Women's Health Research

Our research into women’s health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology had its origins in IVF- research that resulted in Australia’s first IVF baby in 1980. Today, women’s health researchers focus on the breadth of obstetrics and gynaecology issues, including pelvic organ prolapse, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, and fertility and pregnancy disorders. Our research into IVF continues, aiming to investigate factors that affect success and what means can be used to improve this.  This research targets improving embryo as well as endometrial quality and into how IVF processes can be improved for both mother and baby. Research into pregnancy disorders seeks to discover new therapies that may translate into clinical care particularly for disorders of placentation.

The majority of our research is collaborative within our department, within Monash University, Monash Health nationally and internationally.  We pride ourselves on intra and inter generational care from embryo to end of life. Clinical research activities have taken increasing prominence in recent years, through recruitment of new research leaders and the development of early career researchers including clinicians. Now the department hosts multiple NHMRC- and MRFF-funded clinician investigators and clinical trials, and publishes regularly in the highest impact global publications.

The basic research activities of the Department are undertaken in collaboration with The Ritchie Centre, jointly managed with the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. The Centre has over 150 research staff and students, including fetal physiologists, immunologists, and stem cell biologists, as well as clinician scientists including neonatologists, paediatricians, and of course obstetricians.

Professor Beverley Vollenhoven is acting Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is a specialist gynaecologist (and a Monash University medical graduate) with a subspecialty qualification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Professor Vollenhoven overseas Victoria’s largest gynaecology service at Monash Health.

Research groups