Professor Susan Prescottis Co-Director of The ORIGINS Project 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. She is a Professor of Paediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia and a Paediatrician and an Immunologist at the Perth Children’s Hospital.
Professor Prescott is also founding Director of inViVO Planetary Health, a global initiative of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). This interdisciplinary network is focused on the links between personal and planetary health through social and ecological justice.
Professor 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. Her interests and expertise are focused around early life risk factors for inflammation as an antecedent (and preventive target) for a broad range of noncommunicable diseases (NCD), with a particular interest in early onset NCDs such as allergy, obesity and mental health.
In addition to over 300 scientific publications, she is author of several books for an international public audience: The Allergy Epidemic – a Mystery of Modern Life, The Calling, and Origins - Early Life Solutions to the Modern Health Crisis, and most recently The Secret Life of Your Microbiome: Why Nature and Biodiversity are Essential to Health and Happiness – 2018 Gold Medal winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards (health), and 2017 Finalist in the Foreword Reviews Indies Book awards. She has received numerous prizes, awards and fellowships including a Winston Churchill Fellowship. Over the course of her career Susan has raised over $52 million in research funding as Chief Investigator.
Professor Desiree Silva
Professor Desiree Silva is also Co-Director of The ORIGINS Project and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Western Australia. She is the current Head of Paediatrics at Joondalup Health Campus and also provides a rural paediatric service.
She has a strong interest in neurodevelopmental disorders with over 25 years experience in managing children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, anxiety and developmental disorders.
Professor Silva 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 worked with the WA Health Department on a Needs Analysis which has enabled her to be part of translational research with the Paediatric Implementation Plan which provides state-wide service level recommendations, strategies and actions 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. Her PhD on risk factors and outcomes for ADHD enabled her to recognise the limited up to date information available for parents and teachers and published the ADHD Go-To Guide for teachers and parents through UWA Publishing that is currently one of their top selling books. She has been a strong advocate in understanding early brain development, nature-relatedness and improving the lives of children and parents who have mental health conditions.
Professor Silva is on the board of Nature Play WA and St Marys Anglican Girls' School. She is a strong advocate of having a healthy lifestyle, good work life balance and a sense of adventure.
Jackie Davis is the Senior Program Manager for The ORIGINS Project, a longitudinal interventional birth cohort. Jackie manages the strategic and operational functions of ORIGINS, across multiple sites. She is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Western Australia’s School of Medicine, investigating engagement in online mental health wellbeing programs in pregnancy.
As a Curtin University Research Fellow, Jackie has undertaken evaluations of federal government funded services including suicide prevention, homelessness and Aboriginal health services. These evaluations have guided policy and practice changes in Australia.
Dr Lisa Gibson is Stakeholder Management Lead for ORIGINS and leads two sub-projects, Nature Play & Grow and Community Wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lisa is a research fellow at Telethon Kids Institute and an adjunct research fellow at The University of Western Australia. She has a Master of Developmental Psychology and PhD from The University of Western Australia.
Since joining Telethon Kids Institute in 2005, Lisa has led Healthway-funded projects, developing and testing community-based interventions for children with obesity and their families, and was awarded a Healthway research fellowship aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among overweight and obese mothers in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Dr Nina D'Vaz
BAppSc (Hons), PhD
Nina holds an Honours degree in Biological Science from the University of Copenhagen and has completed PhD in Clinical Immunology through University of Western Australia. She has worked in health-related commercial and research laboratories for over 20 years and her experience includes recombinant protein generation, murine tissue culture and generation of genetically modified mice, human clinical intervention trials and immune characterisation of infants at high risk of allergic disease.
Nina manages The ORIGINS Project Biobank, which at present comprises 270,000 biological samples from around 6,300 families currently enrolled in The ORIGINS Project.
Emma Fuller has been with Telethon Kids Institute since 2019, initially working with the WA Child Development Atlas and currently as the Data Manager of The ORIGINS Project, since February 2021. Emma has over 15 years extensive experience in data linkage, with many roles at the WA Data Linkage Unit, the National Centre for Data Linkage and the Population Health Research Network. Emma was awarded a Fay Gale Fellowship to travel and work with international data linkage centres in Canada and the UK, which led to her being one of the founders and inaugural Director of the International Population Data Linkage Network.
Emma is passionate about the use of health and education data for public good and the power of data to drive decision making and change policy.