The Research Team

Professor Natasha Nassar, Financial Markets Foundation for Children Chair in Translational Childhood Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney

Natasha leads the Child Population and Translational Health Research team and has over 15 years’ experience working in perinatal and paediatric epidemiology, public health and health services research. She has strong content and methodological expertise and is a recognised leader in analyzing and leading research using linked population “BIG” data. This has involved the use of and linkage of administrative birth, congenital anomaly, hospital discharge and deaths data; as well as the linkage and analysis of novel pathology, newborn screening, early development and NAPLAN education data. Her primary goal is to answer leading clinical and policy questions to improve child health, development and well-being.

Dr Samantha Lain, NHMRC Early Career Fellow

Sam is a perinatal epidemiologist and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow with qualifications in Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Economics. Sam’s research interests include using linked population-based datasets to examine infant health service utilisation, childhood education and developmental outcomes, and economic analyses. Her specific research interests are evaluating long-term outcomes of children diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism via newborn screening and children diagnosed with congenital heart defects.

Dr Francisco Schneuer, Research Fellow

Francisco is a perinatal epidemiologist with qualifications in Veterinary Sciences, Business administration and Epidemiology. Francisco’s research has focused on using large linked population-based datasets to investigate the association and accuracy of early pregnancy biomarkers predicting adverse pregnancy outcomes; health and developmental outcomes of children with congenital anomalies and those undergoing surgery.

Dr Jane Bell, Research Fellow

Jane has worked in perinatal and paediatric epidemiological research since 2002. She has qualifications in Dentistry, Education, Public Health and Epidemiology and extensive experience in policy, research support and academic units. Jane’s research interests include quality and safety of medicines use in children and health and developmental outcomes of children with congenital anomalies.

Dr Antonia Shand, Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist/Obstetrician

Antonia is a Head, Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, and Visiting Medical Officer at Royal North Shore Hospital. She is also a Research Fellow with the PopHealthKids team and member of the NSW High Risk Pregnancy Perinatal Advice Line. Antonia is involved in policy development to improve coordination of care for pregnant women and her areas of expertise and interest include: medical problems in pregnancy, fetal anomalies, perinatal loss, infections in pregnancy, and guideline development.

Mr Timothy Nielsen, Research Officer

Tim is a perinatal epidemiologist who recently completed an applied epidemiology fellowship in maternal and child health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Tim has a background in perinatal risk surveillance and mental health/substance use during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Since recently joining the group, he is interested in using population-level data to examine and improve outcomes for children diagnosed with chronic conditions, particularly Type-1 diabetes.     

Ms Diana Bond, Doctoral Candidate

With a background in nursing and childbirth education, Diana’s primary focus is on improving outcomes for pregnancy and childbirth through clinical trials. She is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney and has just completed a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of probiotics for the prevention of mastitis in breastfeeding women.

Ms Andrea Pattinson, Research Officer, Doctoral Candidate

Andrea is a dietitian with an interest in obesity and eating disorders. She has spent many years working in clinical research both in Australia and in the USA. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health.