Through the study of early environments, maternal and paternal physical health and genetics, The ORIGINS Project aims to build a research platform to enable world class investigations into when and why NCDs develop
Professor Susan Prescottheads the ORIGINS Project at Telethon Kids Institute, and is a leading international authority on environmental influences on early immune development and intervention studies for allergy prevention. Her research team is recognised as one of the foremost groups in the world in this field.
Prescott's landmark studies on early immune development (Lancet 1999) led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of the pathogenesis of allergic disease, and the importance of the early environment. Professor Prescott has a major influence in this field, regularly invited to give plenary and keynote addresses at the top international meetings in her field. With more than 15 years' experience running clinical trials, and generating over 200 highly cited publications, she brings considerable expertise to the ORIGINS Project.
She has paediatric immunology practices at both the Perth Children's Hospital and the Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Professor Desiree Silva is the Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Western Australia and Joondalup Health Campus. She is the current Head of the Paediatrics Department at Joondalup Health Campus and also provides a rural Paediatric service.
Desiree has been involved in a number of strategic reviews including the impact of swimming pools in Aboriginal communities and paediatric planning for Western Australia. She recently completed her PhD and published a number of articles on the early environmental risk factors and education and justice outcomes for children diagnosed with ADHD in Western Australia. She has been a strong advocate for understanding early brain development and improving the lives of children and parents who have mental health conditions.
She is on the board of Nature Play WA and St Marys Anglican Girls School. Desiree is a strong advocate of having a healthy life style, good work life balance and a sense of adventure.
Meet the Team
Dr Lyn Colvin has been The ORIGINS Program Manager since its inception in January 2014. She has a BCom, MPH, PhD and CHIA and previously worked in IT before joining the Telethon Kids Institute in 1998. She completed her PhD in data linkage based upon the WA and national health datasets. As a health Informatician, she is able to direct the data management and technology requirements of this large Project.
Dr Lisa Gibson is the Project's Community Stakeholder Coordinator. Over the past 10 years at the Telethon Kids Institute, she has been involved in establishing and nurturing community reference groups for projects in the area of maternal and child obesity. Dr Gibson has already recruited parents who will form the ORIGINS Community Reference Group. Dr Gibson has formed collaborations with community groups and local GP practices in the Wanneroo and Joondalup area and these will play a vital role in providing a community link for the ORIGINS Project.
Sarah Miller is the Biobank Manager for the ORIGINS Project. She completed her BSc in Human Sciences in 2010 and for the past six years she has worked on clinical trials with a focus on preventing allergic disease through early nutritional interventions. She is responsible for the implementation of successful recruitment, sample collection and storage strategies and is the Study Coordinator of SYMBA, the first clinical trial within ORIGINS.
Dr Ravisha Srinivas Jois is a neonatal paediatrician and the lead clinician in the Division of Neonatology at the Joondalup Health Campus. Ravish has a keen interest in neonatal nutrition and neurodevelopment of high risk infants.
Dr Matt Thyer is an Obstetrician at Joondalup Health Campus.
Dr Debbie Palmer is the Manager of the first clinical trial within ORIGINS: SYMBA. She is a qualified dietitian with expertise in nutrition, allergic disease and clinical trials during pregnancy, lactation and infancy. Dr Palmer is the head of Childhood Allergy and Immunology Research at the University of Western Australia. She is one of a few dietitians worldwide undertaking research in the area of nutritional strategies for the prevention of allergic disease.
Lynda Miller trained in 1999 and obtained her Bachelor of Midwifery in Edinburgh, Scotland where she worked primarily in a midwifery-led unit at St John's Hospital, Livingston, Scotland. Following her move to Perth WA in 2008, Lynda is now the Clinical Lead Coordinator of the Antenatal Clinic at Joondalup Hospital. In 2015, Lynda became a member of The ORIGINS Project research team and to assist with implementin this into routine midwifery care.
Dr Erika Hagemann is the ORIGINS Project's Compliance, Ethics and Governance Officer and is also involved in the research training and education of graduate students and staff as the Project's Training Coordinator. Erika has a BSc and PhD and has been involved in project management, student and staff coordination and support on other large research projects at the Telethon Kids Institute since 2002. As a speech pathologist, Erika also has a keen interest and expertise in the environmental and genetic factors influencing the development of language, learning and behaviour.
Ruth Last is a research assistant with the ORIGINS Project. In 1979 she trained and worked as a Nurse in London. Over the next 10 years Ruth lived in various countries in Europe and Asia, raising her three boys. Since moving to Australia, she has worked as an Office Manager, Literacy Tutor, Bookkeeper and Phlebotomist, before becoming part of the ORIGINS team.
Danella Ashwin is a research assistant with the ORIGINS Project. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Physiology and went on to complete her qualifications as a registered nurse. She is currently a medical student and has a keen interest in preventative health. Danella is responsible for sample collection at birth for all babies born in the ORIGINS Project.
Louise Ham is a data manager with the ORIGINS project. She has over 15 year’s experience as a clinical data manager, during which time she has worked for a number of pharmaceutical company’s and Contract Research Organisations on a wide range of clinical trials. Louise became a member of the ORIGINS team at the start of 2017.