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WIRF is one of Australia's leading organisations that is dedicated to improving the health of women and infants.

Stars 2021


The Women and Infants Research Foundation is pleased to present the annual Stars Event & Rising Stars Symposium.

Stars Event - Improving health care for women and babies – now on the road to success

Date: Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 5.45pm to 9.00pm
Venue: UWA Club, Banquet Hall, Crawley
Cost: $60 (Students $45) inc presentations and refreshments. Purchase tickets here.


Dr Stefan Kane - Keynote Speaker
Keeping an eye on pre-eclampsia: the role of maternal ocular ultrasound in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
The cerebral complications of pre-eclampsia are among the most significant maternal sequelae of this insidious condition, in both the short and long term. Predicting who will suffer these complications remains challenging, as they are not always associated with severe hypertension or other premonitory features.
Similarly, although antihypertensives and magnesium sulphate have a clearly established protective role, their precise mechanism of action on the intracranial environment remains incompletely understood.
This presentation will cover the evidence for sonographic examination of the maternal ophthalmic artery and optic nerve sheath diameter as novel means of assessing and managing women with pre-eclampsia, with a view to minimising their cerebral risk.

Dr Stefan Kane is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist Obstetrician and Head of the Fetal Medicine Unit, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria.
Dr Mary Sharp
What might be the reasons behind declining rates of cerebral palsy in preterm infants in WA?
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is the most common physical disability in childhood, with 1 in 700 babies diagnosed each year.
There is no single cause of cerebral palsy but rather a series of causal pathways that can injure the developing brain. Prematurity is the largest risk factor for cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy rates in very preterm infants have been declining in WA.
This presentation will discuss some of the changes in neonatal care for very preterm infants less than 32 weeks that might behind this.
Clinical Assoc Prof Mary Sharp is Acting Medical Co-Director of the Neonatology Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Dr Matt Payne
Vaginal microorganisms for prediction of preterm birth – friends, foes and a fence-sitter.
Bacterial infection is one of the leading causes of preterm birth. The vaginal microbiota are the primary source of these infections, with numerous associated bacterial species.
Recently, we developed a new diagnostic test based upon a specific vaginal bacterial DNA signature in mid-pregnancy.
Called the GLU test, this has been shown to predict up to 45% of spontaneous preterm birth cases, and now underpins a large randomised clinical trial to prevent preterm birth using a mid-pregnancy antimicrobial and probiotic treatment regimen.

Dr Matt Payne is a perinatal molecular microbiologist and a WIRF Senior Research Fellow.

Rising Stars Symposium 

A celebration and showcase of WA’s top emerging medical researchers revealing latest discoveries relating to pregnancy, women’s and newborns’ health in short sharp research reviews.

Date: Thursday 9th September, 6.00pm to 9.30pm
Venue: Fraser's Restaurant, Kings Park
Cost: $105 inc symposium, dinner and drinks. Purchase tickets here.


Tobias Strunk - Consultant Neonatologist, King Edward Memorial & Perth Children’s Hospitals
A novel approach to skin care in extremely preterm infants

Lisa Stinson - Research Associate, School of Molecular Sciences, UWA
Baby it’s cold outside: Effect of cold storage on the human milk microbiome

Haruo Usuda - Senior Clinical Lecturer & Head of the Artificial Placenta Project, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UWA
The latest on Artificial Placenta

Zoe Bradfield - Midwifery Research Fellow & Lecturer, Curtin University & King Edward Memorial Hospital
Maternity care in Australia during COVID-19: Challenges, silver linings and the way forward

Laura Wijs - PhD Candidate, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UWA
The Long-Term Effects of Assisted Reproductive Technologies on Offspring


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Contact details

Women and Infants Research Foundation
Carson House, King Edward Memorial Hospital
374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008

Telephone: 08 6458 1437
Fax: 08 6458 1642
Email: info@wirf.com.au

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