Dr Vanesa Stojanovska, NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Fellow

Dr Vanesa Stojanovska is a NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Research Fellow in the Perinatal Transition group at The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University.

Dr Stojanovska’s research focuses on helping preterm babies breathe at birth. Preterm babies exposed to inflammation during pregnancy have a high incidence of breathing difficulties and brain injury, which often lead to Cerebral Palsy. Many of these babies will require invasive respiratory support at birth – and whilst this is life-saving, it can exacerbate the already ongoing inflammation, and worsen brain injury.

Dr Stojanovska utilises her expertise in neuroimmunology to study how intrauterine infection and inflammation (chorioamnionitis) affects the neural control of breathing. She also studies the efficacy of anti-inflammatory treatments for stimulating fetal and neonatal breathing. Her research aims to improve independent breathing at birth to reduce the need for (inadvertently injurious) respiratory support, and ultimately, minimise brain injury in preterm babies.

Selected publications

  • Stojanovska V, Miller SL, Hooper SB, Polglase G (2018) The Consequences of Preterm Birth and Chorioamnionitis on Brainstem Respiratory Centres: Implications for Neurochemical Development and Altered Functions by Inflammation and Prostaglandins. Front Cell Neurosci, 12:26, DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00026.

  • Stojanovska V, Atik A, Skiöld B, Barton SK, Zahra V, Rodgers K, Moxham A, Hooper SB, Galinsky R, Polglase G (2018) Effects of Intrauterine Inflammation on the Grey Matter of Near-Term Lambs. Front Pediatrics, DOI: 10.3389/fped.2018.00145.

  • Stojanovska V, Barton SK, Tolcos M, Gill AG, Kluckow M, Miller SL, Zahra V, Hooper SB, Polglase GR, Galinsky R (2019) The Effect of Antenatal Betamethasone on White Matter Inflammation and Injury in Fetal and Ventilated Preterm Lambs. Dev Neurosci. (In Press)

  • Alahmari DM, Chan, KY, Stojanovska V, Barton SK, Nitsos I, Zahra V, Barbuto J, Farrell M, Yamaoka S, Pearson JT, Polglase G (2017) MRI Reveals the Relative Contributions of Inflammation and Haemodynamic Pathways in the Progression of Brain Injury in Preterm Lambs. PLOS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188737.

  • Polglase GR, Blank D, Barton SK, Miller SL, Stojanovska V, Kluckow M, Gill A, LaRosa D, Hooper SB (2017) Physiological-Based Cord Clamping Stabilizes Cardiac Output and Reduces Cerebrovascular Injury in Asphyxiated Near-Term Lambs. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed, DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-313657.