Alison Care

Dr Alison Care

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

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. 

 

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  • Appointments

    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 Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    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
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialisation University of Adelaide Australia
  • Research Interests

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

2018-2019

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

2015-2017

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

                         

Postgraduate Teaching
2017-present Assessor, Honours Research Projects, Adelaide Medical School
2017-present Assessor, Honours Research Projects, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Undergraduate Teaching

Teaching Assistant, University of South Australia, Australia

Teaching and laboratory demonstrations for undergraduate 1st year Physiology 100 students.

Thesis Examination

University of Auckland (2019)

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  • 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
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  • Committee Memberships

    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
  • Memberships

    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
  • Position: Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow
  • Phone: 83131504
  • Email: alison.care@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
  • Room: WS6071.12
  • Org Unit: Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

Connect With Me
External Profiles