Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Associate Professor Michael Stark - Women's and Children's Hospital.
As a Research Group Leader of the Neonatal Medicine Group of the Robinson Institute and as through on-going collaboration with the Pregnancy and Development Research Group within the Robinson Institute, Dr Stark's research is centred on how patho-physiologic pregnancy impacts upon placental function and fetal growth and development, with a particular interest in the physiological mechanisms contributing to the excess of male morbidity and mortality observed at the extremes of prematurity.
The current focus of this research is the placental response to inflammation, its contribution to the development of oxygen radical diseases of the newborn, including chronic lung disease and acquired neonatal brain injury, and the potential for new, novel sex specific interventions aimed at modifying these pathological processes.
Clinical studies include the development of improved predictive tools for early acquired brain injury in very preterm infants and developement of novel transfusion strategies, in conjunction with the Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, to minimise the risk of transfusion related immunomodulation during the neonatal period.
Neonatal Medicine, Developmental Physiology, Early Origins of Health
A/Prof Stark leads the Neonatal Medicine Research group within the RRI and is the Clinical Theme Leader (Early Origins of Health). The Neonatal Medicine Research Group conducts clinical studies focusing on the health of preterm newborns. These studies include NHMRC and MRFF funded multi-centre randomised trials and prospective cohort trials. Particular areas of interest include oxygen physiology with a focus on perinatal brain injury, transfusion medicine, and the immunological basis for preterm lung disease. The projects will involve students becoming active members of the research team within the neonatal intensive care nursery in addition to laboratory based studies with a strong clinical and translational focus. This is a multi-disciplinary team which currently comprises Honours, PhD and clinical researchers.
Research Project 1
Title: Re-evaluating lifelong lung disease in very preterm newborns: A way forward.
Project description: A significant majority of very preterm babies either die or survive with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a broad clinical condition of persistent airway and airspace inflammation with abnormal healing and disordered lung development. Despite substantial resource allocation, it remains the most frequent morbidity for infants discharged home after very preterm birth with lifelong consequences on lung health and neurodevelopmental outcome. This prospective study will characterise the profile of immune cell populations and important biomarkers in the airway and bloodstream of ventilated preterms, using modern analysis techniques (multiplex ELISA, flow cytometry), in order to update and reclassify the sequential changes in airway and airspace inflammation and relate them to known clinical phenotypic variation in the individual preterm baby.
Projects available for: Honours
Location: AHMS (Adelaide Health & Medical Sciences Building, North Tce); Women’s & Children’s Hospital; The Robinson Research institute, Norwich Building.
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2
Special requirements: N/A
Research Project 2
Title: Defining a safe operating reference range for brain oxygen in very preterm babies at risk of brain injury: An exploratory study
Project description: Preterm babies are particularly vulnerable to brain injury which is a recognised lifelong complication for babies born prematurely. Although this injury is likely to be multifactorial in origin, abnormalities of oxygen handling are known to be important with injury related to variance in either direction. Both low and high brain oxygen content can cause oxidative stress and injury. Hypoxia, or low blood oxygen, results in brain damage from cellular injury and death whereas, hyperoxia, or high brain oxygen content, results in oxygen free radical production with damage to DNA.
Unfortunately, death and impairment from brain damage remain common outcomes for the very preterm babies despite significant resources. Managing oxygen is critically important with current systems failing to adequately measure overall oxygen status. This study will develop a simple, non-invasive method for measuring oxygen levels that is consistent with physiology but also works within the context of current clinical care.
Projects available for: 3rd Year Project; Honours; HDR
Location: The Robinson Research Institute, Norwich Building; Women’s & Children’s Hospital
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2
Special requirements: Police Clearance
Date Position Institution name 2013 - ongoing Associate Professor University of Adelaide 2009 - ongoing Senior Consultant Neonatologist Women's and Children's Hospital
Date Institution name Country Title 2002 - 2003 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom BSc (Honours) Physiology 2002 - 2002 University of Exeter United Kingdom Postgraduate Certificate (Medical Education) 2000 - 1996 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom MBChB
Date Title Institution Country 2011 FRACP Royal Australasian College of Physicians Australia 2008 CCST Postgraduate Medical Education Board UK United Kingdom 2001 MRCP (UK) Royal College of Physcians (Edinburgh) United Kingdom
Year Citation 2018 Wright, I. M. R., Stark, M. J., & Dyson, R. M. (2018). Assessment of the microcirculation in the neonate. In I. Seri, M. Klukow, & R. A. Polin (Eds.), Hemodynamics and Cardiology: Neonatology Questions and Controversies (3rd ed., pp. 327-340). Elsevier.
2017 Stark, M., & Belci, D. (2017). Vaginal total hysterectomy in benign indications: Hysterectomy techniques in the normal-sized uterus. In I. Alkatout, & L. Mettler (Eds.), Hysterectomy: A Comprehensive Surgical Approach (pp. 1411-1420). Springer International Publishing.
2012 Wright, I., Stark, M., & Clifton, V. (2012). Assessment of the microcirculation in the neonate. In C. Kleinman, & I. Seri (Eds.), Hemodynamics and Cardiology: Neonatology Questions and Controversies (2 ed., pp. 215-234). United States: Elsevier.
2012 Clifton, V., Smith, B., Roy, A., Osei-Kumah, A., Hodyl, N., Stark, M., . . . Saif, Z. (2012). Asthma during pregnancy. In R. Polosa, G. Papale, & S. Holgate (Eds.), Advances in Asthma Management (1 ed., pp. 105-113). United Kingdom: Future Medicine.
Year Citation 2018 Aboustate, N., clifton, V., stark, M., & hodyl, N. (2018). Maternal cigarette smoking in pregnancy alters expression of microRNAs (miRs) that regulate inflammatory processes in cord blood. In Inflammation in Reproduction, Pregnancy and Development. cairns, australia. 2016 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V., Stark, M., & Hodyl, N. (2016). MICRORNAS REGULATING TOLL LIKE RECEPTOR INFLAMMATORY PATHWAYS IN PRETERM AND TERM PLACENTA AND CORD BLOOD. In PLACENTA Vol. 45 (pp. 87-88). Portland, OR: W B SAUNDERS CO LTD.
2016 Stark, M. J., Martinello, K., Crawford, T., Andersen, C. C., & Hodyl, N. A. (2016). Interleukin-6 Trans-Signaling and the Pathogenesis of Broncho-Pulmonary Dysplasia. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 274A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2016 Hodyl, N. A., Stark, M. J., Nenke, M. A., Lewis, J. G., & Torpy, D. J. (2016). Displacement of Cortisol from Corticosteroid-Binding Globulin by High Fetal Progesterone May Drive Free Fetal Cortisol.. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 310A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2015 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. L., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2015). Differential expression of microRNAs that regulate TLR pathways in cord blood and placentae from preterm deliveries. In Placenta Vol. 36. Brisbane: Elsevier. 2012 Casciaro, S., Conversano, F., Casciaro, E., Soloperto, G., Stark, M., & Perrone, A. (2012). Quantitative and automatic echographic monitoring of labor progression. In IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS. IEEE.
2011 Stark, M., Clifton, V., & Hodyl, N. (2011). PLACENTAL INTERFERON-gamma PRODUCTION CONTRIBUTES TO THE ANTIOXIDANT ACTIONS OF N3-LCPUFAS. In PLACENTA Vol. 32 (pp. A50). Geilo, NORWAY: W B SAUNDERS CO LTD. 2011 Hodyl, N., Clifton, V., & Stark, M. (2011). SEX-SPECIFIC REGULATION OF GLUCOCORTICOID EXPOSURE IN HUMAN PRETERM PREGNANCIES BY P-GLYCOPROTEIN. In PLACENTA Vol. 32 (pp. A68). Geilo, NORWAY: W B SAUNDERS CO LTD. 2010 Hody, N. A., Stark, M. J., Osei-Kumah, A., Nath, P., & Clifton, V. L. (2010). INTERLEUKIN-1 RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST IN CORD BLOOD FROM PRETERM NEONATES. In PLACENTA Vol. 31 (pp. A108). Santiago, CHILE: W B SAUNDERS CO LTD. 2010 Osei-Kumah, A., Krumbiegel, D., Nicholson, I., Grose, R., Hodyl, N. A., Stark, M. J., . . . Clifton, V. (2010). Monocyte and T cell characterisation in pregnancies complicated by asthma. In JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 86 (pp. 44-45). Palm Grove, AUSTRALIA: ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD.
2010 Stark, M. J., Hodyl, N. A., Osei-Kumah, A., & Clifton, V. (2010). Differential cytokine profiles in arterial and venous cord blood in preterm infants. In JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 86 (pp. 58). Palm Grove, AUSTRALIA: ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD.
2010 Hodyl, N. A., Stark, M. J., Osei-Kumah, A., & Clifton, V. L. (2010). Interleukin-1 signalling in cord blood from preterm neonates. In JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 86 (pp. 57-58). Palm Grove, AUSTRALIA: ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD.
2008 Stark, M., Lies, P., Zillich, M., Wyatt, J., & Schiele, B. (2008). Functional object class detection based on learned affordance cues. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) Vol. 5008 LNCS (pp. 435-444). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
2007 Clifton, V., Mayhew, T., Wright, I., Stark, M., & Giles, W. (2007). The effects of pre-eclampsia, asthma and fetal sex on maternal, fetal and neonatal characteristics. In Placenta Vol. 28 (pp. A64). Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Elsevier. 2006 Wright, I. M. R., Clifton, V. L., & Stark, M. J. (2006). Characterisation of microvascular function in very preterm infants in the first week of life. In JOURNAL OF VASCULAR RESEARCH Vol. 43 (pp. 89). Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS: KARGER. 2006 Stark, M. J., Wright, I. M. R., & Clifton, V. L. (2006). Maternal microvascular response to corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) is altered by gestation, fetal gender and pre-eclampsia. In JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR GYNECOLOGIC INVESTIGATION Vol. 13 (pp. 131A-132A). Toronto, CANADA: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC.
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2022 Principal Supervisor Endocrine and Vascular changes in children with Sleep Disordered Breathing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Amelia Namrata Noone 2021 Principal Supervisor Evaluating the impact of maternal asthma on neonatal and childhood lung function and its underlying mechanisms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Joshua Luke Robinson 2018 Principal Supervisor Neuroprotection in Neonatal Encephalopathy - extending our understanding beyond cooling in the NICU Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Kathryn Anne Martinello 2017 Co-Supervisor Parent Education for Developmental Literacy (PEDaL): A novel neonatal nursery parent education program Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Megan Louise Bater
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2018 - 2021 Co-Supervisor HMGB1- An Immunotherapeutic Target for the Treatment of Neonatal Sepsis and Associated Neuroinflammation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Nerissa Lakhan 2016 - 2019 Co-Supervisor GBS STUDY: Assessing Disease Burden and Risk Factors for Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Infection to Inform the Best Strategies to Prevent Life Threatening Infections in Newborns Master of Philosophy (Clinical Science) Master Full Time Dr Marianne Yanni
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2016 - ongoing Associate Editor Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health Australia 2013 - ongoing Associate Editor Placenta
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