Stacey Savin

Stacey Savin

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


My research investigates the impact of various maternal immune perturbations on fetal immune programming during pregnancy and whether specific aberrations render the offspring more susceptible to autoimmune development later in life.

A key cell population of the immune system, referred to as T regulatory cells (Tregs), play a critical role in maintaining homeostasis and suppressing inflammatory responses. A reduced frequency of Tregs or a defect in function can therefore, trigger an autoimmune reaction. It is thought that various environmental influences, resulting in low maternal Tregs during early gestation, programs the developing fetal immune system on a trajectory to a less tolerogenic phenotype after birth, increasing the risk of autoimmunity.

Autoimmunity affects approximately 3-5% individuals world-wide, with females being significantly more susceptible and prevalence increasing in western societies. While emphasis on lifestyle choices during pregnancy is well established, little is known about the impact of immune perturbations during peri-conception and pre-implantation stages. Our research aims to explore this potentially susceptible niche and investigate whether alterations in the maternal immune profile at early gestational time points significantly influences fetal immune development and in turn, neonatal and adult disease outcomes.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 MPhil Candidate University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2021 Scholarship Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Westpac Australia
    2021 Scholarship Research Training Program Stipend (RTPS) University of Adelaide Australia
    2020 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2019 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2019 Scholarship Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Scholarship Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2018 - 2020 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Advanced)
  • Research Interests

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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2021 - ongoing Member Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) Australia

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