Pregnancy Health Group

New technologies to detect problems in pregnancy earlier, and more reliably.

The Pregnancy Health group aims to improve health in pregnancy and early childhood by providing a better understanding of physiology in the critical developmental period. We use data-driven computational models to provide a new understanding of the important contributors to healthy development and to interpret clinical data obtained in early-life.

Our Research

A major contributor to poor fetal health in pregnancy is dysfunction of the placenta. The placenta is a unique organ which develops on demand and interacts physically with mum’s uterus to maintain a supply of oxygen to baby. Problems with the placenta are associated with serious complications of pregnancy. We know that the placenta and uterus can have an altered structure in complicated pregnancies, but we don't know whether this abnormal structure is a cause or consequence of the pregnancy complication. As tissue structure changes so quickly during pregnancy and many imaging procedures are too invasive to be used on pregnant women. We are piecing together evidence that describes normal and abnormal uterus and placental structure and function through pregnancy to develop a ‘Virtual Pregnancy’. We are using this virtual pregnancy to better understand what can go wrong in pregnancy and to help develop tools to identify 'at risk' pregnancies more accurately.

Selected Publications


Primary contact

Alys Clark


Jo James
Tet Chuan Lee


Ali Moulvi
Anandita Umapathy
Izza Ismail
Monika Byrne
Sayak Ray
Vijaylakshmi Srinvasan
Win Min Tun

Graduated Students

Mabelle Lin
Rojan Saghian


  • Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund
  • Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
  • Gravida (National Centre for Health and Development)
  • Auckland Medical Research Fund
  • International Central Networks Fund
  • University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund

International links

  • Australia: University of Western Australia
  • UK: University College London, University of Oxford
  • US: Oregon Health Sciences University