The generation of new research ideas is a core value of the Sydney Health Policy Network, and collaboration is at the heart of every project.

Investigators outside the Sydney Health Policy Network who are interested in initiating collaboration with members of the Network should contact the Network Office by email . Your request will be advertised on this page.

DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)

Promoting interdisciplinary research and education to prevent the rising global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through a life-course approach.


Discussions are underway to develop an Australian and New Zealand network of researchers, clinicians and health workers to promote health and reduce chronic disease burden through collaborative preventive strategies in early life.

This initiative is directly aligned with the global agenda to combat the devastation of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The integrated cross-disciplinary approach will build on the inextricable link between maternal, perinatal and early childhood factors and the risk of developing NCDs in later life.

The mandate is for ‘disease prevention’ as the ultimate approach to reducing the burden of NCDs. Early life is a critical time of risk, but also a critical time of opportunity for promotion of health and prevention of future disease. The greatest potential for success lies in early intervention and there is already substantial evidence that initiatives to promote a ‘healthy start to life’ can reduce the risk of both early and later NCDs with wide social and economic benefits.

Common risk factors mean common solutions. All modern diseases are associated with modern lifestyle changes, suggesting common risk factors for many NCDs. These risks include unhealthy dietary patterns, reduced physical activity, altered patterns of microbial exposure, tobacco smoking, harmful use of alcohol, and other environmental pollutants. A coordinated interdisciplinary approach is imperative to mitigate the growing burden of a broad range of modern diseases, and to improve health in the new millennium.

As an affiliate of the International Society, the proposed ‘DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand’, together with international sister societies, will aim to facilitate training and research to define how modifying early environmental risk factors, beginning before conception, can modify short-­-term and longer-­-term outcomes and the subsequent risk of a wide range of NCDs.

If you are interested in being involved the development of the proposed Society, and/or participating in the inaugural DOHaD Australia and New Zealand conference proposed for 9 – 10 April 2014 in Perth Western Australia, please confirm your details with Christine Shervington, the Strategic Coordinator, DOHaD (WA) at .

Please pass on this information to any interested colleagues to ensure we get the greatest coverage possible.

Further Updates: will be available on

Winthrop Professor Susan Prescott
Chair, DOHaD Consortium in Western Australia
March 8th, 2013