Reproductive Epidemiology

Research area:  Genetics

By combining expertise in epidemiology, psychology, genetics, and maternal fetal medicine we will measure, monitor, and maximise longitudinal health outcomes associated with prenatal risk factors.

pregnant mother with daughter 600x400

Our group monitors and evaluates uptake and outcomes of current and emerging genetic technologies, particularly related to prenatal diagnosis and population screening for genetic disorders. We also study the use and communication of genetic information in families.

Another area of investigation is the integration of genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and socio-demographic factors in prenatal exposures such as assisted reproductive technologies (ART) or alcohol, and the impact this has on the health and wellbeing of infants, children, and young adults.

Researchers are skilled in epidemiology, psychology, maternal and fetal medicine, health services research and the science of genetics, as well as genetic counselling. Using these approaches, the team applies a detailed knowledge of genetics and genomics to the research and undertakes collaborative projects in many areas. Having monitored prenatal diagnostic testing in Victoria for over 40 years, the group has published research that has informed service provision and policy, and provided relevant, accurate information to the community.

The extensive research on prenatal diagnosis has facilitated a new study, following up on the developmental, social-emotional, and health outcomes of children diagnosed with and without a genomic variant before birth.

Our team has been publishing world-first findings on the health of young adults conceived by ART, demonstrating the overall safety of the procedures. We are also examining the potential lifestyle and environmental factors that may be associated with male infertility and what effect that has on the health and well-being of their children conceived by ART.

In another major study, researchers are examining the health and wellbeing of children exposed to low-to-moderate levels of alcohol in pregnancy using novel, early markers of development, while considering maternal and infant genetics and epigenetics and lifestyle and other health-related determinants of child development. 

Contact us

Professor Jane Halliday