Claire Roberts, PhD, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Professor Claire Roberts leads the Pregnancy and Birth Theme and the Placental Development Research Group at the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide in Australia. She engages in both basic and applied research that uses a “bench to bedside” approach. She is well known for her basic research that focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate trophoblast invasion of the decidua and placental function. In the past 5-10 years she has assembled human pregnancy cohorts, used mouse and guinea pig models and in vitro methodologies with a recent move into epigenetics and transcriptomics. Claire has applied her basic research discoveries to the challenges of obstetric medicine demonstrated by her leadership of the genomics program for the international SCOPE (Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints) consortium in which she has identified clinical and genetic risk factors for common and life threatening pregnancy complications. These have recently been developed into an early screening tool to predict a woman’s risks for preeclampsia, preterm birth, IUGR and gestational diabetes that will permit interventions to prevent or ameliorate the diseases. Claire is the immediate past Treasurer of the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA) and is the President of the Australian and New Zealand Placenta Research Associations (ANZPRA).