Dr Vanessa Murphy

Equipment Grant
2017 Equipment Grant
Equipment Grant
2015 Equipment Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2013 Project Grant
Project Grant
2011 Project Grant
Project Grant
2009 Project Grant
Project Grant
2009 Project Grant
Project Grant
2008 Project Grant
Fellowship
2004 Fellowship

What are your research interests?

My research interests focus on asthma in pregnant women. My research is trialling new approaches to the management and treatment of asthma during pregnancy, with a focus on reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations in pregnancy, and improving health outcomes for the baby. I am also interested in the long term impacts of novel approaches to asthma management in pregnancy and, in particular, whether adjusting treatment based on lung inflammation is an effective prevention strategy for asthma in childhood. 

Why did you get into research?

I have had asthma myself for as long as I can remember, and I have developed a passion for conducting research during pregnancy. This is such a pivotal time of life both for mothers and for their children, as events in pregnancy can have life-long consequences. As a mother myself, I am driven to understand how events in early life can shape lifelong health. 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My goal is for my research to provide the evidence that is needed to change clinical practice, and ultimately to improve the health of pregnant women with asthma, and their babies, so that fewer children develop asthma in childhood. 

Biography

Dr Vanessa Murphy is a research scientist investigating the characteristics, mechanisms and consequences of asthma exacerbations during pregnancy and their health impact on both mother and baby. 

Dr Murphy’s research identified that active asthma management which lowers the exacerbation rate in pregnancy may also improve infant outcomes such as bronchiolitis. She is currently conducting a large multi-centre clinical trial to determine the effect of using lung inflammation to guide treatment decisions on perinatal and infant health. This trial has the potential to change clinical practice, and to demonstrate a primary prevention strategy for childhood asthma, among a group of high risk infants. Dr Murphy has worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) since 2004. 

She has a strong publication record in high quality international journals, in both the Respiratory and Obstetric fields, with over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and total grant earnings over $4.5 million. She collaborates across several disciplines including paediatrics, neonatology, midwifery, psychology and basic sciences. She has an emerging international reputation in her field, having been invited to speak at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Amsterdam in 2011.

In 2012, she was appointed a member of the Asthma and Pregnancy Working Group by the National Asthma Council for the production of the Australian Asthma Handbook. In 2014, she received three invitations to speak, at the Westmead International Update on Advances in Perinatal Care, the Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute Weekend and at the Newcastle Asthma Meeting.

In 2013 she won an Achievement in Research Award from the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation, and in 2014 had a publication recognised as the best original research paper published in Respirology. She has been collaborating with the world leader in the field of asthma during pregnancy (Professor Michael Schatz) since 2007, and this has resulted in 6 publications to date, including a co-authored invited review.

Her research is informing practice by its inclusion in information papers and guideline documents, such as “Asthma and Healthy Living: An information paper for health professionals” (2013, National Asthma Council of Australia, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing) and the Australian Asthma Handbook (2014), where 9 of her publications were cited in the section on pregnancy (asthma advice, asthma care and flare-ups). 

Her career goal is to become an independent, internationally recognised research scientist investigating asthma in pregnancy and its impact on children’s health and to conduct research which will change clinical practice, and reduce the rate of asthma in childhood.

Future Focus

My future focus is to determine whether interventions which improve asthma during pregnancy can result in fewer children developing asthma.  

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis

Affiliations

 

2017

Infant Equipment
Equipment Grant
Description:

These items will be used jointly by the named investigators to expand current collaborative work in the areas of early child development, impact of maternal chronic illness on early child outcomes and neurodevelopmental disability.

more

2015

Viral infections in the BLT cohort in the first year of life
Project Grant
Lung-function in early life for children at high asthma risk
Equipment Grant
Description:

Currently infants from the BLT cohort will be followed-up at birth, 6 weeks of age and 12 months of age.

more

2013

Inflammometry-based management of asthma in pregnancy for the prevention of preterm birth: the iMAP study
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Clinical trial renamed to "The Breathing for Life Trial (BLT): A randomised trial of fractional exhaled nitric oxide based management of asthma during pregnancy and its impact on perinatal outcomes and infant and childhood respiratory health."

more

2011

The Growing into Asthma Study: Wheezing prevalance and markers of airways inflammation in preschoolers born to mothers in asthma exacerbations in pregnancy
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Joerg MattesProfessor Peter Gibson, Professor M.Hensley, Associate Professor B.Whitehead, Dr Vanessa Murphy

2009

A study of obesity and inflammation in children with asthma
Project Grant
Description:

Asthma prevelance has increased in many western countries over recent decades. Currently, 1 in 6 children in Australia are affected by the disease. Over this time, obesity rates have also increased, and obesity now effects around 10% of Australian children.

more
Growing into Asthma - a birth cohort to investigate the prenatal and developmental origins of asthma
Project Grant

2008

PULSE Education Prize
Project Grant
Researchers:

2004

Post Doctoral Research Fellowship in Respiratory Medicine
Fellowship