Sydney Medical School’s lifespan focus brings together clinicians and researchers working from one extreme of life to the other. We have specialists from antenatal medicine, neonatology, paediatrics and adolescent medicine through to geriatrics.

Each stage of life presents opportunities for interventions that save lives, establish healthy behaviours, and ensure age-appropriate management of chronic illness. Our multidisciplinary approach leads to research that improves outcomes at some of the most vulnerable stages of life.

Current highlights include: the study of maternal-to-child transmission of viruses, biological changes during puberty and their effect on adolescent behaviour, and stroke management in the frail and elderly.

Research highlights

  • An NHMRC grant worth $2.5 million was awarded to Professor Kate Conigrave to lead a Centre for Research Excellence in Indigenous Health to build Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research capacity and progress solutions to alcohol-related health problems.
  • A global collaboration involving Sydney Medical School researchers established that low-dose aspirin reduced the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy for at-risk mothers.
  • A major randomised trial involving University of Sydney researchers established the benefits of blood pressure lowering for the prevention of recurrent stroke, irrespective of the presence or absence of hypertension.
  • The first systematic international review of childhood vaccinations led by researchers from the University of Sydney found no evidence of a link to the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders.
  • Professor Elizabeth Elliott’s research into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) has included studies on the incidence of FASD; knowledge and attitudes of health professionals and women regarding alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD; services and treatments; birth defects associated with alcohol exposure in utero; and evaluation of educational materials for health professionals and communities.

Lifespan Research Network

Lifespan Research Network

The Lifespan Research Network seeks to facilitate collaborative, cross-faculty and multidisciplinary lifespan research. It promotes a whole-of-life approach to health research and advocates for investment in projects that address knowledge gaps in under-researched life stages and disadvantaged populations.

To join the University of Sydney Lifespan Research Network, please visit their page.

Meet our academics

Professor Richard Lindley

Professor Richard Lindley

Professor Lindley’s research focuses on new treatments for older people, especially stroke medicine. He has been an investigator in many clinical trials that have changed clinical practice, such as immediate aspirin for people with acute ischaemic stroke (International Stroke Trial), statins for older people (Heart Protection Study), and clot-busting treatment for acute stroke (IST-3).

Professor Lindley’s recent work includes a wide variety of projects, from vaccination trials for frail, older people to studies of influenza control in nursing homes, physiotherapy techniques after stroke, and affordable stroke rehabilitation programs in India and China.

Professor Kate Steinbeck

Professor Katharine Steinbeck

Professor Steinbeck’s research examines adolescent health trajectories and chronic illness. She leads a research team to address gaps in evidence in the field, and is working to integrate research and teaching to promote youth health issues and educate and support doctors who treat young people. Current research interests include puberty hormones and their effects on health and wellbeing in adolescence, obesity in adolescents and young adults, the transition from paediatric to adult care, and the management of complex chronic illness.