Lifespan research


Kate Steinbeck

Supervisor - Professor Kate Steinbeck

The ARCHER (Adolescent Rural Cohort on Hormones, Education, Environment, Health and Relationships) has enrolled 350 early adolescents and their families (10% of whom are Indigenous) in a study which looks at the true effect of puberty hormones on adolescent mood, behaviour and wellbeing ( Questionnaire data, anthropometry, annual blood and three monthly urine samples are collected over three years with final data collection in early 2016. Questionnaires cover puberty change, education, sleep, social competency, risk taking behaviours, mood and affect, conduct disorders, physical activity, nutrition, chronic illness, sexuality and injury. Parent information includes the child behaviour checklist, social connectivity, parenting, stressors and the impacts of rural living. It is planned that this cohort study will continue into mid-late adolescence and address new questions on cardiovascular risk factors, unintentional injury, mood and anxiety, sleep, social media, parenting, the development of social capital and the impacts of rural environments. The full protocol of the study can be viewed at Interested researchers are encouraged to read the protocol to understand the breadth of this study which has already produced a large amount of data and which provides research opportunities in many areas of adolescent health and wellbeing. The biobank of ARCHER samples includes blood, urine and DNA, and applications for further collaborative research projects are invited.

The ARCHER research team is looking for PhD candidates who are able to live in the study area. For successful applicants there is the possibility of receiving a supplement of up to $6000 pa in addition to the standard PhD stipend rates. See this poster for detailed information.

The NHMRC Australian Placental Transfusion Study


Research Question: Compared with cord clamping < 10 sec, does deferred cord clamping for 60 sec or more improve death, hospital morbidity and childhood disability?
Inclusion Criteria: Infants <30 weeks gestation.
Outcomes: Death or major childhood disability; death or hospital morbidity :brain injury, severe ROP, sepsis, NEC; BPD
Sample Size: 1600
Collaborating Sites: 20 in ANZ; Royal Jubilee Belfast, Craigavon N. Ireland, Aga Khan University, Pakistan.
Progress: 850 recruited – already the largest RCT in preterm infants. New centres in France, US and India are finalising ethics and contracts. New centres in ANZ welcome .
Contact Lucille Sebastian -

NHMRC Lactoferrin Evaluation in Anaemia of Pregnancy (LEAP 1) Trial

Research Question: Iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy (IDAP) is linked with poor fetal growth, low neonatal iron stores and elevated IL-6. Bovine lactoferrin (bLF) corrects IDAP and reduces IL-6. Is bLF more effective than oral iron?
Inclusion: Iron deficiency anaemia in 1st or 2nd trimester
Co-primary outcomes: (a) fetal growth (b) neonatal serum ferritin
Sample Size: 800 women
Collaborating Sites: Australia, New Zealand, UK .
Progress: Recruitment starts in early 2015.
New centres welcome
Contact -

NHMRC TORPIDO2 Trial: 2nd Targeted Oxygen in the Resuscitation of Preterm Infants and their Development Outcome Trial

Research Question: What are the long term outcomes of (a) use of initial FiO2 60% vs Air and (b) targeting higher vs lower SpO2 during care of preterm infants from birth to NICU admission?
Inclusion Criteria: Infants of 23-28(6) weeks gestation
Primary outcome: Death or major disability at 2 years
Sample Size: 1200
Sites: Australia, NZ, Italy, US, Canada. New sites are welcome.
Progress: HREC approval obtained. Enrolment begins shortly. TORPIDO 2 is compatible with concurrent studies e.g. APTS.
Contact -

NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre

On 9 April 2013 the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, launched the first Partnership Centre on the theme of ‘Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People’. View the Media Release about this launch here.

Over five years the Centre will be jointly governed and supported to the value of $25 million by NHMRC and its partners: HammondCare (NSW), Helping Hand Aged Care (SA), Brightwater Care Group (WA) and Alzheimer’s Australia.

This Partnership Centre’s Chief Investigator, Sydney University Professor Susan Kurrle of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, will lead an Investigator Team in improving the management and treatment of people with cognitive decline, building the capacity of the aged care sector, and strengthening the support systems for carers of older people with cognitive and related functional decline.

Read more



HammondCare is an independent Christian charity specialising in dementia and aged care, palliative care, rehabilitation and older persons' mental health.
Hammondcare leads or partners in a range of dementia and aged care research projects, including studies on the delivery of residential, community and respite aged care as well as research that explores the interface between aged care and palliative care.
Their research areas include:

  • Dementia and aged care
  • Older persons' mental health
  • Palliative care
  • Pain management and treatment
  • Rehabilitation and restorative care
  • Workplace development and training

HammondCare research not only focuses on improving a person's quality of life, but also seeks to assist family, carers and staff to provide the best quality of care and to feel supported in their role.
For more information please contact .

Are you interested in starting a research interest group?

The Lifespan Research Network would like to hear from members who are interested in establishing a research interest group in Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health or Healthy Ageing research.

The purpose of interest groups is to promote and enhance focused discussion between members of the Lifespan Research Network within particular fields of Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health and Healthy Ageing research. These groups are initiated and run by members of the Lifespan Research Network at the University of Sydney and its affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes.

Some central coordination for the groups will be provided by the Network, and information about group activities or new groups will be published on the Lifespan Research Network website and emailed to members.

For further information, please contact the Network Office by or on 9351 1915.