ANSC Current research opportunities October

Using Prentatal Genetic Tests Wisely – Research Opportunity

GPs are invited by Dr Katy Bell (Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney), to participate in the Using Prenatal Genetic Tests Wisely research study.

You are invited to take part in an interview to explore clinicians’ experiences with prenatal genetic tests for prenatal screening and diagnosis and investigating potential benefits and harms of these tests. The study is being undertaken by researchers from the University of Sydney (Chief Investigator: Dr Katy Bell) and is being paid for by via an NHMRC program grant awarded to Wiser Healthcare.

You have been approached because you are a clinician (obstetrician, general practitioner, genetic counsellor, clinical geneticist, midwife) who orders and/or interprets and /or counsels for genetic prenatal test.

If you agree to take part in the study, you will be asked to complete an interview with a researcher. This should take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete and will involve answering questions about your experiences with genetic prenatal tests. You will be provided with some optional reading which you may wish to complete before the interview. You will also be asked to assist in identifying patients who may be eligible to participate in an interview and providing them with information about the study. This assistance is also optional. 

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary and if you do not wish to take part it will have no effect on your employment or relationship with the research team. If you decide to participate you can withdraw from the study at any time without giving a reason.

The information you provide will only be seen by the study team and will be kept securely at the University of Sydney and will have identifying information removed after data (audio recording) has been transcribed. The study results will be published in peer reviewed journals. No one will be able to identify you from this information.

If you are happy to participate please contact Shannon McKinn on (02) 9036 9649 or  If you don’t want to participate then you don’t have to do anything.

If you want any further information about the study please contact Shannon McKinn on (02) 9036 9649 or

  pdf Please click here (823 KB) for the Participation Information Statement (PIS).

The MothersBabies Study – Research Opportunity 

The MothersBabies Study is an innovative study being conducted by the Microbiome Research Centre (MRC), UNSW Sydney, that will be investigating how the microbiome impacts on pre-pregnancy health, throughout the woman’s pregnancy, and into the first year of their child’s life. This study has ethics approval to conduct this study (approval number 2019/ETH00192) over the next 5 years. Recruitment will commence at St George Hospital initially, with other hospitals within CESPHN (RHW & Sutherland) opening towards the end of 2019.

What we eat, who we date, our physical activity, our environment, even our ethnicity – all impact on our microbiome. The microbiome is the collective term for the trillions of microbes that live in and on us, (in your gut, blood, mouth, even a woman’s vagina) – and all the research is showing that it has a major impact on human health through effects on metabolism, immunity, and hormones. Additionally, a person’s pre-pregnancy health is a critical indicator to pregnancy outcomes, with the consequences of one’s pre-pregnancy health impacting on many future generations.

Studies have recently shown many childhood diseases can be linked to the health of their parents before and during pregnancy. If someone's health is already disrupted before they start to consider a pregnancy, these can have long lasting implications on the health of the couple, and ultimately their child. Focusing on pre-pregnancy health will have positive impact on the health of the whole community and has the potential to reduce chronic disease burden for many generations to come.

The MRC is engaging with PHNs across NSW, as we want to capture 2000 mother/baby pairs to gain a snapshot of the preconception and perinatal microbiome in NSW. Given that GPs are involved in a couple’s pre-conception care, we are hoping to have several GP ‘Champions’ in order to identify and recruit participants who fit eligibility criteria, as well as advertise for this study through posters and flyers displayed in practices and clinics.

We will also be holding GP information nights to advise and educate clinicians about this study, and what would be required of them. It is important to note that the study is purely observational – the women do not have to take anything or do anything different pre, during or post their pregnancy. It would entail them giving us samples of poo, and swabs from their mouth, skin and vaginas. There are also questionnaires that they would fill out at various times during their pregnancy. Once the baby is born, we collect poo, skin and oral samples from the baby at the same time as collecting samples from the mother, and there are more questionnaires to be completed.

For more information, please contact Namoi Strout on 02 9113 1832 Monday to Friday 09.00am-4.00pm, or at You can also read more about the MRC at and see flyers for the study pdf here (1.00 MB) and pdf here (725 KB) .

Would you like to join a project study aimed at identifying developmental problems in children?

This project is looking at child development concerns, such as speech delay or autism from 18-24 months.

The benefits of the program are: :

  • Children identified will receive a gold-standard developmental assessment at 24 months
  • $500 for practice staff time
  • Free online module for RACGP 40 Category 1 QI & CPD points
  • Free workshop for Practice Nurses eligible for 4 CPD hours subject to approval by APNA
  • Parents will get access to child development health information

To express your interest or for more information, please contact Jenny Denford CESPHN ph 1300 986 991 or Dr Aline Smith on 0414 956 080 

pdf Click here (343 KB) for an expression of interest  
pdf Click here (343 KB) for participants information sheet & consent form