Skip to content

Please contact us for any general inquiries, or if you would like to take part in The ORIGINS Project.

Phone: (08) 9408 3118
Fax: (08) 9489 7700

Promoting gut health (symbiosis) with prebiotic fibre for prevention of allergic disease

The SYMBA Study

Allergic diseases, including eczema, asthma, hay fever and food allergies, now affect 30-40% of the Australian population.

One in every four children will suffer from eczema and asthma, while one in every ten children will have at least one food allergy.

We now know that a baby's immune system begins to develop even before birth, and that the mother's diet and her environment in pregnancy can have an important influence. Research shows that the mother's gut health may have important effects on the immune development of her baby. 

'Prebiotics' is a general term for non-digestible dietary fibre that promote health and well-being by inducing the growth and/or activity of beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics occur naturally in grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit and breast milk. The supplement and dose to be used in this study has the demonstrated prebiotic properties of a high fibre diet, including favourable effects on gut bacteria and immune health. 

This project will recruit pregnant women (during their routine antenatal visits to Joondalup Health Campus) to receive either a prebiotic supplement or a placebo supplement. They will be asked to take the supplement from 18-20 weeks gestation until their baby is 6 months of age. The study will then examine whether supplementing the mother's diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding with the prebiotic fibre will reduce the development of allergies in her child.

For further information about the SYMBA study, please contact

Pregnancy Lifestyle Activity and Nutrition Project Information

The PLAN Project

We know that we are facing an obesity epidemic that is costing Australians $58 billion per annum.

Rates are continuing to rise with obesity projected to affect 75% of the Australian population by 2030. This unsustainable burden of disease will only increase unless the cycle of obesity is broken.

Evidence shows that maternal excess weight gain during early pregnancy (i.e. first trimester) has been identified as a critical window of opportunity for short term interventions to break the "transmission" of obesity from one generation to the next. Recruitment for the PLAN Project will take place at 6-8 weeks gestation and follow a 12 week lifestyle intervention program in conjunction with routine antenatal care for private and public patients.

The aim of the PLAN project is to test whether a lifestyle intervention in early pregnancy reduces offspring adiposity.

Taking advantage of the growing advancements in medical technology, this project will use smartphone web based applications to deliver diet, physical activity and wellbeing advice to women who begin their pregnancy overweight (pre-pregnancy BMI > 25). Participants will have access to a live graph to maintain their weight gain according to Institute of Medicine guidelines. We hope to optimise gestational weight gain and provide a platform for a healthy pregnancy for women.

The PLAN project will examine epigenetic biomarkers (differential DNA methylation), determining if these are modified by optimisation of gestational weight gain or associated maternal lifestyle changes. Even small changes in infant adiposity have the potential to change future obesity trajectory, leading to a lifetime of cost savings.

For further information please contact:


The TALK Study

The development of language is incredibly complex, and is important for a wide range of positive outcomes later in life, such as academic achievement, social ability and relationships.

There is evidence that the left side of the brain is very important for language development, but at the moment we do not know how the left side of the brain becomes specialised for language. One interesting theory is that exposure to testosterone in the womb may have an influence.

The aim of the TALK study is to understand how testosterone exposure in the womb may be related to brain growth before birth, and language development after birth.

The TALK study will involve 500 women from 18 weeks pregnancy until birth, and then their child until three years of age. The information we collect during this study will help us to better understand how children acquire the remarkable skill of language, and how we can best support children who have difficulties learning language.

For further information about the TALK study, please contact:


CARE-Dads Study

The CARE-Dads Study is aimed 


at providing expectant Dads with a health check-up. 

Dads play an important role within the family as their involvement in child-rearing enhances the health of their children. Studies have shown that a father’s involvement in his child’s life can be associated with positive child outcomes.

A healthy dad is an important part of a nurturing early e

nvironment, ORIGINS will provide a range of studies to explore ways to improve the health of dads-to be – the CARE-Dads Study is the first step.

The aim of the CARE-Dads study is to evaluate the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in expectant fathers.

The CARE-Dads study will involve 1,000 expectant fathers. Participation involves two time points, once during pregnancy and then at or around the ORIGINS clinic visit when their child is one year of age. 

For further information about the CARE-Dads study, please contact: