Silent Epidemic
Vol. 19 No 4 | Summer 2017
College
RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation: 2018 scholarships and fellowships
RANZCOG
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists


This article is 5 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Each year, the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation offers several research and travel scholarships for application. The assessment process was once again very competitive this year, with 33 applications being received from Australia and New Zealand. The process for evaluating scholarship applications aims to identify the most promising early-career researchers and the RANZCOG Research Grants Committee, which assesses these applications, was extremely impressed with the high quality of applications received this year.

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation is pleased to advise that the following applicants have been offered scholarships and fellowships for research and travel in 2018:

Research Scholarships

Arthur Wilson Memorial Scholarship, 2018–2019

Recipient: Dr Natasha Pritchard
Institution: University of Melbourne
Project: Novel therapeutic agents to treat
pre-eclampsia in obese mice models.

Dr Pritchard is a FRANZCOG Trainee at the Mercy Hospital for Women. Dr Pritchard’s project will develop an obese mouse model of pre-eclampsia. She will test whether metformin and esomeprazole, two drugs offering potential and safety in pregnancy, can treat pre-eclampsia in this model to determine whether these therapies can improve outcomes for obese women and their offspring.

Fotheringham Research Scholarship, 2018–2019

Recipient: Dr Maya Reddy
Institution: Monash University
Project: The cardiovascular toll of pre-eclampsia: determining impacts on the maternal, fetal and placental vasculature.

Dr Reddy is in her fourth year of FRANZCOG training and is an O&G registrar at Monash Health. Her study will predominately be conducted over the course of two years at Monash Health and will explore how the heart and blood vessels change in pregnancies that are complicated by elevated blood pressure. It will then determine whether these changes can be used to predict pregnancy outcomes and long-term heart disease.

Norman Beischer Clinical Research Scholarship, 2018–2019

Recipient: Dr Amanda Poprzeczny
Institution: University of Adelaide
Project: Maternal overweight and obesity and gestational diabetes: effect on fetal growth
and adiposity.

Dr Poprzeczny is currently enrolled in a PhD at the University of Adelaide, and is a RANZCOG Trainee and senior O&G registrar at Lyell McEwin Hospital. Her project will investigate fetal and newborn growth and fat distribution in women of a normal and elevated BMI, and the additional effects of a diagnosis of gestational diabetes on fetal and newborn growth and fat distribution.

RANZCOG NSW Regional Committee Trainee Research Grants, 2018 (Three awarded)

Recipient: Dr Amy Goh
Institution: Sydney West Advanced Pelvic Surgery Unit
Project: The comparison of surgical outcomes using LigaSure and Gyrus PK in total laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Dr Goh is a RANZCOG Trainee in her fourth year of training at Westmead Hospital. Her project aims to compare two types of laparoscopic surgery instruments – the LigaSure system and the Gyrus PK. She will be comparing the outcomes of surgery for women undergoing total laparoscopic hysterectomy with either of these instruments; these outcomes include operating time and blood loss.

Recipient: Dr Aiat Shamsa
Institution: University of New South Wales
Project: Novel biomarkers in women with benign gynaecological conditions and those undergoing IVF.

Dr Shamsa is a RANZCOG Trainee, currently based at the Royal Hospital for Women. Her project aims to investigate the possibility of using a blood test as an indication of women’s ovarian reserve – the quantity and quality of her eggs. This blood test will be investigated in women with benign gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis, and women undergoing IVF. Such a new test could potentially help in the diagnosis and management of these women.

Recipient: Dr Daniella Susic
Institution: St George Hospital, NSW
Project: The microbiome in pregnancy and infancy: comprehensive assessment of its composition, and its relationship to health and disease.

Dr Susic is a RANZCOG Trainee and year four Registrar at Wollongong Hospital/Royal Hospital for Women. Over three years, Dr Susic’s project will assess the microbiome at stages throughout the critical period of pregnancy and infancy in response to hormonal, metabolic, immune and cardiovascular changes. Samples of the microbiome during pregnancy (faecal, oral and vaginal) and after birth (placental, breastmilk, meconium) will be assessed to determine a link between pregnancy outcome and disease.

Robert Wrigley Pain Research Scholarship, 2018–2019

Recipient: Dr Lauren Kite
Institution: Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia (WHRIA)
Project: Randomised crossover trial assessing the efficacy of adding hyaluronic acid to local anaesthetic in pudendal nerve blocks.

Dr Kite is a FRANZCOG trainee and a Gynaecology Pain Fellow at the Royal Hospital for Women & Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia. Her project aims to improve the treatment and outcomes for patients with chronic perineal pain and assess whether the addition of hyaluronic acid to local anaesthetic for therapeutic pudendal nerve blocks improves pain outcomes and longevity of relief.

Taylor Hammond Research Scholarship, 2018

Recipient: Dr Aaron Budden
Institution: University of New South Wales
Project: Measuring stress in surgeons.

Dr Budden is a RANZCOG Trainee and Fellow in minimally invasive gynaecology surgery at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney. He aims to investigate possible markers of acute stress in surgeons undertaking stressful activities. In one phase conducted over 12 months, he will measure markers during simulated exercises and compare when there is a stress-neutral environment with a stressful environment (for example, loud noises or time pressure). In the other phase, conducted over
12 months, he will investigate these markers in surgeons at a live surgery training workshop and compare these to self-reported measures of stress.

UroGynaecological Society of Australasia (UGSA) Research Scholarship, 2018

Recipient: Dr Alex Mowat
Institution: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
Project: Evaluation of Polycaprolactone (PCL) as a tissue engineering scaffold for the surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse in the sheep model.

Dr Mowat holds a RANZCOG certificate in urogynaecology and is currently a urogynaecologist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Queensland. Dr Mowat’s study will evaluate the efficacy of polycaprolactone as a scaffold for tissue regeneration in hernias of the vagina.

Travel Scholarships/Fellowships

Beresford Buttery Travel Grant, 2018

Recipient: Dr Maya Reddy
Institution: St George’s University of London

Dr Reddy’s grant will allow her to undertake an observership in the Fetal Medicine Unit at St George’s Hospital, London, where she hopes to form collaborations with the unit and gain an appreciation for how research is conducted in a different health system.

Brown Craig Travel Fellowship, 2018

Recipient: Dr Asha-Rhiannon Short
Institution: University College London Hospital/ Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Dr Short is currently a Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (PAG) Fellow at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick. This fellowship will support
Dr Short to visit University College London Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London with the objectives of understanding and managing Differences of Sexual Differentiation, congenital anomalies of the genital tract, and common benign PAG conditions, gaining exposure to the care and management of adolescents who are transitioning in gender, and observing the running and organisation of a PAG multidisciplinary clinic.

SCHOLARSHIPS/FELLOWSHIPS CONTINUING IN 2018

The Foundation will also continue to fund the following projects in 2018:

Arthur Wilson Memorial Scholarship, 2016–2017 (start date deferred)

Recipient: Dr Lufee Wong
Institution: Monash IVF
Project: Reproducibility of three-dimensional ultrasound of the junctional zone in myometrial pathology and their correlation with pregnancy rates.

Glyn White Research Fellowship, 2017–2018

Recipient: Dr Kirsten Palmer
Institution: Monash University
Project: Targeting placental specific sFLT-1: enhancing the prediction and diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.

Norman Beischer Clinical Research Scholarship, 2017–2018

Recipient: Dr Monica Zen
Institution: Westmead Hospital
Project: The impacts of kidney disease in pregnancy.

Mary Elizabeth Courier Research Scholarship, 2017–2018

Recipient: Dr Rachael Rodgers
Institution: University of New South Wales
Project: The administration of anti-Müllerian hormone to protect the ovaries during chemotherapy.

Support the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation is very grateful to all those who have so generously supported its philanthropic work in the past year.

Donations to the Foundation, from individuals as well as organisations, enable the College to support not only clinical and scientific research, but also initiatives in global women’s health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health.

RANZCOG members are able to donate to the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation via the payments section of the myRANZCOG Member Portal. To login and donate, please go to my.ranzcog.edu.au/login.

For donation enquiries, please contact Ms Delwyn Lawson, the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Coordinator, on [email protected] or
+61 3 9412 2993.


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