Dr Michael Stark

Associate Professor
Dr Michael Stark
  Org Unit Paediatrics and Reproductive Health
  Email michael.stark@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 1325
  Location Floor/Room 1 ,  WCH - Neuropad ,   Womens & Childrens Hospital

PhD (University of Newcastle)

Post-graduate Certificate Medical Education (University of Exeter/Plymouth University - Peninsula Medical School)

BSc (Hons) - Physiology (Edinburgh University, UK)

MBChB (Edinburgh University, UK)





  • Channel 7 - 2010-2012, 2013-2014, 2014-2016, 2015-16
  • DART Project Grant 2014
  • Robinson Institute Research Grant 2013
  • Australian and New Zealand Blood Transfusion Society 2011
  • Australian Red Cross Research and Development Project Grant 2012-2013
  • Women's and Children's Research Foundation 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Seed Funding 2010
  • Robinson Institute New Investigator Grant 2010
  • NHMRC Health Professional Training Fellowship 2009-2012

Awards and Achievements

  • Theme Co-Leader Early Origins of Health The Robinson Institute
  • NMHRC Reproduction and Paediatrics Grant Review Panel member
  • Member Robinson Institute Management Committee
  • Member PSANZ National Executive and Chair of PSANZ SA State Branch 2013-
  • Healthy Development Adelaide Travel Award 2012
  • Robinson Institute Travel Award 2012
  • University of Adelaide Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynecology Early Career Research Award 2011
  • University of Adelaide Faculty of Health Sciences International Travel Award 2011
  • TY Loke New Investigator Award - International Federation of Placental Associations 2009
  • Robinson Institute (University of Adelaide) Early Career Researcher Award - April 2009
  • University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Excellence Award (for Doctoral Thesis conferred 2008) - Awarded July 2009
  • 2008 British Association of Perinatal Medicine / Neonatal Society Award- Perinatal 2008 Harrogate
  • 2007 New Investigator Award - Prenatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • 2007 Presidents New Investigator Award - Society of Gynecologic Investigation
  • 2007 Endocrine Society of Australia/ISPEN International Travel Award Recipient
  • Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Cardiovascular Research Scholarship 2005-2008
  • University of Newcastle/ School of Medical Practice and Population Health External International Student Scholarship 2004-2007
  • Paediatric Research Society 2004 International Travel Scholarship

PhD Opportunities 

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student who is interested in discovering how prenatal factors influence the development of the immune system.

For further information please download the attachment at the bottom of this page or contact myself or Dr Nicolette Hodyl.

As a Research Group Leader of the Neonatal Medicine Group of the Robinson Institute and as through on-going collaboration with the Pregnancy and Development Research Group within the Robinson Institute, Dr Stark's research is centred on how patho-physiologic pregnancy impacts upon placental function and fetal growth and development, with a particular interest in the physiological mechanisms contributing to the excess of male morbidity and mortality observed at the extremes of prematurity.

The current focus of this research is the placental response to inflammation, its contribution to the development of oxygen radical diseases of the newborn, including chronic lung disease and acquired neonatal brain injury, and the potential for new, novel sex specific interventions aimed at modifying these pathological processes.

Clinical studies include the development of improved predictive tools for early acquired brain injury in very preterm infants and developement of novel transfusion strategies, in conjunction with the Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, to minimise the risk of transfusion related immunomodulation during the neonatal period.

Collins CT, Gibson RA, Makrides M, McPhee AJ, Sullivan TR, Davis PG, Thio M, Simmer K, Rajadurai VS, & The N3RO Investigative team (2016). N3RO trial: a randomised controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid to reduce bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants <29 weeks' gestation. BMC Pediatr 2016 Jun 1;16(1):72

Duffy KMN, van't Hooft J, Gale C, Brown M, Grobman W, Fitzpatrick R, Ananth Karumanchi S, Lucas N, Magee L, Mol B, Stark M, Thangaratinam S, Wilson M, von Dadelszen P, Khan KS, Ziebland S, McManus RJ, On behalf of the international collaboration to harmonise outcomes for pre-eclampsia. A protocol for developing, disseminating and implementing a core outcome set for pre-eclampsia. Pregnancy Hypertension: An international Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health (2016). doi.org/10.1016/j.preghy.2016.04.008

Grzeskowiak LE, Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Morrison JL, Clifton VL (2015) Association of early and late maternal smoking during pregnancy with offspring body mass index at 4 to 5 years of age. J Devel Origins Health Dis (October 2015) doi:http://dx.do.org/10.1017/s2040174415007151.

Stark MJ, Hodyl NA, Belegar V KK, Andersen CA. (2015) Intrauterine inflammation, cerebral oxygen consumption and susceptability to early brain injury in very preterm newborns. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed Epub (August 2015). doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306945.

Andersen CC, Keir AK, Kirpalani HM, Stark MJ. (2015) Anaemia in the premature infant and red blood cell transfusion: New approaches to an age-old problem. Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics Epub (June 19th)

Stark MJ, Hodyl NA, Andersen CC. (2015) Effects of magnesium sulphate treatment for neonatal neuro-protection on cerebral oxygen kinetics. Pediatr Res (Epub) doi:10.1038/pr.2015.96.

Saif Z, Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Fuller PJ, Cole T, Clifton VL. (2015) Expression of eight glucocorticoid receptor isoforms in the human preterm placenta vary with fetal sex and birth weight. Placenta Epub (May 8th) DOI:10.1016/j.placenta.2015.05.001

Collins CT, Sulliven TR, McPhee AJ, Stark MJ, Makrides M, Gibson RA. (2015) A dose response randomised controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in preterm infants. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids Epub (April 14th) DOI:10.1016/j.plefa.2015.04.003

Keir AK, Wilkinson D, Andersen CC, Stark MJ. (2015) Washed versus unwashed red blood cells for transfusion for the prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1, ARt. No.:CD011484.

Andersen CC, Karayil SM, Hodyl NA, Stark MJ. (2015) Early red cell transfusion favourably alters cerebral fractional oxygen extraction in very preterm newborns. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed Epub (April 15th).

Bain E, Pierides KL, Clifton VL, Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Crowther CA, Middleton P. (2014) Interventions for managing asthma in pregnancy. Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews Issue 7, Art No.:CD010660.

Hodyl NA, Grzeskowiak LG, Stark MJ, Scheil W, Clifton VL (2014) The impact of Aboriginal status, active cigerette smoking and smoking cessation during pregnancy on perinatal outcomes in an Australian cohort. Medical Journal of Australia Sept;201(5):274-8.

Balegar KK, Stark MJ, Briggs N, Andersen CC (2014) Early cerebral oxygen extraction and the risk of death or sonographic brain injury in very preterm infants. J Pediatrics Mar;164(3):475-80.

Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Scheil W, Grzeskowiak LE, Clifton VL (2013) Perinatal outcomes following maternal asthma and cigarette smoking during pregnancy. Eur Respir J Mar;43(3):704-16.

Bain E, Pierides KL, Middleton P, Crowther CA, Clifton VL, Stark MJ, Hodyl NA (2013) Interventions for managing asthma in pregnancy. The Cochrane Database 2013.

Stark MJ, Clifton VL, Hodyl NA (2013) Differential effects of docosahexanioc acid on preterm and term placental pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance. Reproduction Jul 31;146(3):243-51

Stark MJ, Keir AK, Ansersen CC (2013) Does non-transferrin bound iron contribute to transfusion related immunomodulation in preterms? Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed Sep;98(5):F424-9.

Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Butler M, Clifton VL (2013) Placental P-glycoprotein is unaffected by timing of antenatal glucocorticoid therapy but reduced in SGA pretem infants. Placenta Apr;34(4):325-30

Keir AK, Andersen CC, McPhee AJ, Stark MJ (2012) Plasma cytokines and markers of endothelial activation increase after packed red blood cell transfusion in the preterm infant. Ped Research Jan;73(1):75-9

Stark MJ, Hodyl NA, Butler M, Clifton VL (2012) Localisation and characterisation of uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) in the human preterm placenta. Placenta Dec;33(12):1020-5

Clifton VL, Stark MJ, Osei-Kumah A, Hodyl NA (2012) Review: The feto-placental unit, pregnancy pathology and impact on long term maternal health. Placenta Feb;33 Suppl:S37-41.

Clifton VL, Smith B, Roy A, Osei-Kumah A, Hodyl N, Stark M, Parange N & Saif Z (2012). Asthma during pregnancy. In: Polosa R, Papale G, Holgate ST, (eds.). Advances in Asthma Management. Future Medicine Ltd; 104-13.

Book chapter: Wright IMR, Stark MJ, Clifton VL (2011) Assessment of the microcirculation in the neonate. In: Hemodynamics and Cardiology: Neonatal Questions and Controversies. Ed. Charles S Klein & Istvan Seri

Andersen CC, Stark MJ (2012) Haemoglobin transfusion threshold in very preterm newborns: A theoretical framework derived from prevailing oxygen physiology. Med Hypotheses. Jan;78(1):71-4.

Stark MJ, Story C, Andersen CA (2011). Effect of co-infusion of dextrose containing solutions on red blood cell haemolysis during packed red cell transfusion. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2012 Jan;97(1):F62-4. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Stark MJ, Hodyl NA, Wright IMR, Clifton VL (2011). Influence of sex and glucocorticoid exposure on preterm placental pro-oxidant-antioxidant balance. Placenta. 2011 Nov;32(11):865-70. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Osei-Kumah A & Clifton VL (2011). Prenatal programming of the innate immune response following in-utero exposure to inflammation: a sexually dimorphic process? Expert Reviews in Clinical Immunology 7(5):579-92

Hodyl NA, Stark MJ, Osei-Kumah A, Bowman M, Gibson P & Clifton VL (2011) Fetal glucocorticoid-regulated pathways are not affected by inhaled corticosteroid use for asthma during pregnancy. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 183(6) 716-22

Stark MJ, Hodyl NA, Wright IMR & Clifton VL (2011). The influence of sex and antenatal betamethasone exposure on vasoconstrictors and the preterm microvasculature. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Oct;24(10):1215-20. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Scott NM, Hodyl NA, Osei-Kumah A, Stark MJ, Smith R & Clifton VL (2011). The presence of maternal asthma during pregnancy suppressed the placental pro-inflammatory response to an immune challenge in-vitro. Placenta, 32(6), 454-461

Stark M, Clifton VL, Wright IMR (2009). Carbon Monoxide Is A Significant Mediator Of Cardiovascular Status Following Preterm Birth And May Contribute To Excess Male Deaths. Pediatrics, 124(1): 277-84.

Stark MJ, Wright IMR, Clifton VL (2009). Sex Specific Alterations in Placental 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase 2 Activity and Early Postnatal Clinical Course Following Antenatal Betamethasone . Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 297(2):R510-4. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Stark MJ, Clifton VL, Wright IMR (2009). Neonates born to mothers with pre-eclampsia exhibit sex-specific alterations in microvascular function. Paediatric Research, 65(3): 291-295

Vu TT, Hirst JJ, Stark MJ, Wright IMR, Palliser HK, Hodyl NA, Clifton VL (2009). Changes in placental 5α-reductase isoenzyme expression with advancing gestation: effects of fetal sex and glucorticoid exposure. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2009; 21(4): 599-607.

Stark MJ, Clifton VL, Wright IMR (2008). Microvascular blood flow, clinical illness severity and cardiovascular function in preterm's. Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Ed, 93: F271-274

Stark MJ, Clifton VL, Wright IMR (2008). Sex-specific differences in peripheral microvascular blood flow in preterm infants. Pediatric Research April 63(4): 415-419 

Stark MJ, Dierkx L, Clifton VL, Wright IMR (2006). Alterations in the maternal peripheral microvascular response in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia and the impact of fetal sex. Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation November, 13(8): 573-578.

  • International Society of Placental Research
  • Endocrine Society of Australia
  • Society for Gynaecologic Investigation
  • Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (Elected Director)
  • European Society for Paediatric Research
  • Paediatric Research Society
  • Fetal and Neonatal Physiology Society
  • British Association of Perinatal Medicine


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Entry last updated: Friday, 23 Jun 2017

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