Breathing for Two: Managing asthma in pregnancy and breaking the cycle of asthma in the next generation

Thursday 27th of July 2:00 pmto 3:00 pm.

About the Speaker:

Associate Professor: Vanessa Murphy is a research scientist investigating the management of asthma exacerbations during pregnancy and their health impact on both the mother and baby. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Hons I and University Medal) from the University of Wollongong, Australia (1998) and completed a PhD in Medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia (2004). Vanessa has worked as a respiratory researcher at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute under the supervision of Professor Gibson since 2004. She has held National Health and Medical Council (NHMRC) project grants and fellowships from the NHMRC  and was awarded a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Investigator grant for 2021-2025. She is the course coordinator of the fourth-year medical student’s research project of enquiry course at the University of Newcastle and has a passion for training the next generation of medical researchers, particularly women.

Vanessa’s research interests focus on asthma in pregnant women. Her research is trialling new approaches to the management and treatment of asthma during pregnancy, with a focus on reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations in pregnancy and improving health outcomes for the baby. Vanessa is also interested in the long-term impacts of novel approaches to asthma management in pregnancy and whether adjusting treatment based on lung inflammation is an effective prevention strategy for asthma in childhood.


About the Chair:

Professor Michael Peek is an Associate Dean (Health Precinct Planning) and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Australian National University, and a subspecialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children as part of Canberra Health Services.

Michael is a Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine Subspecialist, with a 30-year career in clinical service and research and education into medical disorders in pregnancy, both nationally and internationally. He also has close ties to rural Australia running high-risk obstetric outreach clinics in rural NSW. His research into medical disorders in pregnancy, including asthma, has been both clinically (including obstetric ultrasound) and laboratory-based. This has led to over 170 peer-reviewed publications and chapters in obstetric medicine textbooks. From previous National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants, Michael’s research findings have been translated into guidelines and clinical care. Since 2015, Michael has authored 64 peer-reviewed journal articles, been awarded over $5 million in NHMRC funding and been an invited speaker at 20 peer and professional presentations both nationally and internationally.