Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Dr. Alison Care is a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow at the Robinson Research Institute. Alison completed a Bachelor of Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology with Honours at the University of South Australia in 2004. She subsequently completed her PhD with Professor Sarah Robertson at the University of Adelaide, where she investigated the role of the macrophage in early pregnancy success.
Following this, Alison moved to Edmonton in Canada for a period of 5 years, where she took a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta. Here, Alison was funded by competitive Canadian fellowships from The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Alison developed high-level techniques and expertise in vascular function research. She began to investigate the cause of pregnancy complications and the long term health impact these complications can have for the mother and her offspring.
Alison then received the prestigious CJ Martin postdoctoral fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. She has since returned to Australia, where she is currently investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning pregnancy complications.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
My research in Vascular Physiology and Immunology of pregnancy investigates:
Maternal immune regulation of vascular adaptations during pregnancy, with a particular focus on uterine artery function and placental development
The effects of a complicated pregnancy on the long-term cardiovascular health of offspring (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease), as well as the impact on maternal health postpartum
We have a particular interest in the pregnancy complication preeclampsia, which affects 4 million women each year and leads to significant morbidity and mortality for the women and their infants. Women and their offspring have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease following a preeclamptic pregnancy.
Preeclampsia arises when the maternal cardiovascular system does not adapt appropriately to pregnancy. Our research is focused on the role of the maternal immune system in driving maternal vascular adaptations to pregnancy. We have identified a maternal immune, the regulatory T cell, that is important for vascular function in pregnancy, and we are assessing whether enhancing regulatory T cells can overcome the vascular dysfunction associated with preeclampsia, in order to treat the condition or reduce its severity. Furthermore, we are investigating whether enhancing maternal regulatory T cells can reduce the susceptibility to cardiovascular disease for offspring and postpartum mothers.
Date Position Institution name 2019 - 2022 Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellow, 2019-2022 University of Adelaide 2018 Editorial Board Member Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2015 - 2018 NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow University of Adelaide 2012 - 2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Alberta
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2018 Award Newcastle Emerging Research Leader Award Society for Reproductive Biology Australia — 2017 Award International Best Abstract Award (Australia/New Zealand) at the Society for the Study of Reproduction ($800) — — — 2017 Award International Best Abstract Trainee Travel Award Australia/New Zealand at the Society for the Study of Reproduction Reproduction, Fertility and Development and the Society for the Study of Reproduction United States — 2017 Award Robinson Research Institute Travel Award — — — 2017 Award Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Research Travel Award — — — 2017 Nomination Nomination for the University of Alberta Award for Outstanding Mentorship in Undergraduate Research University of Alberta — — 2016 Award MedStar Award for best research publication in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Alberta — CAD $1000 2014 Award Winner, Poster Presentation Society for Gynecologic Investigation — USD $100 2014 Award Women and Children’s Health Research Institute Travel Award The University of Alberta — CAD $1000 2014 Award Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Travel Award, National Competition Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR — CAD $1000 2013 Award 1st Place Oral Presentation, Postdoctoral Fellow category Women and Children’s Research Institute Research Day — CAD $100 2013 Award Western Perinatal Research Meeting (Best Poster Presentation) — — — 2013 Award Women and Children’s Health Research Institute Research Day — — CAD $100
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title — University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy — University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology with Honours
Date Title Institution Country — Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialisation University of Adelaide Australia
Year Citation 2014 Robertson, S., Petroff, M., & Hunt, J. (2014). Immunology of Pregnancy. In Knobil and Neill's Physiology of Reproduction: Two-Volume Set (Vol. 2, pp. 1835-1874). Bentham Science Publishers.
Year Citation 2019 Groome, H. M., Care, A. S., Chin, P. Y., Roberts, C. T., & Robertson, S. A. (2019). Macrophage Regulation of Decidual Vascular Remodelling is Crucial for Pregnancy Success in Mice.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 26 (pp. 202A). Paris, FRANCE: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2019 Care, A. S., Bourque, S. L., Morton, J. S., Hjartarson, E. P., Humphries, J., Davidge, S. T., & Robertson, S. A. (2019). Regulatory T Cell Deficiency Increases Resistance to Uteroplacental Blood Flow, Leading to Fetal Growth Restriction.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 26 (pp. 116A). Paris, FRANCE: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2019 Napso, T., Hung, Y. -P., Davidge, S. T., Care, A. S., & Sferruzzi-Perri, A. N. (2019). Sex-Specific Differences in Placental Adaptation to Advanced Maternal Age.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 26 (pp. 167A). Paris, FRANCE: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2016 Cooke, C. -L. M., Care, A. S., Morton, J. S., Kirschenman, R. D., & Davidge, S. T. (2016). Endothelium-Dependent Vascular Function Is Impaired in Male Offspring from Aged Dams.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 233A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2016 Morton, J. S., Care, A. S., Cooke, C. -L. M., Kirschenman, R., & Davidge, S. T. (2016). Altered Vascular Endothelial Function Three Months Postpartum in Dams of Advanced Maternal Age. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 204A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2016 Bourque, S. L., Care, A. S., Sung, M., Dyck, J. R., & Davidge, S. T. (2016). Effects of Maternal Resveratrol Treatment on Blood Pressure and Vascular Function in Adult Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Offspring.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 315A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2016 Care, A. S., Bourque, S. L., Hjartarson, E. P., Robertson, S. A., & Davidge, S. T. (2016). Effect of Regulatory T Cell Depletion on Uterine Artery Function in the Mouse.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 221A-222A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2008 Robertson, S., Jasper, M., Bromfield, J., Care, A., Nakamura, H., & Ingman, W. (2008). The role of macrophages in implantation and early pregnancy success. In BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION Vol. 78 (pp. 274-275). Kailua Kona, HI: SOC STUDY REPRODUCTION.
Year Citation 2018 Cooke, C. -L. M., Care, A. S., Kirshenman, R. D., Quon, A. L., Morton, J. S., & Davidge, S. T. (2018). Vascular Function is Altered via Sex-Specific Mechanisms in Aged Offspring Born from Dams of Advanced Maternal Age.. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. San Diego, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2018 Napso, T., Care, A. S., Davidge, S. T., & Sferruzzi-Perri, A. N. (2018). Changes in Rat Placental Transport Phenotype in Advanced Maternal Age.. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. San Diego, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2018 Care, A. S., Bourque, S. L., Morton, J. S., Hjartarson, E. P., Robertson, S. A., & Davidge, S. T. (2018). Regulatory T Cells Regulate Uterine Artery Function to Impact Fetal. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. San Diego, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2015 Cooke, C., Care, A., Morton, J., Shah, A., Reyes, L. M., & Davidge, S. (2015). Increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease in offspring born from dams of advanced maternal age. Poster session presented at the meeting of Reproductive Sciences. San Francisco: Sage in Association with Society for Reproductive Investigation. 2015 Care, A. S., Bourque, S. L., & Davidge, S. T. (2015). Assessment of the Time-Course of Pregnancy Loss in a Rat Model of Advanced Maternal Age. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2014 Care, A. S., Bourque, S. L., & Davidge, S. T. (2014). Effect of Advanced Maternal Age on Pregnancy Outcomes in the Rat. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. Florence, ITALY: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2014 Bourque, S. L., Care, A. S., & Davidge, S. T. (2014). Perinatal Iron Deficiency Increases Susceptibility to Diet-Induced Obesity: Effects of Prenatal Resveratrol Treatment.. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. Florence, ITALY: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2010 Jasper, M., Care, A., Sullivan, B., Ingman, W., Aplin, J., & Robertson, S. (2010). Uterine epithelial cell fucosylated structures are regulated by macrophages during early pregnancy in mouse. Poster session presented at the meeting of JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY. Palm Grove, AUSTRALIA: ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD.
2010 Care, A. S., Jasper, M. J., Ingman, W. V., & Robertson, S. A. (2010). Macrophages are essential for maintenance of corpus luteum function in early pregnancy. Poster session presented at the meeting of Meeting Abstracts, as published in Biology of Reproduction. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Society for the Study of Reproduction.
Year Citation 2017 Care, A. (2017). Mechanisms of Uterine Artery Dysfunction in Pregnancy Complications. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.
Grants and Funding
|2018||'Vevo 3100 Ultrasound Biomicroscope for the Adelaide Biomed City Precinct||
CI-A Gatford, K
CI-B Care, AS
|Ian Potter Foundation Medical Research Grant||$200,000|
|The utility of resveratrol in improving fetal growth in complicated pregnancies||
CI-A Care, AS.
AI Robertson, SA; AI Davidge, ST; AI Moldenhauer, LM; AI O'Leary, S
|Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation||$74,267|
|Inflammatory cytokines as causal agents in peri-conception programming of offspring health/ APP1079150||CI-A Robertson SA, other CI: Thompson JG and Brown H, AI- Care AS||NHMRC||$585,276|
|2013-2017||Effects of Advanced Maternal Age on Vascular Adaptations in Pregnancy and Subsequent Maternal and Offspring Cardiovascular Health.||Care AS is a co-investigator with CI-A Davidge, ST.||Canadian Institutes of Health and Research (CIHR)||CAD$563,708|
|Jan 2015-present||CJ Martin Early Career Fellowship||NHMRC||$330,948|
|Jul 2013-Dec 2014||Postdoctoral Fellowship||Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada (HSFC)||CAD $83,000|
|Jan 2013- Dec 2014||Postdoctoral Fellowship||Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS)||CAD $165,000|
|Mar 2007-Mar 2011||Postgraduate Scholarship||NHMRC||$79,209|
|May 2011-Jun 2011||Frontiers in Reproduction Scholar – participating in 6 week training course at MLB, USA.||Marine Biological Laboratory, Burroughs Wellcome Fund||USD $6,500|
|2017-present||Assessor, Honours Research Projects, Adelaide Medical School|
|2017-present||Assessor, Honours Research Projects, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine|
Teaching Assistant, University of South Australia, Australia
Teaching and laboratory demonstrations for undergraduate 1st year Physiology 100 students.
University of Auckland (2019)
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor The utility of resveratrol in expanding regulatory T cell populations to improve pregnancy outcome University of Adelaide — Honours Full Time Shanna Hosking 2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor The role of macrophages on placental development and decidual spiral artery remodelling University of Adelaide — Doctorate — Holly Groome 2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor The effect of regulatory T cell deficiency on fetal growth and uterine artery remodelling University of Adelaide — Honours — Jacqueline Humphries
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2019 - ongoing Member In-Training Membership Committee Society for Reproductive Investigation United States 2019 - ongoing Member Government Affairs Committee Society for Reproductive Investigation United States 2018 - ongoing Co-Chair In-Training Membership Committee Society for Reproductive Investigation United States 2017 - 2018 Co-Chair Local Organising Committee Society for Reproductive Biology Australia 2017 - ongoing Council In-Training Membership Committee Society for Reproductive Investigation United States 2014 - 2016 Vice-President University of Alberta Postdoctoral Fellows Association, VP Communication — —
Date Role Membership Country 2017 - ongoing Member Healthy Development Adelaide Australia 2012 - ongoing Member Women and Children’s Health Research Institute Canada 2012 - ongoing Member Society for Reproductive Investigation — 2011 - ongoing Member Society for the Study of Reproduction — 2007 - ongoing Member Society for Reproductive Biology, Australia —
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