Zohra Lassi

Dr Zohra Lassi

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I am an epidemiologist, recognised internationally for my work identifying interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in low and middle income countries. I have published 100 peer-reviewed papers, 8 book chapters and multiple research/technical reports. My research has contributed significantly to global maternity policy and practice. The WHO technical report I co-authored on essential interventions led to the development of the WHO guideline “Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health”; while another commissioned review led to the development of the WHO Guideline “Managing possible serious bacterial infection in young infants when referral is not feasible”.

I have made sustained contributions to the Cochrane Collaboration, as an author, a referee and trainer. I am a current Feedback Editor for the Acute Respiratory Infections Group. In 2011, I was awarded the prestigious international Kenneth Warren Prize from the Cochrane Collaboration. In 2016 I received the University of Adelaide’s Women’s Excellence in Research Award and in 2017 the Ecexutive Dean Award for Research (Early Career Category).

My expertise in evidence synthesis has also been recognised through invited membership of three separate Lancet Intervention Review Groups (Newborn, Nutrition, Diarrhoea and Pneumonia) and subsequent publications. In addition, I have been appointed as a Technical Advisor to the WHO on three occasions, to advise on use of task shifting strategies to optimise the delivery of key maternal and newborn interventions in under-resourced settings; and to aid in strengthening the process and methods for retrieval, synthesis and assessment of evidence on complex interventions.

I am a Section Editor of BMC Reproductive Health (Adolescent Health), and BMC Public Health (Global Health); and Academic Editor of International Health and BMC Systematic Reviews.

My Research

My research ambitions are to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition in low and middle income countries. My research interests include research synthesis, scaling up evidence based interventions in community settings, and implementation research in health system contexts. My work in community health workers has influenced global health policies and programs for disadvantaged population particularly in low and middle income countries.

I am currently involved in a wide variety of studies including:

  • Devising a clinical audit tool to capture local needs and capabilities regarding adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Uganda
  • Understanding health and wellbeing among Young Aboriginal Population in South Australia
  • Food insecurity among children and young adolescents attending South Australian School
  • Pregnancy, maternal and child health in a socially disadvantaged population
  • Pre and Peri-concpetion health interventions to improve maternal and child health in LMICs
  • Strategies to improve IYCF practices in LMICs
  • Nutritional interventions in pregnancy to improve pregnancy, maternal and child health in LMICs
  • Interventions to optimise children and adolescent health (0-19 years)
  • CVD risk in offspring born after complicated pregnancies
  • CVD risk in mothers with complicated pregnancies 
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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2017 - 2018 University Beacon Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Global Health University of Adelaide
    2015 - 2016 Research Officer South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
    2012 - 2015 Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2011 - 2016 Senior Instructor Research Aga Khan University
    2008 - 2010 Research Fellow Aga Khan University
    2005 - 2006 Clinical Nurse Instructor Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
    2002 - 2005 Registered Nurse Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Fellowship NHMRC Early Career Fellowship University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 Award Executive Award for Research Excellence (Early Career) University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 Fellowship University Beacon Fellowship The University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Award Women's Research Excellence Award University of Adelaide Australia 5000
    2016 Fellowship Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Global Health Robinson Research Institute, the University of Adelaide Australia
    2011 Award Kenneth Warren Prize for the Best Systematic Review The Cochrane Collaboration Spain 1000 USD
  • Language Competencies

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

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2012 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2006 - 2008 Aga Khan University Pakistan MSc Epi and Bio
    2003 - 2005 Institute of Business Management Pakistan MHM
    1998 - 2002 Aga Khan University Pakistan BScN
  • Research Interests

Research Grants

Centre for Research Excellence in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Project Support Grant. Meta-analysis and systematic review, comparing a broad range of treatment and birth outcomes for PCOS and non-PCOS women who undertake Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Zohra Lassi. 2016-17: AUD 12, 500

RRI Innovation Seed Grant 2016 – University of Adelaide. Exploring knowledge and understandings of Preconception Health among Young Aboriginal Women in South Australia. Zohra Lassi, Philippa Middleton, Alice Rumbold, Vivienne Moore. 2016-17: AUD 16, 850

Interdisciplinary Research Funds 2016 – University of Adelaide. Developing a tool to assess experiences of food insecurity among tweens and teens living in disadvantaged communities in Adelaide. Zohra Lassi, Alice Rumbold, Vivienne Moore, Wendy Umberger. 2016-17: AUD 20,033.

RRI Engaging Opportunities Program: Evaluation of BKFA birthing kits effectiveness and impact in improving outcomes for women and babies in developing countries. Claire Roberts, Zohra Lassi, Prabha Andraweera, Sarah Robertson. 2016-17: AUD 3600.

World Bank: Expanding the Optima Model to TB and Health, and for Applying the Model in Different Contexts. 2015 – 2016. USD 583,798   

3ie/AusAID: Nutrition interventions and programs for reducing maternal mortality and morbidity: a systematic review. Philippa Middleton, Zohra Lassi, Tran S Tran, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Vicki Flenady, Tanya Bubner, Caroline Crowther. 2011-12: AUD 80,000

 

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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 Examining synergistic relationships between human papillomavirus and periodontitis and the development of oropharyngeal cancers and adverse reproductive health outcomes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Anna Ali
    2018 Co-Supervisor Beyond Biomedical Conceptualisations: Social Connectedness and Positive Relationships as Protective Factors for Adolescent Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sophie Kedzior
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Risk factors for cardiovascular disease among those born preterm-systematic review and meta analysis The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Other Full Time Gemma Collett
    2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Risk factors for cardiovascular disease among those born preterm-systematic review and meta analysis The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Other Full Time Bradley Condon
    2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Risk factors for cardiovascular disease among those born preterm-systematic review and meta analysis The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Other Full Time Stefania Gentilcore
    2017 - 2017 Other Adherence and impact of home fortification with vitamins and minerals in anemia and vitamin A and iron deficiency in one-year-old children assisted in basic health units of Rio Branco, Western Brazilian Amazon University of São Paulo, Brazil Doctoral Exchange Program Doctorate Ms. Cristieli S. de Menezes Oliveira
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2013 - 2015 Member Kenneth Warren Prize Selection Committee Cochrane Collaboration United Kingdom
    2010 - 2012 Co-Chair Research/Scholarship Committee Memeber Aga Khan University Pakistan
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2016 - 2016 World Health Organization Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health Health services and related Switzerland
    2012 - 2012 World Health ORganization Global Health Workforce Alliance Health services and related Switzerland
    2011 - 2011 World Health Organization Global Health Workforce Alliance Health services and related Switzerland
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Consulting Editor BMC Public Health BioMed Central United Kingdom
    2019 - ongoing Consulting Editor Reproductive Health BioMed Central United Kingdom
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2017 - 2017 Adolescent and maternal nutrition: evidence from reviews Saving Newborn Lives Global Meeting Indonesia
    2017 - 2017 Effectiveness of Community health worker’s strategies for delivering community-based MNCH health interventions International Community Health Conference South Africa
    2016 - 2016 3. Current gaps in adolescent nutrition guidelines Robinson Research Institute Australia
    2013 - 2013 4. Obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes in adolescents and young adults- evidence based interventions 80th Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series Indonesia
    2011 - 2011 5. Lady Health Workers: Pakistan's flagship CHW program First International Conference on Community Health Rwanda
    2011 - 2011 6. Effectiveness of community-based interventions for MNCH: a Cochrane review First International Conference on Community Health Rwanda
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Peer Reviewer for NHMRC Investigator Grant Scheme Grant Assessment NHMRC
    2018 - ongoing Section Editor: Adolescent Health Editorial BMC Reproductive Health
    2018 - ongoing Voluntary Research Mentorship Advice Aga Khan University Karachi Pakistan
    2018 - ongoing Associate Editor Editorial International Health
    2018 - ongoing Associate Editor Editorial BMC Systematic Reviews
    2017 - ongoing DOHaD ANZ Conferences Conference Review Development Origins of Health and Diseases
    2016 - ongoing MRC Grant Reviewer Grant Assessment Medical Research Council
    2016 - 2016 NHMRC Project Grant Reviewer Grant Assessment National Health and Medical Research Council
    2015 - ongoing Feedback Editor: Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group Editorial Cochrane Collaboation
    2013 - ongoing PASANZ Annual Scientific Conference Conference Review Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Australia
  • Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Phone: 83139266
  • Email: zohra.lassi@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo North, floor 1
  • Room: 1 30
  • Org Unit: Robinson Research Institute

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