Babies born too small, can we predict and improve their growth?

Masters / PhD Project

Healthy development depends on how the physiology of both mum and baby interact, and how mum delivers oxygen rich blood to baby. Despite the critical relationship between mum and baby’s circulations, which defines our health for the 9-months of pregnancy, we still have major gaps in our knowledge of how one circulation impacts the other. For example, does delivery of nutrient rich blood from mum impact on how the baby’s lifeline (the placenta develops), and how does placental development impact on the development of the babies own circulation? This is critical to understanding and managing the pregnancies in which babies are born too small, which has major impacts not only on the rate of stillbirth but also on lifelong cardiovascular health for these babies.

In our group we are combining state of the art imaging (micro-CT, magnetic resonance imaging) with laboratory experiment’s (e.g. cell culture) and computational modelling of the interactions between mum and baby in pregnancy to provide exciting new insights into how we develop before we are born. We have opportunities across all these areas of research to work with a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team in solving some of the mysteries of what makes a healthy pregnancy.

Desired skills

We have a range of projects available that will suit your background. These include computational/mathematical modelling, imaging and image analysis, and if interested a combination of experimental and computational work.