Maternal and perinatal medicine translational research

Dr Kirsten Palmer, a Monash University practitioner fellow within the School of Clinical Sciences, leads the maternal and perinatal medicine translational research group. Our research seeks to translate promising new therapeutics into the clinical setting with a particular interest in the disorders of placentation, such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. We have developed a collaborative network both nationally and internationally, through which we conduct research that extends from exploring the pathophysiology of these disorders to better inform new clinical advances, through to clinical trials research to assess the true potential for improving clinical outcomes. We are currently conducting trials to improve postpartum haemorrhage prevention and optimise outcomes for babies affected by fetal growth restriction. This is in addition to studies aimed at identifying new predictive or diagnostic biomarkers for pre-eclampsia, as well as predicting those women at greatest risk of future cardiovascular morbidity or mortality following a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia.

Meet the team


Other staff and students

Research Midwives

  • Stefanie DiBenedetto
  • Harriet Dinning

PhD student

  • Dr Maya Reddy

Key collaborations

  • Annie Cox - co-supervise with Prof Euan Wallace and Dr Sarah Marshall in research assessing a potential new pre-eclamptic therapeutic, sulforaphane.
  • Deborah DeGuingand - co-supervise with Dr Stacey Ellery in research assessing the use of creatine supplementation in pregnancy
  • Mary Mansilla - co-supervise with Prof Guiying Nie in research exploring molecular mechanisms that underpin placental development and how these may lead to the subsequent development of pre-eclampsia.
  • Mark Beaves - co-supervise with Prof Euan Wallace in assessing the delivery and effectiveness of an educational program for cardiotocographs in improving neonatal outcomes.
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science: Inhaled oxytocin for post-partum haemorrhage prevention

Current projects

  • Inhaled oxytocin for post-partum haemorrhage prevention: Phase 1 pharmacokinetic trial
  • PROTECT- Me trial: Assessing antenatal maternal melatonin supplementation to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in early onset fetal growth restriction
  • PreDIP study: Assessing new biomarkers to enhance the prediction and diagnosis of pre-eclampsia
  • PREACH study: Assessing antenatal and postpartum maternal cardiac indices to improve the prediction of women at greatest risk of future cardiovascular events following a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia.

Publications for 2018

  • Reddy, M, Kroushev, A & Palmer, KR. (2018) Undiagnosed maternal diaphragmatic hernia – a management dilemma. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. Epub Jun 15.
  • Parambi, A, Tuck-Davies, M & Palmer, KR. (2018) Comparison of maternal and perinatal outcomes in women with super obesity based on planned mode of delivery. ANZJOG. Epub Aug 13.
  • Pedroso, M.A, Palmer, KR, Hodges, R.J, Costa, F & Rolnik, D. (2018). Uterine artery Doppler in screening for preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. RBGO; 40(5):287- 293
  • Cukierman, R, Heland, S, Palmer, KR, Neil, P, Costa, F & Rolnik, D. (2018). Inter-twin delivery interval, short-term perinatal outcomes and risk of caesarean for the second twin. ANZJOG. Epub Aug 8.
  • Cox, AG, Marshall, SA, Palmer, KR & Wallace, EW (2018) Current and emerging pharmacotherapy for emergency management of preeclampsia. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. In press.
  • Palmer, KR & Tong, S. (2018). Accurately predicting the risk of serious maternal morbidity in preterm preeclampsia: Can it be done?. Hypertension, Feb 12th 2018.
  • Palmer, KR, Xiaohua, L & Mol, BW. (2018) Bringing clarity to the management of cholestasis in pregnancy. LANCET. In press.

Book Chapters

  • Palmer, KR. (2018) Assessing the Circulating Placental-Specific Anti-Angiogenic Protein sFLT-1 e15a in Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia: Methods and Protocols: Methods in Molecular Biology. Murthi, P. & Vaillancourt, C. (eds.). Humana press, p. 27 -38
  • Reddy M. Kroushev A. Palmer K. Rolnik D. Costa, F. (2018) Maternal cardiovascular involvement In: Nardozza LMM, Araujo Júnior, E., Rizzo, G., Deter, R.L. (Eds.), editor. Fetal Growth Restriction: Current Evidence and Clinical Practice: Springer International Publishing.