Emeritus Professor Alastair MacLennan

 Position Head of Cerebral Palsy Research Group
 Org Unit Paediatrics and Reproductive Health
 Email alastair.maclennan@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 1337
 Mobile +61 4 0038 3144
 Location Floor/Room 3 ,  WCH - Norwich Centre ,   Womens & Childrens Hospital
  • Biography/ Background

    E/Prof Alastair MacLennan, AO, MB ChB, MD, FRCOG, FRANZCOG was Professor and the third Head of the Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health at The University of Adelaide from 2006 until 2012.

    Trained in Glasgow, Chicago and Oxford, he arrived in Adelaide as a Senior Lecturer in 1977. He worked both as an obstetrician and a gynaecologist with NHMRC research projects in fetal growth restriction, prematurity, parturition and cerebral palsy. In gynaecology he specialised in menopausal medicine and ran the world's second largest randomised trial on postmenopausal hormone therapy. He has published over 350 scientific papers and made over 30 educational videos. He was editor-in-chief of both Maturitas and Climacteric and President of both the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Australasian Menopause Society.

    In 2009 Alastair was awarded The South Australian Government's Science Excellence Award for Public Good in recognition of his work in cerebral palsy and other reproductive health research. He is currently the leader of the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group, investigating the genomics of cerebral palsy and potential environmental triggers.

    In 2011 Alastair was made an Officer in the Order of Australia, being cited for his contributions to Women's and Children's health and for his research into the causes of cerebral palsy.

    He is an active member and current Vice-President of Friends of Science in Medicine which promotes evidence-based medicine and opposes the uncritical spread of unproven alternative therapies.

  • Qualifications


  • Awards & Achievements

    In 2011 on Australia Day, Professor MacLennan was appointed by the Governor General as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). The citation was "For distinguished service to medicine as a leading researcher and practitioner in the areas of obstetrics and gynaecology and the causes of cerebral palsy, to medical education and to professional development".

    In 2009 Professor MacLennan won the South Australian Government's Scientist of the Year Award for Research for Public Good as part of the South Australian Science Excellence Awards. The award and $10,000 prize presented by The Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce. Prize donated to cerebral palsy research.

    In 2012 Professor MacLennan delivered the Dinah Reddihough Oration in Brisbane at the invitation of the Australian Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine.

    In 2012 Professor MacLennan along with his four founding members of Friends of Science in Medicine were awarded the Australian Sceptics "Sceptic of the Year" award.

    In 2011 The University of Adelaide "Professor Derek Frewin Excellence in student teaching Award". Awarded by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

    In 2010 Professor MacLennan was awarded the Arthur Wilson Orator's medal for his oration at the RANZCOG ASM. 

    In 2009 Professor MacLennan was awarded the Roger Wurm Award for the best overall scientific presentation at the annual scientific meeting of The Australian Society for Pychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sydney, Australia.

    In 2008 Professor MacLennan won the award for the most outstanding paper (with the most potential to impact clinical practice) published in 2007 by the Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Adelaide.

    Awarded Honorary Life Memberships for distinguished services to:

    • International Menopause Society
    • Australian and New Zealand Menopause Society
    • Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
    • Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology

    In 2006 Professor MacLennan was awarded by the Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University The Healthy Development Adelaide Award for life-time research and work in Women's and Children's Health. Professor MacLennan then gave the 2006 Healthy Development Adelaide Oration entitled "Who will deliver the next generation? Cerebral Palsy Causation and litigation".

    In 1998 Dr Alice MacLennan and Professor Alastair MacLennan were honoured to be co-recipients of the Australasian Menopause Society's most prestigious award, its lifetime achievement Award, with the citation, "given to someone distinguished in the field of menopause and has given much of his or her life to making a significant contribution to this field".

  • Teaching Interests

    Professor MacLennan supervisors a PhD student

  • Research Interests

    The causes of Cerebral Palsy

  • Research Funding

    Professor MacLennan currently has research grants from NHMRC, Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Tenix and The Robinson Institute.

  • Publications

    Refereed journals - last 3 years

    Huang K, Baber R, Yoon BK, Yang X, Kim HY, Tian Q, Luna L, Chakravorty R, MacLennan AH, Taechakraichana N, Baziad A, Ong H, Yu SL, Loi TT. Updated clinical recommendations for the use of tibolone in Asian women. Climacteric 2010; 13: 317-327.

    McMichael G, Gibson C, Goldwater P, Haan E, Priest K, O'Callaghan M, MacLennan AH. Genetic and environmental risk factors that contribute to cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & child Neurology 2010; 52 (Sup 2): 6. (Published abstract of award winning paper keynote session Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine 5th Biennial Conference, New Zealand).

    Wong L, MacLennan AH. Gathering the Evidence - Cord gases and placental histology for births with low Apgar scores should be routine. J Paed Child Health 2010; 46 (Supl 1): 50 (Published abstract from PSANZ ASM, Wellington, NZ).

    MacLennan AH, Sturdee DW, Fenton A, Panay N. Ghost writers, vested interest and funding disclosures. Climacteric 2010; 13: 301- 302.

    MacLennan AH. The 2010 Arthur Wilson Oration. The Ascent of Woman - From Queen Adelaide to Queen Camilla. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy 2010; 50:211-215.

    MacLennan AH. The causes of cerebral palsy in IVF and ART. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy 2010; 50 (S1): 31-32. (Published abstract from plenary session).

    Gibson CS, MacLennan AH, Haan EA, Priest K, Dekker GA; writing for the South Australian Cerebral Palsy Research Group. Fetal MBL2 haplotypes combined with viral exposure are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. J Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2010 Early online 1-8. Manuscript ID: 531324

    O'Callaghan ME, Maclennan AH, Gibson CS, McMichael GL, Haan EA, Broadbent J et al for the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group. The Australian cerebral palsy research study investigating genomic and clinical associations with cerebral palsy (Protocol) J Paed Child Health 2010; doi.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01896.x

    MacLennan AH. HRT in difficult circumstances: are there any absolute contraindications? Climacteric 2011;14:409-417.

    Wong L, Maclennan AH. Gathering the evidence -- cord gases and placental
    histology for births with low Apgar scores. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaec 2011; 51: 17-21.

    McMichael G,Highet AR, Gibson CS, Goldwater PN, O'Callaghan ME, Alvino E, MacLennan AH. Comparison of DNA extraction methods from small samples of newborn screening cards suitable for retrospective perinatal viral research. J Biomol Tech 2011; 22(1):5-9.

    Sturdee DW, Pines A on behalf of the International Menopause Writing Group (includes MacLennan AH). Updated IMS recommendations on postmenopausal hormone therapy and preventative strategies for midlife health. Climacteric 2011;14:302-320.

    Archer DF,, Sturdee DW, Baber R, de Villiers TJ, Pines A, Freedman RR, Gompel A, Hickey M, Hunter M, Lobo RA, Lumsden MA, MacLennan AH, Maki P, Palacios S,. Shah d, Villaseca P and Warren M. Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats: where are we now? Climacteric 2011;14:515-28

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH, Gibson CS, McMichael GL, Haan EA, Broadbent JL, Goldwater PN, Dekker GA for the Australian Collaborative Cerebral palsy Research Group. Epidemiologic Associations with Cerebral Palsy. Obstet Gynecol 2011;118:576-82.

    MacLennan AH. The new evidence-based message about HRT - Is it being heard?
    Medical Journal of Australia 2011: Insight 21.11.11.

    Purbrick B, Stranks K, Sum C, MacLennan AH. Future long-term trials of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. What is possible and what is the optimal protocol and regimen? Climacteric 2012;15:288-293.

    Maclennan AH. A ‘no-fault' cerebral palsy pension scheme would benefit all Australians. Aust NZ J Obstet Gynaecol 2011;51:479-84.

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH, Gibson CS, McMichael GL, Haan EA, Broadbent JL, Goldwater PN, Painter JN, Montgomery GW, Dekker GA for the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group. Fetal and Maternal Candidate SNP Associations with Cerebral Palsy: A Case-Control Study. Pediatrics 2012;129:e414-e423

    Pines A, Sturdee D, MacLennan AH. Quality of Life and the role of menopausal hormone therapy. Climacteric 2012;15:213-216.

    McMichael G, MacLennan AH, Gibson G, Alvino E, Goldwater P, Haan E, et al. Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus may be associated with some cases of cerebral palsy. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2012;25(10): 2078-2081
    doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.666587

    MacLennan AH, Morris D. Multiple choice in the management of the menopause. Climacteric 2011;14:697-702.

    MacLennan AH, Morris D. Multiple choice in the management of the menopause: Weighted scores for the answers. Climacteric 2011;14:703-4.

    Burger HG, MacLennan AH, Huang KE, Castello-Branco C. Evidence-based assessment of the impact of the WHI on women's health. Climacteric 2012;15:281-287.

    MacLennan AH. Cerebral palsy - Is it in your genes? Genetic susceptibility and environmental risk factors. Dev Med Child Neurol 2012;54:S5:5-6. (The Dinah Reddihough Oration).

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH. Brain damage and maternal medication. Letter. Amer J Obstet Gynecol 2012

    Avery JC, Stocks NP, Duggan P, Braunack-Mayer A, Taylor AW, Goldney RD, MacLennan AH. Identifying the Quality of Life Effects of Urinary Incontinence with Depression in an Australian population. BMC Urology.2013, 13:11.
    DOI: 10.1186/1471-2490-13-11 URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2490/13/11

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH, McMichael GL, Haan EA, Dekker GA. SNP Associations with Preterm Delivery: A Case-Control Replication Study and Meta-Analysis. Accepted for publication by Pediatric Research

    McMichael G, Girirajan S, Moreno-De-Luca A, Gecz J, Shard C, Nguyen LS, Nicholl J, Gibson C, Haan E, Eichler E, Martin CL, MacLennan AH. Rare Copy Number Variation in Cerebral Palsy. European Journal of Human Genetics, 2013.Advance on line publication. Doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.93

    Hirata H, Nanda I, van Riesen A, McMichael G, Hu H, Hambrock M, Papon, Ute Fischer M, Marouillat S, Ding C, Alirol S, Bienek M, Preisler-Adams S, Grimme A, Seelow D, Webster R, Haan E, MacLennan AH, Stenzel W, Yap TY, Gardner A, Nguyen LS, Shaw M, Lebrun N, Haas SA, Kress W, Haaf T, Schellenberger E, Chelly J, Viot G, Shaffer LG, Rosenfeld JA, Kramer N, Falk R, El-Khechen D, Escobar LF, Hennekam R, Wieacker P, Hübner C, Ropers H, Gecz J, Schuelke M, Laumonnier F, Kalscheuer VM. ZC4H2 Mutations are Associated with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita and Intellectual Disability through Impairment of Central and Peripheral Synaptic Plasticity.
    Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Apr 24. doi:pii: S0002-9297(13)00129-8. 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.03.021. [Epub ahead of print]

    Gai McMichael, Eric Haan, Alison Gardner, Ying Tzu Yap, Suzanna Thompson, Robert Ouvrier, Russel Dale, Jozef Gecz, Alastair MacLennan. Benign hereditary chorea masquerading as ataxic cerebral palsy. 2013

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH, Gibson CS, McMichael GL, Haan, Broadbent JL, Baghurst PA, Goldwater PN, Dekker GA, for the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group. Genetic and Clinical Contributions to Cerebral Palsy: A Multivariable Analysis. J Paediatr Child Health 2013;49:575-581.

    O'Callaghan ME, MacLennan AH. Caesarean delivery does not reduce the risk of cerebral palsy. Accepted by Amer J Obstet Gynec 2013.

  • Professional Associations

    • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
    • The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
    • Friends of Science in Medicine
    • International Menopause Society
    • Australian and New Zealand Menopause Society
    • Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
    • Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Professional Interests

    • The causes of Cerebral Palsy
    • Evidence-based medicine
  • Community Engagement

    Professor MacLennan is Vice-President of "Friends of Science in Medicine" a public health watch dog group of distinguished lay members, scientists anf health professionals who are concerned about honesty in medical claims and the need for evidence-based medicine particularly in the growing alternative therapy industry.

    He is a Board member of the Chanel 7 Children's Research Foundation which distributes many millions of dollars for children's research.

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Entry last updated: Monday, 18 Dec 2017

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