Professor Peter Anderson
Professor Peter Anderson is a Principal Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Professorial Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. He is Group Leader of the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) team, which has an international reputation for studying the impact brain injury and brain development has on cognitive, motor, educational and behavioural outcomes in high-risk infants. Prof Anderson is on the executive of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine. He is also a senior researcher in the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study Group (VICS) and co-director of the Australian Centre for Child Neuropsychological Studies (AC-CNS).
Prof Anderson is a psychologist interested in the cognitive development of children, and for the past 15 years has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive and learning problems in children born very preterm. He is involved in observational outcome studies, longitudinal neuroimaging studies, and numerous randomised controlled trials assessing the long-term benefits and consequences of a range of obstetric, perinatal, and developmental interventions. A/Prof Anderson is currently a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and his research has been continuously funded by NHMRC for the past 12 years. Training the next generation of researchers is a priority for A/Prof Anderson, and he has supervised more than 30 graduate research students through to completion and mentors many postdoctoral fellows. He is an ambassador for the Life's Little Treasures Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing support, friendship and information specifically for families of children born premature or sick.
- Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne
- Ten Years Service Award, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, 2012
- Senior Research Fellowship, National Health & Medical Research Council, 2010-2014
- Future Fellowship, Australian Research Council, 2010-2013 (relinquished)
- Erskine Fellowship (Visiting Scholar), The University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2007
- CR Roper Fellowship, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, 2007
- Early Career Research Award, Australian Psychological Society (APS), 2006
- Australian Clinical Research Fellowship, National Health & Medical Research Council, 2004
The objective of Prof Anderson's research is to improve the long-term quality of life of children born preterm (less than 37 weeks' gestation), with a specific focus on those born very preterm (less than 32 weeks' gestation). To achieve this goal his research has two broad but related aims.
- Determine the neurological and socio-environmental mechanisms leading to impairments in preterm children. Prof Anderson is involved in a series of unique longitudinal observational and neuroimaging studies which are attempting to understand why some children born very preterm develop severe impairments while others escape with mild or no impairments. This variability in outcome is likely to be related to neurological, social-environmental and genetic factors, and an enhanced understanding of these risk factors will inform preventative and early intervention strategies and improve the capacity to identify high-risk children who warrant close monitoring and early intervention.
- Develop and assess the efficacy of perinatal and early intervention programs for preterm children. To improve long-term outcomes for preterm children, Prof Anderson is involved in clinical trials assessing the long-term consequences and benefits of antenatal and neonatal interventions that are administered to increase survival rates and reduce major complications associated with prematurity. Prof Anderson's team has demonstrated the benefits of early intervention for preterm children, and they have recently developed a new intervention that is the focus of another clinical trial. He also assisting with the short and long-term outcomes of nutritional interventions for preterm infants, and is leading a trial examining the benefits of cognitive training.
- Cognitive dysfunction and brain development in 13-year-old very preterm children - VIBeS Longitudinal Cohort Study
- Working memory training for extremely preterm children - IMPRINT trial
- Brain development and short-term outcomes of children born late preterm – LaPrem cohort
- Neurobehavioural development in very preterm infants and psychological distress in their parents – VIBeS 2 cohort
- Web-based preventive care intervention for preterm infants and their families – e-prem trial
Scratch SE, Hunt RW, Thompson DT, Ahmadzai ZM, Doyle LW, Inder TE, Anderson PJ. (2014). Free thyroxine levels after very preterm birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes at age 7 years. Pediatrics, 133(4), e955-963.
Anderson PJ, Cheong JLY, Thompson DK (2015). The predictive validity of neonatal MRI for neurodevelopmental outcome in very preterm children. Seminars in Perinatology, 39, 147-158.
Anderson PJ. (2014). Neuropsychological outcomes of children born very preterm. Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 19(2), 90-96.
Doyle LW, Anderson PJ, Haslam R, Lee KJ, Crowther C, for the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Magnesium Sulphate [ACTOMgSO4] Study Group. (2014). School-age outcomes of treatment with antenatal magnesium sulfate vs placebo in very preterm infants. J Am Med Ass (JAMA), 312(11), 1-9.
Omizzolo C, Thompson DK, Scratch SE, Stargatt R, Lee K, Cheong J, Roberts G, Doyle LW, Anderson PJ. (2013). Hippocampal volume and memory and learning outcomes at 7 years in children born very preterm. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19, 1065-1075.
Reidy N, Morgan A, Thompson DK, Inder TE, Doyle LW, & Anderson PJ. (2013) Impaired language abilities in children born very preterm and/or very low birth weight and the influence of neonatal white matter abnormality. Journal of Pediatrics, 162, 719-724 .
Hutchinson EA, de Luca CR, Doyle LW, Roberts G, Anderson PJ for the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study Group (2013). School-age outcomes of extremely preterm or extremely low birth weight children. Pediatrics, 131, e1053-1061.
Spencer-Smith MM, Spittle AJ, Doyle LW, Lee KJ, Lorefice L, Suetin A, Pascoe L, Anderson PJ. (2012). Long-term benefits of home-based preventive care for preterm infants: a randomized trial. Pediatrics, 130, 1-8.
Schmidt B, Anderson PJ, Doyle LW, Dewey D, Grunau RE, Astztalos EV, Davis PG, Tin W, Moddemann D, Solimano A, Ohlsson A, Barrington KJ, Roberts R, for the Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity (CAP) Trial Investigators (2012). Survival without disability to age 5 years after neonatal caffeine therapy for apnea of prematurity. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 307 (3), 275-282.
Anderson PJ, De Luca CR, Hutchinson E, Spencer-Smith MM, Roberts G, Doyle LW, & the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study Group. (2011). Attention problems in a representative sample of extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight children. Developmental Neuropsychology. 36(1), 57-73.