Sarah Robertson

Professor Sarah Robertson

Director

Robinson Research Institute

Division of Research and Innovation

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Professor Sarah Robertson is a graduate of the University of Adelaide (BSc 1983; PhD 1993). Most of her career has been in Adelaide after periods at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and University of Gothenburg (Gothenburg, Sweden). She was an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow until appointment to Director of the Robinson Research Institute in October 2013, after 18 years in the NHMRC fellowship scheme.

Her research focus is mammalian reproduction and development, particularly immune system regulation of fertility and pregnancy. She strives to advance understanding of the fundamental biology of conception, embryo implantation and early development, and to apply this to develop new approaches for managing infertility and pregnancy disorders. She partnered with Origio A/S to develop EmbryoGen, a novel immune-based intervention for repeated IVF failure and recurrent miscarriage now sold in >50 countries worldwide, and is funded by Ferring Pharmaceuticals and other industry partners to investigate new strategies to tackle miscarriage, preeclampsia and preterm delivery.

She is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (2016), the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2015), and a Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology (2011).

Her work is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Australian Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Global Alliance for Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth / Gates Foundation. Her research output includes more than 190 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers and reviews in high impact journals, >20 book chapters and 4 patent families. Her H-index is 65 with >12,500 citations (Google Scholar). She is a member of The NHMRC Academy, is Secretary-General of the International Society for Immunology of Reproduction and is ISIR representative to the International Union of Immunological Societies.

She collaborates extensively with colleagues in Australia and around the world and has supervised 29 PhD students (22 completed) plus 39 Honours students. For the period of 2008-2013 she was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Reproductive Immunology and now serves on the Editorial Boards of Endocrinology, Immunology and Cell Biology, and Clinical and Translational Immunology, as well as the Board of Consulting Editors of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Research Interests

Research in the Reproductive Immunology group centres on three related themes:

  • Cytokine and leukocyte control of conception and early pregnancy.
  • Maternal immune regulation of success and quality of embryo implantation, placental development and reproductive outcome. 
  • Male seminal fluid signalling in the female reproductive tract.
Research projects

1. Role of seminal fluid signalling in the female reproductive tract 

We are interested in the female genital tract response to insemination, and its significance in fertility and reproductive tract health. Seminal fluid has a profound effect on the female tract immune environment and is a key factor in establishing local immune adaptations that allow receptivity to pregnancy. This is mediated by paternal transplantation antigens also shared by the conceptus, as well as immune-deviating cytokines that promote immune tolerance as opposed to rejection. Importantly the immune changes induced by seminal fluid can impact infection with sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and Chlamydia, as well as progression of tumorigenesis and potentially other disease states including endometriosis. We aim to unravel the molecular identity of the sperm and seminal plasma signalling molecules, and characterise the nature of the cytokine and chemokine response and ensuing inflammatory events elicited in the female tissues. The physiological consequences of the female tract response for fertility and embryo development, as well as infection and immune defence, are studied. 

2. Uterine leukocytes and the immune response to pregnancy.

Antigen presenting cells (APCs) are essential for initiating immune tolerance for pregnancy and uterine immune responses to infection. Uterine macrophages and dendritic cells are master regulators of tolerance to paternal alloantigens, through generating regulatory T cells that prevent maternal immune rejection of the conceptus. Our current projects using T-cell transgenic models aim to investigate the cytokine regulation and role of professional and non-professional APCs in unique mechanisms for processing paternal MHC antigens at the outset of pregnancy. Additionally, these cells have tissue remodelling functions and communicate with epithelial cells and stromal cells to impact endometrial receptivity for blastocyst implantation. Immune-deviating cytokines including TGFb, IL-10 and IL-6 contribute to these events and their significance is being evaluated in null mutant mouse models. 

3. Seminal fluid and reproductive health in women

In women, seminal fluid induces cellular changes and an induction of inflammatory cytokines similar to the response in mice and other animals. The cytokine and chemokine regulation of the cervical and uterine response in women can be modelled in in vitro experiments, where we are aiming to identify the nature of the active signalling factors in human seminal fluid. We are now seeking to investigate the influence of seminal fluid on fertility in women, and to examine the relationship between the seminal fluid content of individual signalling components and fertility status in men. This work has implications for our understanding of the immune response to STDs such as HIV, as well as for reproductive processes. 

4. Role of reproductive tract cytokines in embryo development and fertility.

Cytokines originating from the oviduct and uterine epithelium act to regulate the development of the embryo as it traverses the reproductive tract prior to implantation. Through effects on the timing and extent of cell proliferation and differentiation, cytokines synchronise embryo growth with the maternal changes that lead to uterine receptivity. Our studies indicate an important role for GM-CSF in promoting optimal blastocyst development, implantation and placental development, and in programming metabolic health in offspring. In humans, GM-CSF promotes development of healthy blastocysts and application of this discovery to improve implantation success in human IVF is now the subject of clinical trials. Our current studies are exploring the mechanisms through which GM-CSF and other maternal tract cytokines influence gene expression and developmental programming in embryos.

 
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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2013 Director University of Adelaide
    2010 Professor of Reproductive Immunology The University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2013 Principal Research Fellow National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
    2008 - 2013 Co-Director Research Centre for Reproductive Health
    2000 Research Leader: Reproductive Immunology Research Group University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2016 Fellowship Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science Australian Academy of Science Australia
    2015 Invitation Louis Waller Lecture Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority Australia
    2015 Achievement Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
    2014 Award Finalist, SA Scientist of the Year
    2014 Award Raymond O. Berry Lecture Texas A&M University United States
    2013 Award Senior Investigator Award European Society for Reproductive Immunology Australia
    2013 Award Founder's Lecturer Society for Reproductive Biology Australia
    2012 Award AWT Edwards Orator, Australian Health and Medical Research Congress (2012) Australian Health and Medical Research Congress Australia
    2012 Award Director's Award Robinson Research Institute Australia
    2011 Fellowship Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology Society for Reproductive Biology Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1993 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    1983 University of Adelaide Australia B.Sc.
  • Research Interests

Research Grants - Current
National Competitive Schemes
Date Project/No. Amount
2019-2021

Seminal fluid interferon-gamma – an inhibitor of reproductive success?                     
CI-A ARC Discovery Grant DP190103694

$490,000
2018-2021

The male partner contribution to pregnancy immune tolerance deficit in women     
CI-A with Tremellen KP, Lane M, Sharkey D, Barry SC, Dekker G.
NHMRC Project Grant APP
1139509

$1,462,925
2018-2020

Preclinical development of TLR signalling inhibitors for prevention of preterm        
labour and fetal inflammatory injury
CI-A with Keelan J and Hutchinson MR. NHMRC Project Grant APP1140916

$690,821
2018-2021 Preclinical evaluation of a novel allosteric IL1R inhibitor (rytvela) for the                    
prevention of perinatal inflammation-induced fetal injury                
CI-C with Keelan J, Olson D, Kemp M, Dickinson H. NHMRC Project Grant APP1145295
$1,377,827
2016-2019 Priming the maternal immune response to resist inflammatory disorders of pregnancy
CI-A with Barry SC and Hutchinson MR. NHMRC Project Grant APP1099461
$920,972
State Competitive Schemes
2017-2019

Impact of Phthalate exposure in fathers on programming of offspring neurological phenotype?                                  

CI-A Channel 7 Childrens Medical Research Foundation                                                                                                                                                                                     

$70,000
Industry
2017-2019 Boosting Treg cells with novel immune-regulatory agents for pregnancy success?   
CI-A Ferring Pharmaceuticals
$204,914
Research Grants - Past
International Competitive Schemes
Date Project/No. Amount
2012-2014 The pivotal roles of IL1B and IL6 in the timing of birth
Co-investigator C with Olson DM and Chemtob S Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant
CAN
$610,000
2012-2015 Inflammatory Pathways to Preterm Birth
Co-investigator C with Olson DM, Chemtob S, Lubell W, Metz G, Mitchell B Global Alliance for the Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth (USA), Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative – Gates Foundation
US $1.5M

2003-2007

How do oocytes and embryos cope with adverse environments?
Co-investigator H with Thompson JG, Edwards L, Gilchrist RB, Kaye P, Kind K, Pantaleon M, Roberts CT, National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA, #HD-02-018

US
1.28M

National Competitive Schemes - Fellowships
Date Project/No. Amount

2010-2014

CI-A NHMRC Research Fellowship (Principal Research Fellow) ID627017

$752,500

2005–2009

CI-A NHMRC Research Fellowship ID349490

$635,000

2003–2004

Seminal transforming growth factor (TGF)β, maternal immune tolerance and pregnancy outcome – promotion out of synchrony
CI-A NHMRC Research Fellowship 250450

$249,500

2000–2002

Seminal transforming growth factor (TGF)β, maternal immune tolerance and pregnancy outcome
CI-A NHMRC Research Fellowship 158069

$246,000

1996-2000

Cytokine-leukocyte networks in early mammalian pregnancy
CI-A NHMRC R Douglas Wright Award 977745

$201,000

National Competitive Schemes – Program and Project
Date Project/No. Amount
2016-2018 Sperm signalling in the female reproductive tract - a new biological paradigm
CI-A ARC Discovery Grant DP16102366
$433,100
2015-2018 Inflammatory cytokines as causal agents in peri-conception programming of offspring health
CI-A with Thompson JG and Brown H. NHMRC Project Grant APP1079150
$585,276
2015-2017 Achieving targeted delivery of drugs to uterine muscle in women for the prevention of preterm labour
CI-C with Smith, R., Hua, S., Ho, R., Adams Waldorf, K. NHMRC Project Grant APP1099461
$469,000
2013-2016 Activating T cell tolerance to prevent preeclampsia in women
CI-A with Dekker G. NHMRC Project Grant APP1041332
$610,045
2013-2015 Reducing susceptibility to allergic asthma in offspring by immunomodulatory therapy of the pregnant mother
CI-C with Strickland D and Prescott S. NHMRC Project Grant APP1041764

$430,300

2012-2014 Inflammatory pathways for novel therapeutic intervention in preterm delivery
CI-A with Hutchinson MH and Olson DM. NHMRC Project Grant APP1026178
$525,000

2009-2011

Seminal fluid and reproductive health in women
CI-A with Quayle AJ, NHMRC Project Grant 565368

$450,000

2009-2011

Mechanisms of seminal fluid signalling in mammals
CI-A with RB Gilchrist, ARC Discovery Grant DP0986882

$470,000

2007–2011

Periconceptual Foundations for a Healthy Start to Life
CI-B with Norman RJ, Rogers RJ, Thompson JG, Lane M, Dekker G, Davies M, NHMRC Program Grant 453556

$10.2 million

2006-2008

Macrophage-regulated tissue remodelling in endometrial receptivity for embryo implantation and pregnancy success
CI-A with Roberts CT, NHMRC Project Grant 399105

$445,250

2005-2006

Seminal plasma cytokines as novel fertility diagnostics in men
CI-A with Tremellen KP, Norman RJ, NHMRC Development Grant 399106

$101,000

2005-2007

Mechanisms of infertility induced in mice by vaccination with murine ZP3
CI-B with GR Shellam, ARC Discovery Grant

$220,000

2005-2009

Network in Genes and Environment in Development
Convenor RI Richards + 46 other participants, Australian Research Council / NHMRC Research Network #RN0457079

$1.5 million

2003-2007

Reproductive health in women
CI-D with Norman RJ, Rodgers RJ, Armstrong DT, Thompson JG NHMRC Program Grant 250306

$8.2 million

2003-2005

GM-CSF regulation of pre-implantation embryo development
CI-A with Thompson JG, NHMRC Development Grant 250388

$480,000

2002-2004

The mechanistic basis of a reproductive lesion in TGFβ null mutant mice
CI-A, ARC Discovery Grant

$292,000

2000-2002

Seminal transforming growth factor (TGF)β, maternal immune tolerance and pregnancy outcome
CI-A with RF Seamark and JS Robinson, NHMRC Project Grant 104837: 5 year award (2000-2004)

$195,000

2000-2002

Effects of leptin on follicle growth and development
CI-C with Norman RJ, Armstrong DT and Owens PC NHMRC Project Grant 104813

$327,000

1997-1999

Seminal plasma and sperm as determinants of the maternal immune response to pregnancy
CI-A with RF Seamark, JS Robinson NHMRC Project Grant 970070

 

$195,000

1997-1999

Colony stimulating factors in ovulation and luteal function
CI-C with RJ Norman, SR Maddocks, AM Dharmarajan NHMRC Project Grant 970069

$199,000

1995-1997

Regulation of chorionic gonadotrophin expression and secretion in the marmoset monkey
CI-C with RJ Norman and A Lopata ARC Large Grant #A09531907

$217,000

1994-1996

The role of uterine epithelial cell-derived cytokines in reproduction,
CI-A with RF Seamark, NHMRC Project Grant 940339

$282,000

Industry and Consulting Income
Date Project/No. Amount
2017-2019 Boosting Treg cells with novel immune-regulatory agents for      
pregnancy success

CI-A, Ferring Pharmaceuticals
USD $155,733

2003-2004

PV903 product testing in animal models
CI-A, Gropep Pty. Ltd

$46,708

2002-2003

Cytokine index / bacterial load in semen as a determinant of boar fertility
CI-A, Australian Pork Limited ID1831

$107,251

2001-2002

Development of an assay for immune status in pregnancy
CI-A, Gropep Pty. Ltd

$124,000

2000-2001

Interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 as cofactors in induction of reproductive tract immunity
CI-A, Pest Animal Control CRC

$20,000
2000-2001

Insemination as a vehicle for induction of immunity to implantation antigens
CI-A, Pest Animal Control CRC

$10,000
NHMRC Equipment Grants
Date Project/No. Amount

2010

Infrared Fluorescence Imager for protein quantification
CI-B with Russell D, Thompson JG et al. IDGNT9000031

$35,000

2010

Radiometric and Reporter Gene Bioassay Facility
CI-D with Gilchrist RB, Russell D, Thompson JG et al. IDGNT9000031

$40,000

2010

Becton Dickinson FACSCanto II three laser Flow Cytometer
CI-B with Ingman WV, Russell D, Moldenhauer LM et al. IDGNT9000031

$90,000

2008

Applied Biosystems 7900HT low density array Taqman PCR platform
CI-C with Russell D, Owens JA, Thompson JT, Somogyi A, et al. ID 580008

$70,000

2008

PIXImus II DEXA XRay system for small animal analysis
CI-E with Kennaway D, Owens JA, Norman RJ, Thompson JG, et al. ID 580008

$62,000

2007

Genomelab GeXP Genetic analysis system
CI-H with Kennaway D, Owens JA, Wittert GA, Hiendleder S, et al. ID520946

$65,000

2007

SlidePath digital SlideServer software, Acer Altos R250 Server
CI-H with Owens JA, Tilley WD, Norman RJ, Findlay D, et al. ID520946

$52,510

2006

Ariol SL-50 for high throughput image analysis
CI-I with Tilley WD, Owens JA, Norman RJ, Findlay D, et al. ID467207

$100,695

2005

2 x Applied Biosystems 7500 Real Time PCR Machine,
CI-I with JA Owens, KL Gatford, JS Robinson, et al. ID264655

$97,000

2005

Rodent blood pressure monitoring station,
CI-H with L MacKenzie, DA Saint, J Ross, RJ Irvine et al. ID219354

$97,000

2004

MC-Nikon 018C1A Confocal Microscope
CI-B with Thompson JG ID264518

$21,100

2004

Cobas Integra 400 plus Roche Clinical Chemistry Analyser
CI-J with Owens JA, Gatford KL, Robinson JS, Schwartz J, et al ID264518

$40,000

2004

Amersham Biosciences Typhoon #9410 Imaging System
CI-D with Rogers RJ, Ivell RJ, Gibson MA, Saint DA, Russell DL ID264518

$117,500

2003

ABI Prism 7000 Sequence Detection System
CI-A with Rodgers AJ, Armstrong DT, Thompson JG, Norman RJ ID219354

$46,110

2003

Agilent Nanoflow LC System for QTOF2 mass spectrometer
CI-E with Findlay DM, McColl SR, Wallace JC, Tilley WD ID219354

$68,649

2001

POLAR Star Galaxy (BMG) Fluorescent Microplate Reader
CI-E with Fontaine FR, Bochner F, McMillen IC, Rodgers RJ etc.

$69,257

2000

Perkin Elmer 5990 real-time thermal cycler
CI-C with JA Owens, IC McMillen, JS Robinson et al.

$50,000

1995

Sorvall RC5C Plus Superspeed Centrifuge
CI-C with DT Kennaway, JA Owens,

$20,000

State Competitive Scheme
Date Project/No. Amount

2008

The role of host-derived TGFβ in the establishment of endometriotic lesions
CI-C with Hull ML, Norman RJ Women’s and Children’s Hospital Research Grant

$48,138

2007

Tissue remodelling in endometriosis
CI-B with Hull ML, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Research Grant

$50,000

2005-2008

SCreening fOr Pregnancy Endpoints; SA SCOPE
CI-C with G Dekker, CT Roberts, J Robinson, R Norman, R Richards, R North Premier’s Science and Research Fund, Government of SA

$2.37M
2004-2005

Towards improved IVF outcomes: An expression cloning approach to investigate the action of GM-CSF in pre-implantation development
CI-B with D’Andrea RJ, Brown AL, Sadlon TJ, Roberts CT Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, adelaide

$44,480
2000 Characterisation of a reproductive lesion in b2-glycoprotein1 null mice: a model for anti-phospholipid syndrome.
CI-A with Krilis SA (University of NSW), WCH Foundation, Adelaide
$28,402
Intramural Schemes – Project Grants
Date Project/No. Amount

2006-2007

Physiological role of TGFβ in erectile function and dysfunction
CI-C with Ingman WV, Musgrave IF - Faculty of Health Sciences – Small Grants Scheme

$25,000

2005-2006

Macrophage–regulating cytokines in mammary gland development and disease,
CI-B with Ingman WV - Faculty of Health Sciences – Small Grants Scheme

$17,000

2003-2004

The influence of acupuncture on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer: a randomised controlled trial
CI-C, with Smith C, Norman RJ - Faculty of Health Science

$8,800

2000-2002

Reproductive Medicine Fund Grant, University of Adelaide

CI-A

$50,000

2000

The role of IL-10 in murine pregnancy
CI-A with Ramsay AJ (University of Newcastle), ARC small grant

$10,000

1999

Semen exposure and pregnancy outcome in women
CI-B with G Dekker, KP Tremellen, University of Adelaide (B3 Category)

$25,000

1999

The role of GM-CSF in early embryo development
CI-A with RJ Norman, University of Adelaide (B1 Category)

$10,000

1999

Fertility and fecundity in IL-6 deficient mice
CI-A with AJ Ramsay, ARC Small Grant

$10,000

1998

Immune deviation and pregnancy outcome
CI-A, University of Adelaide (B3)

$10,000

1998

The role of chemokines in early murine pregnancy
CI-A, ARC Small Grant

$10,000

1995

Seminal plasma proteins as determinants of pregnancy outcome
CI-A with RF Seamark. The Florey Research Fund Faulding Grant 1995

$10,000

Intramural Schemes - Equipment Grants (Faculty of Heath Sciences, unless indicated otherwise)
Date Project/No. Amount

2008

Applied Biosystems 7900HT low density array Taqman PCR platform
CI-C with Russell D, Owens JA, Thompson JT, Somogyi A, et al.

$20,000

2008

PIXImus II DEXA XRay system for small animal analysis
CI-E with Kennaway D, Owens JA, Norman RJ, Thompson JG, et al.

$20,000

2007

Genomelab GeXP Genetic analysis system
CI-H with Kennaway D, Owens JA, Wittert GA, Hiendleder S, et al.

$20,000

2007

SlidePath digital SlideServer software, Acer Altos R250 Server
CI-H with Owens JA, Tilley WD, Norman RJ, Findlay D, et al.

$20,000

2006

Ariol SL-50 for high throughput image analysis
CI-I with Tilley WD, Owens JA, Norman RJ, Findlay D, et al.

$25,000

2005

Applied Biosystems 7500 Real Time PCR Machine
CI-I with JA Owens, KL Gatford, JS Robinson, et al. O&G Strategic Research Development Grant

$16,000

2005

Two Applied Biosystems 7500 Real Time PCR Systems
CI-B with Owens JA, Thompson JG, Nottle M, Kennaway D, et al.

$15,000

2005

Eppendorf Microfuge
CI-D with DJ Kennaway, CT Roberts, JA Owens, R Rodgers, M Jasper, O&G Strategic Research Development Grant

$4,350

2005

Becton Dickinson FACSCanto 6-colour Flow Cytometer
CI-A with Robker R, Ingman WV, O&G Strategic Research Development Grant

$40,000

2004

MC-Nikon 018C1A Confocal Miscroscope
CI-B with Thompson JG

$16,100

2004

Cobas Integra 400 plus Roche Clinical Chemistry Analyser
CI-J with Owens JA, Gatford KL, Robinson JS, Schwartz J, et al

$2,852

2004

Amersham Biosciences Typhoon #9410 Imaging System
CI-D with Rogers RJ, Ivell RJ, Gibson MA, Saint DA, Russell DL

$58,750

2003

ABI Prism 7000 Sequence Detection System
CI-A with Rodgers AJ, Armstrong DT, Thompson JG, Norman RJ

$23,055

2003

Agilent Nanoflow LC System for QTOF2 mass spectrometer
CI-E with Findlay DM, McColl SR, Wallace JC, Tilley WD

$34,324

2000

Leading Edge Video Image Analysis System
CI-A with CT Roberts Ramaciotti Foundations: project RA093/00

$9,770

1999

Biorad ELISA plate reader
CI-A with CT Roberts, Ramaciotti RAMA 99

$11,000

1998

Detection and quantification of cytokine mRNAs during pregnancy
CI-A with CT Roberts, Ramaciotti Foundations: project RAMA 98082

$10,974

1995

Miltenyi Biotec 'MiniMACS' magnetic cell sorter
CI-A with RJ Norman

$4,880

1994

Hybaid Omnigene Thermal Cycler
CI-A, Co-operative Foundation Grant

$10,000

Undergraduate teaching (at University of Adelaide unless otherwise indicated)
Date Course
1995-2007, 2013 Lecturer and examiner, Infection and Immunity II
2002-2004, 2011 Lecturer, Molecular and Cell Biology I
2005-present Lecturer, Comparative Reproductive Biology III
1997-present       Lecturer and problem-based learning tutor, Human Reproductive Health  II
2000-present   Project Supervisor, Medical Research Project IV, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Other postgraduate teaching
Date Course
1995-2003 Tutor and Examiner, Experimental Methodology, Dept. Obstetrics and Gynaecology
1995-2007 Ad-hoc External Examiner, Depts. Microbiology and Immunology / Animal Sciences
1995-present Assessor, BSc (Hons) Research Projects, Dept. Obstetrics and Gynaecology
PhD thesis examination

University of Melbourne (1996); University of Sydney (1998, 2005); University of NSW (2001); University of Newcastle (2001, 2003); Monash University (2006, 2007, 2008); The University of Auckland (2009, 2010); University of Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA (2011); Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, INDIA (2011).

 

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    • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2019 Co-Supervisor Does the SATBI superenhancer prevent autoimmunity in mice? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Katherine Alexandra Brown
      2017 Principal Supervisor Characterising Transfusion Related Immune Modulation in Preterm Infants Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Tara Marie Crawford
      2017 Principal Supervisor The role of macrophages in the development of placental vasculature Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Holly Michelle Groome
      2015 Principal Supervisor Regulatory T Cells and the Immune Response to Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ella Shana Green
    • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor The contribution of immune regulatory MicroRNAs in endometriosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kavita Panir
      2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signalling in Inflammation Pathways to Term and Preterm Delivery Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hanan Hamimi Binti Wahid
      2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor T Regulatory Cells in Early Pregnancy in Mice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Bihong Zhang
      2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Cytokine-macrophage Regulatory Network in Mammary Gland Development and Tumourigenesis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Xuan Sun
      2011 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Effect of C1q Null Mutation on Mammary Gland Development and Breast Cancer Susceptibility Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Siti Mariam Noor Din
      2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor The Effect of Macrophages on Fibroblast Activity and Lesion Development in Mouse Models of Endometriosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mohammad Zahied Johan
      2009 - 2012 Principal Supervisor The Role of Macrophages in Early Pregnancy Success Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Alison Care
      2009 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Cytokines and programming the pre-implantation embryo Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Loretta Chin
      2009 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Circulating microRNAs in endometriosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Victoria Nisenblat
      2008 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Seminal Fluid and Cytokine Control of Regulatory T-Cells in Murine Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Leigh Guerin
      2008 - 2009 Co-Supervisor Characterisation of the Development and Hormonal Regulation of the Ovarian Lymphatic Vasculature Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Hannah Brown
      2006 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Pathways of Paternal Antigen Presentation to Initiate Antigen-Specific Immune Responses in Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Lachlan Moldenhauer
      2005 - 2009 Principal Supervisor The Impact of Exogenous TGF Beta 1 on Male Reproductive Function Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Leanne McGrath
      2005 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Actions of Seminal Fluid Signalling Factors in the Female Reproductive Tract and on Pregnancy Outcome Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Danielle Glynn
      2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor The Physiological Significance of Insemination in Programming Pregnancy Outcome Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr John Bromfield
      2002 - 2005 Principal Supervisor Seminal Plasma Regulation of the Post-Coital Inflammatory Response in the Human Cervix Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr David Sharkey
      1999 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Seminal Plasma Cytokines as Determinants of Ovulation, Embryo Development and Pregnancy Success in the Pig Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Sean O'Leary
      1998 - 2002 Principal Supervisor The effect of transforming growth factor beta1 null mutation on murine reproductive function Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Wendy Ingman
    • Other Supervision Activities

      Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
      2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Macrophage alterations in microRNA deficient mouse models of endometriosis The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours) (First Class Honours Award) Honours Full Time Kavita Bikram Shah
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    • Board Memberships

      Date Role Board name Institution name Country
      2014 - ongoing Member Women's and Children's Hospital Research Institute Australia
      2014 - ongoing Member Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Australia
      2013 - ongoing Advisory Board Member Advisory Board, Robinson Research Institute The University of Adelaide Australia
      2008 - 2009 Advisory Board Member Board, Mater Medical Research Institute Mater Medical Research Institute Australia
      2001 - 2010 Board Member Bio Innovation SA Bio Innovation SA Australia
    • Committee Memberships

      Date Role Committee Institution Country
      2013 - 2014 Chair Nominations Committee Society for the Study of Reproduction United States
      2011 - ongoing Member Lloyd Cox Endowment Fund
      2008 - ongoing Chair School Space Committee - Medical School Campus
      2003 - 2006 Member Research Committee of the NHMRC (2003-2006) NHMRC Australia
    • Memberships

      Date Role Membership Country
      2015 - ongoing Member Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Australia
      2013 - 2014 Representative International Union of Immunological Societies Germany
      2011 - ongoing Member NHMRC Academy Australia
      2010 - ongoing Member American Association of Immunologists United States
      2006 - 2009 Treasurer Society for Reproductive Biology Australia
      2005 - ongoing Member American Society for the Immunology of Reproduction United States
      2003 - 2006 Member NHMRC Council Australia
      1998 - ongoing Secretary International Society for the Immunology of Reproduction Japan
      1995 - ongoing Member Society for the Study of Reproduction United States
      1989 - ongoing Member Australasian Society for Immunology Australia
      1988 - ongoing Member Society for Reproductive Biology Australia
    • Editorial Boards

      Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
      2018 - ongoing Board Member Immunology and Cell Biology Australiasian Society for Immunology Australia
      2017 - ongoing Board Member Clinical and Translational Immunology
      2017 - ongoing Board Member Endocrinology
      2014 - ongoing Consulting Editor Journal of Clinical Investigation United States
      2009 - 2013 Editor-In-chief Journal of Reproductive Immunology Journal of Reproductive Immunology United States
      2008 - ongoing Board Member Reproduction The Journal of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility United Kingdom
      2007 - 2010 Board Member Biology of Reproduction The Society for the Study of Reproduction United States
      2003 - ongoing Board Member Journal of Reproductive Immunology Journal of Reproductive Immunology United States
    • Industry Partnerships

      Date Engagement Type Partner Name
      2016 - ongoing Consultant Ferring Pharmaceuticals
      2005 - ongoing Consultant ORIGIO A/S, Denmark
    • Offices Held

      Date Office Name Institution Country
      2017 - ongoing Secretary-General International Society of Reproductive Immunology Japan
      2015 - 2016 Chair, Inflammation in Reproduction, Pregnancy and Development; a Satellite Conference of the International Congress in Immunology, International Society of Reproductive Immunology Australia
      2015 - ongoing Associate Member, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute SAHMRI
      2008 - 2010 Chair, XI International Congress of Reproductive Immunology International Society of Immunology of Reproduction Australia
      1999 - 2003 Associate Scientist Pest Animal CRC, Canberra Australia
      1999 - ongoing External Member Hanson Centre for Cancer Research Australia
      1997 - 2003 Scientific Adviser Fertilitetscentrum AB, Göteborg Sweden
    • Position: Director
    • Phone: 83134094
    • Email: sarah.robertson@adelaide.edu.au
    • Campus: North Terrace
    • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
    • Room: WS6070
    • Org Unit: Robinson Research Institute

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