Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is constituted by the Board to provide independent advice on the relevance and impact of the Centre's research. The SAB works closely with Gravida’s Board and Executive Team to ensure that the research activities of the Centre remain focused on its core scientific objectives.

  • Professor Euan Wallace

    Professor Euan Wallace


    The Ritchie Centre, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

    Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board Professor Euan Wallace MBChB, MD, FRCOG, FRANZCOG undertook his medical and research training at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland before completing his specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Euan moved to Monash University in 1996 to establish a research group in maternal-fetal medicine. In 2006 he was appointed the Carl Wood Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in 2010 became Director of The Ritchie Centre at Monash University. Euan heads a research group addressing maternal and fetal health with a focus on preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, and neuroprotection. The group has established research programs in neuroprotection in fetal growth restriction and in utero infection, and in novel therapies for preeclampsia. He also leads the development of cell therapies in perinatal medicine. Euan is also the Director of Obstetric Services at Southern Health, Victoria’s largest health service. His clinical interests include high-risk pregnancies, including recurrent miscarriage, multiple pregnancy, hypertension and endocrine diseases in pregnancy. Euan chairs the RANZCOG Intrapartum Fetal Surveillance Education Program, an Australian national education programme for doctors and midwives, and is a member of the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM). Euan has more than 190 peer-reviewed publications and an h-index of 33.

  • Professor Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

    Professor Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

    Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

    Zulfiqar Bhutta PhD is the Noordin Noormahomed Sheriif Endowed Professor and Founding Chair of the Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. He also holds adjunct professorships at several leading universities globally including the Schools of Public Health at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), Harvard School of Public Health, Tuft University (Boston), University of Alberta, Sick Kids Toronto and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Zulfiqar was designated a Distinguished National Professor of the Government of Pakistan in 2007. He is one of the seven-member Independent Expert Review Group set by World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Secretary General in September 2011 for monitoring global progress in maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals.

    Zulfiqar was educated at the University of Peshawar (MBBS) and obtained his PhD from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (London), American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

    Zulfiqar has been associated with the Aga Khan University since 1986 and heads a large research team working on issues of maternal, newborn and child survival and nutrition globally and regionally. He has served as a member of the Global Advisory Committee for Health Research for the WHO, the Board of Child & Health and Nutrition Initiative of Global Forum for Health Research, and the steering committees of the International Zinc and Vitamin A Nutrition Consultative Groups. He is an executive committee member of the International Paediatric Association and the Board of the Global Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). Zulfiqar was a Foundation Council member of the Global Forum for Health Research, a council member for the International Society for Infectious diseases and serves on the governing council for the World Alliance for Patient Safety Research and is currently a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Committee for Vaccines (SAGE), the Expert Advisory Group for Vaccine Research, the Advisory Committee for Health Research of WHO EMRO, and its apex Regional Consultative Committee. He is the past-President of the Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN) and the Federation of Asia-Oceania Perinatal Societies (FAOPS) and a leading voice for integrated maternal, newborn and child health globally.

    Professor Bhutta is on several international editorial advisory boards including the Lancet, BMJ, PLoS Medicine, PLoS ONE, BMC Public Health and the Cochrane ARI group.

  • Professor John Challis

    Professor John Challis

    University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    John Challis PhD DSc is University Emeritus Professor in Physiology, Ob-Gyn and Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Adjunct Professor at SFU, UBC and the University of Western Australia. He is the Principal of LHC: Life Health Consulting. Previously he served as President and CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; Vice-President Research and Associate Provost of the University of Toronto; founding Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Human Development Child and Youth Health; Chair of the Department of Physiology, University of Toronto; founding Scientific Director and Vice-President of Research of the Lawson Research Institute, St Joseph's Health Centre, University of Western Ontario.

    John is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the Institute of Biology and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ad eundem). He has served as President of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, the Perinatal Research Society, and the Canadian Physiological Society, amongst others. He has published more than 500 articles and papers, 400 of these in the peer review literature, has an H-index of 60, trained more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and held more than $25M in peer review funding. He is currently working with Universities and affiliated institutions in Vancouver to develop a joint graduate programme in translational public health sciences.

  • Professor Patrick Cunningham

    Professor Patrick Cunningham

    Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

    Patrick Cunningham is Professor of Animal Genetics at Trinity College, Dublin. Originally from Waterford, he graduated from University College Dublin in 1956 with first-class honours in Agricultural Science and in 1957 a Masters Degree in Animal Nutrition. In 1962 Patrick gained a PhD in Animal Genetics from Cornell University.

    In 1962, Patrick began a research career with An Foras Talúntais (now Teagasc), becoming Department Head in 1970 and Deputy Director (Research) in 1980. His work in An Foras Talúntais focused mainly on genetic improvement in the Irish cattle population and he pioneered methods of genetic evaluation, introduction and assessment of new breeds and strains, and the economic evaluation of breeding options and strategies. In 1964, Patrick began to contribute to the newly-established Department of Genetics in Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1974, he was appointed Professor of Animal Genetics.

    In 1988 Patrick moved to the World Bank as visiting professor at the Economic Development Institute. In 1989 he initiated a new programme of research in Trinity College, Dublin, the use of newly developed methods of reading DNA which they used to measure genetic diversity and plan livestock improvement in developing countries. He and his colleagues have since expanded this work into other species including horses, salmon and humans, placing Irish research at the forefront of international work in this area.

    Between 1990 to 1993 Patrick was the Director of Animal Production and Health at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Rome.

    Following the BSE crisis in 1996, Patrick and his colleagues developed a system of DNA traceability for the meat industry, which has been used successfully in Europe for some years. They went on to establish a biotechnology company IdentiGEN, which deploys these technologies in Europe and the USA. Patrick is the Chairman of IdentiGEN.

    Patrick held the post of Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government between January 2007 and September 2012.

    He has published over 100 papers in refereed journals, and has twice featured on the cover of Nature.

  • Professor Mark A. Hanson

    Professor Mark A. Hanson

    University of Southampton, Southampton, England

    Professor Mark Hanson was educated at St Johns College, Oxford, graduating with an MA followed by a D.Phil in Physiology. He has held numerous posts, most recently Professor of Fetal and Neonatal Physiology at University College London, before moving to the University of Southampton in 2000 to direct the Division of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and to establish the Institute of Developmental Sciences, which he also directs. In 2002 he was made a British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Science. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    Mark has served on many committees, including grant awarding panels of the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and Wellbeing, and the editorial boards of several journals. He served on the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists Academic Committee, was a Member of the Visiting Group for the Rowett Institute, and was on the Reviewing Panel for Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for "Healthy Pregnancy for Great Life Beginnings".

    Mark was a founder member of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and is currently President of that Society.

    Mark has edited many books. His first was The Fetal and Neonatal Brain Stem (CUP) in 1991, followed by the 4-volume series The Fetus and Neonate - Physiology and Clinical Applications. Mark co-edited the volume The Newborn Brain (CUP), which is now in its second edition. With Peter Gluckman he co-edited the volume Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (CUP), and together they have written two popular science books — The Fetal Matrix (CUP) and Mismatch – the lifestyle diseases timebomb (OUP). Mark has also written over 300 papers and reviews, and has featured in a range of newspaper and magazine articles, and on national TV and radio. He frequently speaks on issues relating to human development in a popular science setting.

  • Professor Rebecca Simmons

    Professor Rebecca Simmons

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

    Rebecca Simmons is a Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She obtained her MD at the University of Arizona and completed her residency in Pediatrics at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. After a fellowship in neonatology at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at University of California San Francisco, she served on the faculty of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

    Rebecca is currently on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and an attending Neonatologist at Children's Hospital Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the causal mechanistic links between the intrauterine milieu and type II diabetes and obesity in the adult with a focus on epigenetics and mitochondria function. The Simmons’ laboratory has been continuously funded for the past 20 years by the NIH. In addition, she has received funding from the American Diabetes Association and the American Lung Association. Rebecca has served on the editorial board of Pediatric Research and The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and is a reviewer for several publications including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biologic Chemistry and Diabetes amongst others. She has also served as a member of the NIH study section HED1 from 2003–2006, and she has chaired a special interest panel for the NICHD. She was also a standing member of the American Diabetes Association study section, and currently serves on the scientific advisory board of OBELIX Project funded by the European Union. She has served as an ad hoc reviewer for multiple granting agencies including the Wellcome Trust, the MRC, Foundation for Research Science and Technology, and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. Rebecca is a member of and has held office in several professional and honorary societies including the Academic Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Perinatal Research Society, the Endocrine Society, the American Diabetes Association, the Society for Fetal Physiology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Professor Matthew Gillman

    Professor Matthew Gillman

    Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    Matthew Gillman is a Professor and Director of the Obesity Prevention Program in the Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School. His research interests include early-life prevention of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma; individual and policy-level interventions to prevent obesity and its consequences; and childhood cardiovascular risk factors. He directs Project Viva, an NIH-funded cohort study of pregnant women and their offspring, focusing on effects of gestational diet and other factors on outcomes of pregnancy and childhood. Professor Gillman also leads or participates in several other federally-funded studies of diet, activity, obesity, and cardiovascular risk in children and adults. He has served in leadership roles in the U.S. National Children's Study, the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Professor Gillman's current clinical work is in preventive cardiology among children.