Reproductive Health Australia began as an idea from one of Australia’s eminent reproductive scientists, Prof Jock Findlay AO PhD (Adel) DSc (Monash) DUniv(hc) (Adel) FSRB FSSR (USA) FAHMS. Jock is a Distinguished Scientist in the Centre of Reproductive Health at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, with a long history in female reproductive health research.
There was no single body that represents all Australian reproductive scientists across all disciplines. Australia has enormous depth and strengths in research in all fields of reproduction, a fact well recognised by our colleagues overseas. But it is perhaps less well recognised by the wider scientific community, the public and by the government within Australia. RHA will fill those gaps
Prof Jock Findlay
RHA co-convenor Prof Jock Findlay is a Distinguished Scientist at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia. He holds Professorships at both Melbourne and Monash, two of Australia’s leading universities. Prof Findlay has a long and distinguished career in research into female reproduction and the biology of the ovary. His research has led to many important discoveries relevant to the development of treatments for ovarian dysfunction, including infertility and cancer.
RHA co-convenor Prof Ray Rodgers is a Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and is a Deputy Director of the Robinson Research Institute. Prof Rodgers is an internationally renowned expert in female reproductive function, particularly ovarian function. Prof Rodgers’ research has led to many major discoveries in understanding key of aspects of ovarian development. His work focuses on various clinically relevant aspects of ovarian development and function, including how Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) develops and how the ovary produces hormones and healthy oocytes. His research is assisting in the development of prevention and treatment strategies for infertility and endocrine diseases in women.
Current Steering Group members
Professor John Carroll‘s research focus is on the cell biology of the mammalian oocyte with a view to understanding its role in establishing a healthy pregnancy. His current work is directed toward understanding why eggs become less fertile as maternal age increases. John has spent most of his academic career at University College London (UCL) where he was Head of Department of Physiology before being appointed Associate Dean and Director of the UCL Division of Biosciences. Professor Carroll joined Monash University in September 2012 where he is Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Dean of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences. John was inaugural Chair of the Faculty Gender Equity Committee and now Chairs the Athena SWAN gender equity team at Monash University.
Professor Eva Dimitriadis is a Senior Research Fellow in The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne, and co-head of the Gynaecology Research Centre at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Eva has a long standing career in mammalian reproductive health with a particular focus on female reproduction. Her work has investigated the development of new contraceptives that can also prevent sexually transmitted diseases, as well as identifying new treatments for endometrial cancer. Her focus has on understanding infertility in women by investigating how an embryo implants into the endometrium of the uterus to initiate pregnancy. She has a special interest in discovering biomarkers to diagnose conditions of infertility due to implantation failure, and in using small RNAs to develop targeted therapies to improve implantation rates. A number of projects have moved into pre-clinical trials.
Professor Jock Findlay is a Distinguished Scientist at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia. He holds Professorships at both Melbourne and Monash, two of Australia’s leading research universities. Prof Findlay has a long and distinguished career in research into female reproduction and the biology of the ovary, and has produced more than 400 publications. His research has led to many important discoveries that are relevant to the development of treatments for ovarian dysfunction, including infertility and cancer. Professor Findlay was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2001 and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2008 by the Government of Australia, “for services to medical research, particularly reproductive biology, and as a medical administrator”, and he has been honoured by many national and international awards. Prof Findlay’s current research focusses on ovarian cancer and regulation of the ovarian reserve.
Professor Michael Holland is a Professorial Research Fellow at the School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland. He has more than 40 years’ experience working in male and female reproductive biology. His earlier work focussed on discovering key mechanisms required for sperm motility and fertilisation, and the development of methods to control fertility in feral pest species. The broad focus of his more recent research is on characterising stem cells, developing immunocontraceptive methods to replace surgical spaying in livestock and developing strategies to improve IVF success rates in the livestock industry. Prof Holland has more than 150 publications and has served as Chairperson of the Society for Reproductive Biology and as President of Science and Technology Australia, a lobby group for some 70 Australian Scientific Societies and 79,000 practising scientists.
Professor Kate Loveland is currently the head of the Centre of Reproductive Health at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Her laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin mammalian testis development and sperm production. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Senior Research Fellow (since 2000) and a Fellow of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. She also holds an Honorary Professorship from Justus-Liebig University in Germany for her joint role in leading the establishment of an International Research Training Group that trains PhD students in male reproduction. Prof Loveland has published over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for Andrology.
Professor Robert McLachlan, MD, PhD is Director of Clinical Research at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and Deputy Director of Endocrinology, Monash Medical Centre Melbourne, Australaia. His clinical and research interests include male reproductive endocrinology & the evaluation & management of male infertility, and androgen physiology. He is Consultant Andrologist to the Monash IVF Group where he oversees the evaluation and management of male infertility. He has published more than 220 original papers and reviews and is Editor of the Male Reproduction Section of www.ENDOTEXT.org. He is a past President of the Fertility Society of Australia and is a Consultant to the World Health Organisation on male fertility regulation. He is Director of Andrology Australia, a Federal Government initiative committed to community & professional education and research in male reproductive health. In 2016, he was made a Member in the Order of Australia for services to medicine in the field of endocrinology, particularly to men’s reproductive health, and to medical research.
Dr Sarah Meachem is an academic research scientist and advocate. She has a PhD in medical research from Monash University and is the author of more than 80 publications in science and policy. She has held numerous leadership and advocacy roles in the Australian health sector, including past President (twice) of Australian Society for Medical Research, Associate Director of the Children Cancer Institute Australia (NSW) and a Senior Leader at the National Health and Medical Research Council Australia (ACT) and Director of her own boutique media business. Dr Meachem is currently a Director of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), a Manager for an International Research PhD Training Program between Germany and Australia, serves on the Advisory Group to the Board of the ASMR and is the Chair of the national steering group, Toward an Integrated Healthcare System. She has five years of formal communication training in ‘leadership, power and performance’ and is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of research to the public, creating a sustainable career structure for the research workforce and building a fully integrated health care system in Australia.
Professor Sarah Robertson BSc PhD is Professor of Reproductive Immunology and Director of the Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide. Since receiving her PhD in 1993 she has worked in Australia, Sweden and Canada on the immune response to conception and pregnancy, and consequences for reproductive success and offspring health. Expanding fundamental knowledge on biological mechanisms in mammalian reproduction and developing novel interventions to tackle fertility and gestational disorders, is the goal of her work. She is funded by the NHMRC, ARC, CIHR and Gates Foundation, and has published ~180 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers and reviews. She is an elected Fellow of The Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy for Health and Medical Sciences, and Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Endocrinology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Professor Rebecca Robker is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow based at the University of Adelaide within the Robinson Research Institute, and at Monash University in the Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide in 2003, Prof Robker undertook her PhD and postdoctoral studies at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, USA. Her vision is to improve health of women and children by discovering how the ovary generates oocytes and then releases them for fertilization and the creation of a new individual. Her work is also uncovering cellular mechanisms by which different maternal physiological signals, such as obesity and age, affect ovarian function, and early embryo development. The basic science discoveries of Prof Robker’s team are leading to the development of infertility treatments for women, therapies for optimising animal reproduction and new contraceptives, and also have important implications for women’s health policies.
Professor Lois Salamonsen, PhD heads the Endometrial Remodelling laboratory at the Hudson Institute. She has a long standing career in researching female reproductive biology including endometrial remodelling, menstruation and abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine receptivity, embryo implantation, and new approaches to female contraception. Her current research on the microenvironment of implantation is providing insights into the complexity of implantation and how it is disturbed in infertile women. Lois is an adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University and an elected Fellow of The Australian Academy of Sciences (FAA), the Royal Australasian College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB).
Prof Teede is Executive Director of Monash Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. She led the establishment of the Australian Health Research Alliance. She is the Director of the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health, Monash University. She is an Endocrinologist at Monash Health and an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. Prof Teede has held leading roles in health care, research, translation, policy setting, and with the not for profit sector and sits on the NHMRC Research Committee. Her research and clinical interests are in women’s reproductive health including PCOS, preconception and pregnancy health and prevention and treatment of GDM and Diabetes in pregnancy. She is also passionate about research translation, guideline development and translation and health care improvement.
A/Professor Bob Wong is the Head of Behavioural Ecology Research and Deputy Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University. His research focuses on the evolution of animal mating systems and behaviour in various species, ranging from insects to fish. In recent years, his research has expanded to investigate the impacts of environmental change, including human-induced change, on animal behaviour, reproduction and the evolutionary process. Prof Wong is Secretary and a member of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology.