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Barwon Health / Research

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Child Health Research Unit at Barwon Health (CHeRUB)

It is well recognised that most non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, allergy, asthma, autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression have their origins in pregnancy and early childhood; a period described as ‘the crucial first 1,000 days of life’.

At the Child Health Research Unit at Barwon Health (CHeRUB) we study the origins of disease in the first 1,000 days and design strategies to provide our children with a healthy start. Our research brings together community effort and some of our best research minds; combining people-power with cutting-edge science. CHeRUB is leading paediatric research in Australia, if not the world.

Research Areas

Collaborating Organisations

Deakin University University of Auckland

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute 

The University of Melbourne  The University of Sydney

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Technical University of Denmark Mater Research Institute Griffith University Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
University of California

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics  Beijing Genomics Institute The University of Queensland

Children’s Inpatient research collaboration of Australia and New Zealand

University of Copenhagen Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Australian National Phenomes Centre  


Research Team

Research Staff

Research Students

  • Yuan Gao, PhD
  • Viet Nguyen, PhD
  • Chloe Love, PhD

Research News

Research Grants

  • NHMRC - Prevention of wheeze-associated hospitalisation in preschoolers with the immunomodulator OM85: a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: 2021-2025
  • NHMRC - Maternal carriage of Prevotella during pregnancy influences offspring innate immune responses and asthma at age 7: 2018-2021
  • NHMRC - Investigating early life exposure to plastic products in Australia and subsequent neurodevelopmental effects: 2018-2020
  • NHMRC - Identifying Novel Lipid and Genetic Signatures of Metabolic Disease in Early Childhood: 2017-2020
  • NHMRC - A longitudinal population-based study of the development of Cardiovascular risk in early childhood: 2019-2024
  • Western Alliance – Pregnancy Research Translation Ecosystem: 2021-2022
  • NHMRC - Prevention of wheeze-associated hospitalisation in preschoolers with the immunomodulator OM85: a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: 2021-2025

Featured Publications

Maternal carriage of prevotella during pregnancy associates with protection against food allergy in the offspring. Vuillermin PJ, O’Hely M, Collier F, Allen KJ, Tang MLK, Harrison LC, Carlin JB, Saffery R, Ranganathan S, Sly PD, et al. Nature Communications. 2020;11: 1452.

Cited By

Vitamin D insufficiency in the first 6 months of infancy and challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy at 1 year of age: A case-cohort study. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Molloy J, Koplin JJ, Allen KJ, Tang MLK, Collier F, Carlin JB, Saffery R, Burgner D, Ranganathan S, Dwyer T, et al. Allergy. 2017;72: 1222-1231. 

Cited By   Citation in Context

Cord blood monocyte–derived inflammatory cytokines suppress IL-2 and induce nonclassic “T H 2-type” immunity associated with development of food allergy. [NOTE – Abstract only. Barwon Health staff can request full text from Library). Zhang Y, Collier F, Naselli G, Saffery R, Tang ML, Allen KJ, Ponsonby A, Harrison LC, Vuillermin P. Science Translational Medicine. 2016;8: 321.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Perinatal microbial exposure may influence aortic intima-media thickness in early infancy. McCloskey K, Vuillermin P, Carlin JB, Cheung M, Skilton MR, Tang ML, Allen K, Gilbert GL, Ranganathan S, Collier F, et al. Int J Epidemiol. 2016;46: 209-218.

Cited By   Citation in Context

The association between higher maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index and increased birth weight, adiposity and inflammation in the newborn. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. McCloskey K, Ponsonby A, Collier F, Allen K, Tang MLK, Carlin JB, Saffery R, Skilton MR, Cheung M, Ranganathan S, et al. Pediatric Obesity. 2016;13: 46-53.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Cohort profile: The Barwon Infant Study. Vuillermin P, Saffery R, Allen KJ, Carlin JB, Tang ML, Ranganathan S, Burgner D, Dwyer T, Collier F, Jachno K, et al. Int J Epidemiol. 2015;44: 1148-1160.

Cited By   Citation in Context


Support Our Research

Participate in a Clinical Trial

To find out about clinical trials currently underway at Barwon Health, click here.


Clinical trials require ongoing investment and there are several ways to support this amazing work.

You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support with deliver an immediate impact.

To donate now or for more information and further discuss your support, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.

Wish List

  1. $15,000 would fund of the Vivid –IQ a portable ultrasound machine to use on the BIS bus to assess cardiac function.
  2. $36,000 would fund the spirometry equipment and consumables to complete the lung function assessment in the primary school review.
  3. Funding for PhD student and early-career researchers is urgently required. The productivity of the BIS team is dependent on recruiting the highest quality research students and early-career researchers. Young researchers form the ‘engine room’ of any large-scale project, and represent a highly cost-effective investment not only in BIS, but in Australian research more broadly. Funding a PhD student and early career researcher for three years costs approximately $500,000. Given the quality of the data and biological samples assembled in BIS, with this level of investment the team will be able recruit and develop the best emerging research talent in the country.

All Publications

Last Modified: Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Research Lead


Professor Peter Vuillermin MBBS BMedSci FRACP PhD

NHMRC Career Development Fellow
Chair in Medicine | Director of Research
Deakin University | Barwon Health
Level 2, Health Education & Research Building (HERB), Barwon Health
Rear, Kitchener House, 299 Ryrie St, Geelong 3220


Related Links

Barwon Infant Study