science background and has over 20 years of experience in the Australian university sector with a research focus on maternal and child health, chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer), research evaluation, bibliometrics and research administration. Previous to this, Danielle worked in the private pathology sector in microbiology, haematology, histology, semen analysis and assisted reproductive technology (ART), immunohistochemistry, serology and collections.

In her current role as Director of the Office for Global Health, Danielle is responsible for managing the team, identifying opportunities that enhance the University’s and specifically the Faculty’s international profile, which includes the Sydney Nursing School, Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, Sydney School of Dentistry, Sydney School of Medical Sciences and the Sydney Pharmacy School. Danielle facilitates the development of strategic partnerships and relationships in research and innovation, teaching and learning, the student experience and community engagement between the University of Sydney and international stakeholders. She also provides analysis, program development support and advice on funding and relationships with partners in target countries and regions for the Faculty. The prime aim is to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our region by engaging in health projects with some of Australia’s nearest neighbours.

  
 

Anne Marie Thow

Anne Marie is Senior Lecturer in Health Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research uses theories of public policy making to explore facilitators and barriers to best practice public health nutrition policy, with a particular focus on the interface between economic policy and nutrition. Anne Marie currently collaborates on research in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, designed to strengthen nutrition policy making. She has led research on policies to strengthen infant and young child feeding policy with the South Asian Infant Feeding Research Network (SAIFRN).

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Nick Wood

Nick is a staff specialist general paediatrician and senior lecturer in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney. He is involved in the Immunisation Adverse Events Clinic and Refugee Clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. Nick is NHMRC Career Development Fellow. He is interested in maternal and neonatal immunisation, as well as immunisation in indigenous communities and developing countries. He assists the design and conduct of maternal and newborn vaccine program at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) site. He has extensive experience in the recruitment of infants onto clinical trials and has conducted two successful neonatal vaccine trials. He is also experienced in the management of immunisation adverse events and this will be an asset to any study where safety of vaccines is one of the outcome measures.

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