Adjunct Professor Claire Roberts

Adjunct Professor Claire Roberts
 Position Adjunct Professor
 Org Unit Adelaide Medical School
  • Biography/ Background

    Current Appointments

    Past Appointments

    • NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide 2012-2016
    • NHMRC Senior Research Fellowships Panel Member 2015
    • NHMRC Academy Member 2014, 2016, 2017 
    • 2017-2019 Lloyd Cox Professorial Research Fellowship, University of Adelaide
    • 2018 Harold Fox Memorial Lecturer University of Manchester, Manchester UK
    • 2015 Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology
    • 2014 Award for Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health
    • 2012-2016 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
    • 2010 Inaugural Robinson Institute Directors Award
    • 2010 Inaugural Healthy Development Adelaide Leadership Award
    • 2009 International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA) Award in Placentology
    • 2007 ARI !mpact Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Finalist 
    • 2007 Telstra Business Woman of the Year (IBM Community and Government Award) SA Finalist
    • 2004 Bio Innovation SA Bio 2004 Scholarship

    • 2000 Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Best New Investigator Award SA
    • 1999-2000 Hilda Farmer Medical Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    • 1997-1998 Sir Colin and Lady MacKenzie Fellow in Comparative Anatomy

    • 1994 Doreen McCarthy Bursary (AFUW Inc)  

    • 1991-1994 Australian Postgraduate Research Award 

    • 1990 A.R. Riddle Scholarship 



  • Research Interests

    1. Screening for risk for pregnancy complications and applying results of basic research to clinical problems
    We were funded by Government of South Australia to develop predictive tests for couples' risks for complications of late pregnancy, specifically preeclampsia, IUGR, preterm birth and gestational diabetes. This is the Adelaide arm of the SCOPE (SCreening fOr Pregnancy Endpoints) project. SCOPE is an international consortium of clinicians and scientists who by the end of 2011 had assembled a biobank and detailed clinical and lifestyle database for 5,628 women pregnant for the first time and their partners. Recruiting has ceased in all SCOPE centres. In Adelaide we initially undertook a targeted gene approach and aimed to identify maternal and paternal genes that determine a couple's risk prior to the development of symptoms. These genes have already been shown to be important in the control of placental development, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and cancer. We have a particular interest in how the father imparts risk for pregnancy complications in the mother and baby.
    We developed and recently patented four 3-tiered algorithms to predict risk in early pregnancy for subsequent preeclampsia, preterm birth, IUGR and gestational diabetes using combinations of genetic, clinical, family history and lifestyle factors.

    We began recruiting women to the Screening Tests to Predict Poor Outcomes of Pregnancy (STOP) study in March 2015. We aim to validate our risk prediction algorithms in this cohort. We have recruited 1,371 women to this cohort. Recruitment ceased at the end of 2017. We will utilise our new software designed to provide an individualised probability of risk for each couple in the STOP Study. We will also continue to assess important clinical and lifestyle data about each pregnancy and health of both mother and child to answer new questions in obstetric research including effects of maternal diet and micronutrient supplementation on pregnancy outcome.

    We have another cohort Predicting Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes (PAPO) in whom women suffer recurrent pregnancy complications but primarily recurrent spontaneous miscarriage (RSM). It appears that RSM is in the continuum of pregnancy complications associated with poor placentation. We have developed a new way to assess women and their partners who suffer RSM that shows multiple pathways to miscarriage hence enables therapeutic interventions tailored to the needs of each couple.

    2. The role of Vitamin D in the placenta and pregnancy success
    In recent years, vitamin D has emerged as a micronutrient important for optimal pregnancy outcome. In women, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with complications of pregnancy including preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, preterm birth and a greater need for caesarean section but the data are conflicting. Although our understanding of the specific functions of vitamin D in pregnancy is scant, it seems likely that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in complicated pregnancies because robust regulation of vitamin D activation and degradation occurs locally in the placenta. Animal studies have shown that maternal vitamin D deficiency is associated with excessive inflammation in the uterus underlying the placenta (decidua) that impacts fetal growth and health.
    Perhaps the best known function of vitamin D is in the maintenance of calcium balance. Indeed, calcium supplementation in women with low dietary calcium has been shown to prevent preeclampsia. However, little is known of the mechanisms by which vitamin D and calcium act in the placenta and in maternal adaptation to pregnancy. We are working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D and calcium affect placentation and pregnancy outcome.

    3. Developing omic profiles in maternal blood that reflect those in the placenta
    We have been funded by NIH NICHD to develop a non-invasive method to assess placental function across gestation in real time. Using our biobank of placental samples obtained right across gestation with matched maternal blood samples we have been using genome and epigenome wide sequencing technologies to profile placental health. These will be integrated with other data we hold about these pregnancies that indicate aspects of placental function. The aim then is to develop blood tests that can be used to monitor placental health and hence that of the fetus.

    4. Epigenetic programming of placental and fetal development
    The placenta is derived from the conceptus and is therefore genetically identical to the fetus. Perhaps the best known function of the placenta is to transport gases, nutrients and wastes between mother and fetus. However, the placenta also plays a major role in orchestrating maternal adaptation to pregnancy by secreting a variety of steroid and peptide hormones. These placental hormones stimulate maternal physiological changes that are essential for pregnancy success. To facilitate these functions the placenta invades the decidua, colonizing and transforming the uterine spiral arterioles to sequester a maternal blood supply for efficient maternal-fetal exchange. Invading placental extravillous cytotrophoblasts employ molecular mechanisms that closely match those of a metastatic tumor but unlike cancer this process is strictly controlled both spatially and temporally in the placenta. Such mechanisms are not fully understood but include complex interactions between both extravillous cytotrophoblasts and maternal endothelium and leukocytes.

    Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic regulation of the placental transcriptome is important for the molecular control of placental growth and differentiation. However, the epigenetic landscape affecting placental gene expression may be different to that in other healthy tissues and the role of epigenetic modifications, and particularly DNA methylation, in placental development remains largely unknown. Of particular interest is the fact that the placenta is the most hypomethylated human tissue and is characterized by the presence of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) containing silenced genes. We are working to understand how and why the placenta is hypomethylated and what role DNA methylation plays in regulating placental gene expression across gestation.


    5. Interactions between maternal micronutrient status, obesity and metabolic health in disadvantaged women 

    Large numbers of pregnant women supplement with folic acid in Australia to prevent neural tube defects. This has been shown to be effective for this purpose. However, many supplement formulations that target pregnant women also include a number of other micronutrients with or without good evidence for their benefits. There are some data suggesting positive effects on maternal health and others showing that deficiencies affect child health and well being. There are some data that show that some groups of women benefit such as those who are obese, but not all. We aim to determine how maternal status for various micronutrients interacts with obesity, placental genetics and epigenetics to effect maternal and child outcomes. Our SCOPE and STOP cohorts permit detailed study of these interactions in a large number of women. Importantly, SCOPE women in Adelaide were recruited before mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid and the use of iodised salt in breadmaking. Our STOP women were recruited after this affording evaluation of this major public health intervention in the context of pregnancy complications, birth outcomes and in th elong term maternal and child health.

    6. Long term health of women and children after pregnancy complications
    We are following up the health of Adelaide SCOPE women and their children 8-11 years after delivery for cardiovascular health in mother and child and for neurodevelopment in children. To date 275 mother child pairs have been recruited. In late 2018 we will commence recruitment of STOP women and their 3 year old children and assess their health. We will assess the impact of pregnancy complications, as well as a number of intrauterine exposures, on long term health and wellbeing.


    Staff and students

    Prof  Claire Roberts, Research Leader

    Prof Gus Dekker, Clinical Leader

    Dr Tina Bianco-Miotto, Senior Lecturer School of Agriculture Food and Wine

    Dr Prabha Andraweera, NHMRC Peter Doherty Training Fellow

    Dr Luke Grzeskowiak, NHMRC Early Career Fellow

    Dr Shalem Leemaqz, Postdoctoral Fellow (Biostatistics)

    Dr Tanja Jankovic-Karasoulos, Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dr Dale McAninch, Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dr Jessica Grieger, Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dr Petra Verburg, PhD Student

    Julia Dalton, Research Midwife/PhD student

    Dylan McCullough, Research Assistant

    Dr Dee McCormack, Postgraduate student

    Michelle Plummer, Postgraduate student

    Amy Garrett, Postgraduate student

    Qianhui Wan, Postgraduate student

    Melanie Smith, Postgraduate student (Primary Supervisor Dr Jimmy Breen)

    Maleesa Pathirana, Postgraduate student

    Justin Bogias, Postgraduate student

    Nahal Habibi, Postgraduate student (Primary Supervisor Dr Tina Bianco-Miotto)

  • Research Funding

  • Publications

    Publications 2018-2013 from >160 publications since 1994


    • *Verburg PE, Dekker GA, Venugopal K, Scheil W, Erwich JJHM, Mol BW, Roberts CT Long-term trends in preterm birth in South Australia: A population-based study 1986-2014 Obstetrics and Gynaecology 131(1):79-89.
    • *Wilson RL, Bianco-Miotto T, Leemaqz SY, Grzeskowiak LE, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Early pregnancy maternal plasma mineral status and the association with adverse pregnancy outcome in a cohort of Australian women Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 46:103-109.
    • Lappas M, McCracken S, McKelvey K, Lim R, James J, Roberts CT, Fournier T, Alfaidy N, Borg AJ, Morris J, Ebeling PR, Wallace EM, Parry LJ, Dimitriadis EP Formyl peptide receptor-2 is decreased in Fetal Growth Restriction and contributes to placental dysfunction Molecular Human Reproduction 24(2):94-109.
    • *Grzeskowiak LE, Smithers LG, Grieger JA, Bianco-Miotto T, Leemaqz SY, Clifton VL, Poston L, McCowan LM, Kenny LC, Myers J, Walker JJ, Norman RJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Asthma treatment impacts time to pregnancy: evidence from the international SCOPE study European Respiratory Journal 51(2):1702035.
    • Mayne BT, Leemaqz SY, Buckberry S, Rodriguez Lopez C, Roberts CT, Bianco-Miotto T, Breen J msgbsR: an R package for analysing methylation sensitive genotyping by sequencing data Scientific Reports 8(1):2190.
    • *Verburg PE, Tucker G, Scheil W, Erwich JJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Seasonality of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy - A South Australian population study. Pregnancy Hypertension 12:118-123.
    • Pringle KG, Corbisier de Meaultsart C, Sykes SD, Weatherall LJ, Keogh L, Clausen DC, Dekker GA, Smith R, Roberts CT, Rae KM, Lumbers ER Urinary Angiotensinogen excretion in Non-Indigenous and Indigenous pregnant women. Pregnancy Hypertension 12:112-117.
    • Dalton JA, Rodger D, Wilmore M, Humphreys S, Skuse A, Roberts CT, Clifton VL The Health-e Babies App for antenatal education: Feasibility for socially disadvantaged women. PLOS One. 13:e0194337.
    • *Grieger JA, Grzeskowiak LE, Bianco-Miotto T, Jankovic-Karasoulos T, Moran LJ, Wilson RL, Leemaqz SY, Poston L, McCowan LM, Kenny LC, Myers J, Walker JJ, Norman RJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Pre-pregnancy fast food and fruit intake is associated with time to pregnancy Human Reproduction 33:1063-1070. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dey079.
    • Grzeskowiak LE, Leggett C, Costi L, Roberts CT, Amir LH Impact of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Use on Breast Milk Supply in Mothers of Preterm Infants: A Retrospective Cohort Study British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 84(6):1373-1379. doi: 10.1111/bcp.13575.
    • Andraweera PH, Roberts CT, Leemaqz SY, McCowan LM, Myers J, Kenny LC, Walker JJ, Poston L, Dekker GA The duration of sexual relationship and its effects on adverse pregnancy outcomes. Journal of Reproductive Immunology 128:16-22.
    • *Wilson RL, Leviton A, Leemaqz SY, Anderson PH, Grieger J, Verburg P, McCowan LM, Dekker GA, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Vitamin D levels in an Australian and New Zealand cohort and the association with pregnancy outcome BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 18(1): 251.
    • Pringle KG, Lee YQ, Weatherall L, Keogh L, Diehm C, Roberts CT, Eades S, Brown A, Smith R, Lumbers ER, Brown LJ, Collins CE, Rae KM Influence of maternal adiposity, preterm birth and birth weight centiles on early childhood obesity in an Indigenous Australian pregnancy-through-to-early childhood cohort study. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Online 16 May 2018.
    • *McCormack C, Leemaqz S, Furness D, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Association between vitamin D status and hyperinsulinism. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 1-4. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2018.1481030
    • Kos BJP, Leemaqz SY, McCormack CD, Andraweera PH, Furness DL, Roberts CT, Dekker GA The association of parental methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms (MTHFR 677C>T and 1298A>C) and fetal loss - A prospective case-control study in South Australia. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 12:1-11. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2018.1500546.
    • Wang Y, Lumbers ER, Arthurs AL, Corbisier de Meaultsart C, Mathe A, Avery-Kiejda KA, Roberts CT, Broughton Pipkin F, Marques FZ, Morris BJ, Pringle KG Regulation of the human placental (pro)renin receptor-prorenin-angiotensin system by microRNAs Molecular Human Reproduction 24(9):453-464.
    • Mah BL, Pringle, KG, Weatherall L, Keogh L, Schumacher T, Eades S, Brown A, Lumbers ER, Roberts CT, Diehm C, Smith R, Rae KM Pregnancy stress, healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes- the need for early preventative approaches in pregnant Australian Indigenous women: A prospective longitudinal cohort study Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Accepted September 2018. 
    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Leemaqz SY, McCowan LM, Myers J, Kenny LC, Walker JJ, Poston L, Roberts CT Effect of maternal birthweight and early pregnancy body mass index on the risk for pregnancy complications. Obesity Available online 19 December 2018.
    • *Jankovic-Karasouolos T, McAninch DC, McCullough D, Wilson RL, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Isolation of villous cytotrophoblasts from second trimester human placentas Placenta Available online 22 November 2018.
    • *Grieger J, Bianco-Miotto T, Grzeskowiak L, Leemaqz SY, Poston L, McCowan LM, Kenny LC, Myers J, Walker JJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Metabolic syndrome in pregnancy independently increases risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia: a prospective cohort of nulliparous pregnant women. PLOS Medicine 15(12):e1002710.



    • *Buckberry S, Bianco-Miotto T, Bent S, Clifton VL, Shoubridge C, Shankar K, Roberts CT Placental transcriptome co-expression analysis reveals conserved regulatory programs across gestation. BMC Genomics 18:10.
    • *Highet AR, Bianco-Miotto T, Pringle KG, Peura A, Bent SJ, JV Zhang, Nottle MB, Thompson JG, Roberts CT Addition of Insulin like growth factor 2, urokinase plasminogen activator and plasminogen to embryo culture media improves murine embryo development, implantation and pregnancy success Reproduction 153(3):327-340.
    • Vieira MC, Poston L, Fyfe E, Gillet A, Kenny LC, Roberts CT, Myers J, Walker J, McCowan LM, North RA, Pasupathy D on behalf of the SCOPE Consortium. Clinical and biochemical factors associated with prGrzeskowiak LE, Leggett C, Costi L, Roberts CT, Amir LH Impact of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Use on Breast Milk Supply in Mothers of Preterm Infants: A Retrospective Cohort Study British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Available Online 9 March 2018.eeclampsia in women with obesity. Obesity 25, 460-467.
    • McCowan LME, Thompson JMD, Taylor RS, Baker PN, North RA, Poston L, Roberts CT, Simpson NAB, Walker JJ, Myers J, Kenny LC Prediction of small for gestational age infants in healthy nulliparous women using clinical and ultrasound risk factors combined with early pregnancy biomarkers. PLOS One 12(1):e0169311.
    • Mayne BT, Leemaqz SY, Smith AK, Breen J, Roberts CT, Bianco-Miotto T Accelerated placental aging in early onset preeclampsia pregnancies identified by DNA methylation. Epigenomics Available online 29 November 2016.
    • *Andraweera PH, Gatford KL, Dekker GA, Leemaqz S, Jayasekara RW, Dissanayake VH, McCowan L, Roberts CT The INSR rs2059806 single nucleotide polymorphism, a genetic risk factor for vascular and metabolic disease, associates with pre-eclampsia, Reproductive Biomedicine Online Available online 12 January 2017.
    • Estrella CAS, Kind KL, Derks A, Xiang R, Faulkner N, Mohrdick M, Fitzsimmons C, Kruk Z, Grutzner F, Roberts CT, Hiendleder S Remodelling of the bovine placenta: Comprehensive morphological and histomorphological characterization at the late embryonic and early accelerated fetal growth stages Placenta 55:37-46.
    • Gatford KG, Muhlhausler BS, Huang L, Su-Sim P, Roberts CT, Velhuis JD, Chen C Rising maternal circulating GH during murine pregnancy suggests placental regulation Endocrine Connections 6(4):260-266.
    • *Roberts CT Biomedical Research: Premature lambs grown in a bag. Nature 546(7656):45-46.
    • Van der Hoek K, Eyre NS, Shue B, Khantisitthiporn O, Carr J, Gartner MJ, Jolly L, Thomas P, Jankovic-Karasoulos T, Roberts CT, Helbig KJ, Beard MR Viperin is an important host restriction factor in control of ZIKV infection. Scientific Reports 7(1):4475.
    • Novakovic B, Fournier T, Harris LK, James J, Roberts CT, Yong HEJ, Kalionis B, Evain-Brion D, Ebeling PR, Wallace EM, Saffery R, Murthi P Increased methylation and decreased expression of homeobox genes TLX1, HOXA10 and DLX5 in human placenta are associated with trophoblast differentiation. Scientific Reports 7(1):4523.
    • *Wilson RL, Leemaqz SY, Goh Z, Dale McAninch D, Jankovic-Karasoulos T, Leghi G, Phillips JA, Mirabito Colafella K, Tran C, O'Leary S, Buckberry S, Pederson S, Robertson SA, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Zinc is a critical regulator of placental morphogenesis and maternal hemodynamics during pregnancy in mice Scientific Reports 7(1):15137.



    • Cecatti JG, Souza RT, Sulek K, Costa ML, Kenny LC, McCowan LM, Pacagnella RC, Villas-Boas SG, Mayrink J, Passini R Jr, Franchini KG, Baker PN, Parpinelli MA, Calderon IM, Cassettari BF, Vetorazzi J, Pfitscher L, Filho EPR, Leite DF, Feitosa FE, Costa e Silva CL, Poston L, Myers JE, Simpson NAB, Walker JJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Use of metabolomics for the identification and validation of clinical biomarkers for preterm birth: Preterm SAMBA. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 16
    • Lie S, Morrison JL, Williams-Wyss O, Suter CM, Humphreys DT, Ozanne SE, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann DO, Walker SK, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Impact of maternal undernutrition around the time of conception on factors regulating hepatic lipid metabolism and microRNAs in singleton and twin fetuses American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism 310(2):E148-59.

    • Delforce SJ, Wang Y, Van-Aalst ME, Corbisier de Meaultsart C, Morris BJ, Broughton-Pipkin F, Roberts CT, Lumbers ER, Pringle KG Effect of oxygen on the expression of renin-angiotensin system components in a human trophoblast cell line Placenta 37:1-6.
    • *Leemaqz SY, Dekker GA, Kenny LC, Myers J, Simpson NAB, McCowan LME, Poston L, Roberts CT Maternal marijuana use has independent effects on risk for spontaneous preterm birth but not other common late pregnancy complications Reproductive Toxicology 62:77-86.
    • *Highet AR, Buckberry S, Mayne BT, Khoda SM, Bianco-Miotto T Roberts CT First trimester trophoblasts forming endothelial-like tubes in vitro emulate a ‘blood vessel development' gene expression profile. Gene Expression Patterns 21(2):103-110.
    • *Verburg PE, Tucker G, Scheil W, Erwich JJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Sexual dimorphism in adverse pregnancy outcomes - A retrospective Australian population study 1981-2011. PlOS One 11(7):e0158807.
    • *Mayne BT, Bianco-Miotto T, Buckberry S, Breen J, Clifton V, Shoubridge C, Roberts CT Large scale gene expression meta-analysis reveals tissue-specific, sex-biased gene expression in humans. Frontiers in Genetics 7:183. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00183.
    • *Verburg PE, Tucker G, Scheil W, Erwich JJ, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Seasonality of gestational diabetes mellitus - A South Australian population study. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. 4:e000286. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2016-000286.
    • *McCormack CD, Shand K, Furness DLF, Dekker GA, Roberts CT 3D Ultrasound findings in women attending a recurrent miscarriage clinic: A prospective cohort study. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine 19:142-146. doi:10.1002/ajum.12032.
    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Leemaqz SY, McCowan LM, Roberts CT The obesity associated FTO gene variant and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: evidence from the SCOPE study Obesity 24(12):2600-2607.
    • Zhang S, Barker P, Botting KJ, Roberts CT, McMillan CM, McMillen IC, Morrison JL Restriction of placental growth from conception in the sheep results in changes in placental structure and growth factor expression that occur independently of whether the fetus becomes hypoxaemic in late gestation. Physiological Reports 4:e13049 DOI: 10.14814/phy2.13049.


    • Pringle KG, Weatherall L, Corbisier de Meaultsart C, Keogh L,Sands S, Blackwell CC, Hall S, Clausen D, Apen K, Hollebone K, Roberts CT, Eades S, Brown A, Wadhwa PD, Collins CE, Smith R, Lumbers ER, Rae K The Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort: a preliminary study of the maternal determinants of pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous Australian women. Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health 2:7.
    • *Wilson RL, Buckberry S, Spronk F, Laurence JA, Leemaqz SY, O'Leary, Bianco-Miotto T, Anderson PH, Roberts CT Vitamin D receptor gene ablation in the conceptus has limited effects on placental morphology, function and pregnancy outcome PLOS One 10(6):e0131287. 
    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Jayasekara RW, Dissanayake VHW, Roberts CT Polymorphisms in the inflammatory pathway genes and the risk of preeclampsia in Sinhalese women. Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 22:1-5.
    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Thompson SD, Jayasekara RW, Dissanayake VHW, Roberts CT The obesity related FTO gene variant associates with the risk of recurrent miscarriage. ACTA Obstetricia Gynecologica Scandinavica 94:722-726.
    • *Andraweera PH, Gatford KL, Dekker GA, Leemaqz SY, Russell DL, Thompson SD, McCowan LM, Roberts CT Insulin family polymorphisms in pregnancies complicated by small for gestational age infants. Molecular Human Reproduction 3:e12495.

    • *Standen P, Sferruzzi-Perri AN, Taylor R, Heinemann G, Zhang JV, Highet AR, Pringle KG, Owens JA, Kumarasamy V, Lumbers ER, Roberts CT Maternal insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 differentially affect the placental renin angiotensin system during early placentation in guinea pigs Growth Hormone and IGF Research 25:141-147.

    • Stockham S, Stamford JE, Roberts CT, Fitzsimmons TR, Marchant C, Bartold PM, Zilm PS Abnormal Pregnancy Outcomes in Mice Using an Induced Periodontitis Model and the Haematogenous Migration of Fusobacterium nucleatum Sub-species to the Murine Placenta PLoS One 10(3):e0120050.

    • Myers JE, Thomas G, Tuytten R, Van Herrewege Y, Djiokep RO, Roberts CT, Kenny LC, Simpson NAB, North RA, Baker PN Mid trimester maternal ADAM12 levels differ according to fetal sex in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. Reproductive Sciences 22(2):235-41.

    • *Highet AR, Khoda SM, Buckberry S, Leemaqz S, Bianco-Miotto T, Ellinger-Wu E, Roberts CT Hypoxia induced HIF1/HIF2 activity alters trophoblast transcriptional regulation and promotes invasion European Journal of Cell Biology 94(12):589-602.

    • Lie S, Morrison JL, Williams-Wyss O, Suter CM, Humphreys DT, Ozanne SE, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann DO, Walker SK, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Impact of periconceptional and preimplantation undernutrition on factors regulating myogenesis and protein synthesis in muscle of singleton and twin fetal sheep. Physiological Reports 3(8) pii:e12495.



    • Gatford KL, Heinemann GK, Thompson SD, Zhang JV, Owens JA, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Circulating IGF1 and IGF2 and SNP genotypes in pregnant and non-pregnant women and men. Endocrine Connections 3(3): 138-149.
    • Sykes S, Pringle KG, Zhou A, Dekker GA, Roberts CT, Lumbers ER The balance between human maternal plasma angiotensin II and angiotensin 1-7 levels in early gestation pregnancy is influenced by fetal sex Journal Of The Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Available 15(4):523-531.
    • Sykes S, Pringle KG, Zhou Z, Dekker GA, Roberts CT, Lumbers ER Fetal sex and the circulating renin-angiotensin system in early gestation in women who later develop preeclampsia or gestational hypertension Journal of Human Hypertension 28(2):133-9. 
    • Lie S, Morrison JL, Williams-Wyss O, Suter CM, Humphreys DT, Ozanne SE, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann D, Walker SK, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Periconceptional Undernutrition Programs Changes in Insulin Signaling Molecules and MicroRNAs in Skeletal Muscle in Singleton and Twin Fetal Sheep Biology of Reproduction 90(1):5-15.
    • Lie S, Morrison JL, Williams-Wyss O, Suter CM, Humphreys DT, Ozanne SE, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann D, Walker SK, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Impact of embryo number and maternal undernutrition in the periconceptional or preimplantation period on insulin signalling molecules, gluconeogenic factors and microRNAs in the liver in the fetal sheep American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism 306(9):E1013-24.
    • *Buckberry S, Bent SJ, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT massiR: a method for predicting the sex of samples in gene expression microarray datasets Bioinformatics 30(14):2084-2085.
    • *Buckberry S, Bent SJ, Bianco-Miotto T, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Integrative transcriptome meta-analysis reveals widespread sex-biased gene expression at the human fetal-maternal interface. Molecular Human Reproduction 20(8):810-819.
    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Thompson SD, Nowak RC, Jayasekara RW, Dissanayake VHW, Roberts CT Polymorphisms in the fibrinolytic pathway genes and the risk of recurrent miscarriage. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 29(6):745-751.

    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Thompson SD, Jayasekara RW, Dissanayake VHW, Roberts CT Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α gene polymorphisms in early and late onset preeclampsia in Sinhalese women. Placenta 35(7):491-495.
    • Kenny LC, Black M,Poston L, Taylor R, Myers J, Baker PN, McCowan LME, Simpson N, Dekker GA, Roberts CT, Rodems K, Noland B, Raymundo M, Walker JJ, North RA Early pregnancy prediction of preeclampsia in nulliparous women, combining clinical risk and biomarkers; the SCOPE international cohort study. Hypertension 64(3):644-652.
    • Williams-Wyss O, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann DO, Walker SK, Suter CM, Cropley JE, Morrison JL, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Embryo number and periconceptional undernutrition in the sheep have differential effects on adrenal epigenotype, growth and development. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism 307(2):E141-150.



    • *Zhou A, Dekker GA, Lumbers ER, Lee SY, Thompson SD, McCowan LME, Roberts CT The association of AGTR2 polymorphisms with preeclampsia and uterine artery bilateral notching is modulated by maternal BMI Placenta 34(1): 75-81.

    • *Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Dissanayake V, Bianco-Miotto T, Jayasekara R, Roberts CT Vascular endothelial growth factor family gene polymorphisms in preeclampsia in Sinhalese women in Sri-Lanka. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 26(5): 532-536.

    • Xiang R, Johns WH, Eindorf T, Rutley DL, Kruk ZA, Fitzsimmons CJ, Thomsen DA, Roberts CT, Burns BM, Anderson GI, Greenwood PL, Hiendleder S Maternal and Paternal Genetics Differentially Affect Myofibre Characteristics and Muscle Weights of Bovine Fetuses at Midgestation PLoS One 8(1):e53402.
    • Myers J, Tuytten R, Thomas G, Laroy W, Kas K, Vanpoucke G, Roberts CT, Kenny LC, Simpson NAB, Baker PN, North RA Integrated proteomics pipeline yields novel biomarkers for predicting preeclampsia Hypertension 61(6):1281-8.
    • *Zhou A, Dekker GA, Lumbers ER, Leemaqz SY, Thompson SD, Heinemann GA, McCowan LME, Roberts CT The association of maternal ACE A11860G with small for gestational age pregnancies is modulated by the environment and fetal sex: a multicentre prospective case-control study Molecular Human Reproduction 19:618-627.
    • McCowan LME, Thompson J, Taylor RS, North RA, Poston L, Baker PN, Myers J, Roberts CT, Dekker GA, Simpson NB, Walker JJ, Kenny LC Clinical prediction of infants small for gestational age by customised birthweight centiles in a healthy nulliparous cohort. PLoS One 8(8):e70917.

    • van der Graaf AM, Zeeman G, Groen H, Roberts CT, Dekker GA Non-invasive assessment of maternal hemodynamics in early pregnancy. Pregnancy Hypertension 3(4):261-269.

    • McCarthy FP, O'Keeffe LM, Khashan AS, North RA, Poston L, McCowan LME, Baker PN, Dekker GA, Roberts CT, Walker JJ, Kenny LC The impact of maternal alcohol consumption in early pregnancy on pregnancy outcome Obstetrics and Gynaecology 122(4):830-837.
    • Lie S, Sim SM, McMillen IC, William-Wyss O, MacLaughlin SM, Kleeman DO, Walker SK, Roberts CT, Morrison JL Maternal undernutrition around the time of conception and embryo number each impact on the abundance of key regulators of cardiac growth and metabolism in the fetal sheep heart J DOHAD 4(5):377-390.

    • Zhang S, Williams-Wyss O, Maclaughlin SM, Walker SK, Kleeman DO, Suter CM, Morrison JL, Molloy L, Cropley JE, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Maternal undernutrition during the first week after conception results in decreased expression of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA in the absence of GR exon 17 hypermethylation in the fetal pituitary in late gestation J DOHAD 4(5):391-401.

    • Lie S, Morrison JL, Williams-Wyss O, Suter CM, Humphreys DT, Ozanne SE, Zhang S, MacLaughlin SM, Kleemann D, Walker SK, Roberts CT, McMillen IC Impact of embryo number and periconceptional undernutrition on factors regulating adipogenesis, lipogenesis and metabolism in adipose tissue in the sheep fetus American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism 305(8):E931-E941.

    • Blankley RT, Fisher C, Westwood M, North R, Baker PN, Walker MJ, Williamson A, Whetton AD, Lin W, McCowan L, Roberts CT, Cooper GJ, Unwin RD, Myers JE A label-free SRM workflow identifies a subset of pregnancy specific glycoproteins as potential predictive markers of early-onset pre-eclampsia Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 12(11):3148-59.
    • Furness DLF, Fenech M, Dekker GA, Khong TY, Roberts CT, Hague WM Folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and homocysteine: impact on pregnancy outcome. Maternal and Child Nutrition 9(2):155-166.
    • *Leemaqz SY, Dekker GA, Roberts CT Tiered Prediction System for Preeclampsia: an integrative application of multiple models. Proceedings of MODSIM2013, 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2013 pp 2041-2046 ISBN: 978-0-9872143-3-1.



    • Gatford KL, Roberts CT, Kind KL, Hynd P Off to the right start - how pregnancy and early life can determine future animal health and production. Animal Production Science 58: 459-475.
    • *Wilson RL, Gummow JA, McAninch D, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Vitamin and mineral supplementation in Pregnancy - evidence to practice Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research 48(2):186-192.
    • Morrison JL, Berry M, Botting KJ, Darby JRT, Frasch M, Gatford KL, Giussani DA, Gray C, Harding R, Herrera EA, Kemp M, Lock MC, McMillen IC, Moss T, Musk GC, Oliver M, Regnault TRH, Roberts CT, Soo JY, Tellam RL Improving pregnancy outcomes in humans through studies in sheep. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology Online 16 October 2018.



    • Hodyl N, Aboustate N, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT, Clifton VL, Stark MJ Child neurodevelopmental outcomes following preterm birth: what can the placenta tell us? Placenta 57:79-86.
    • McAninch D, Roberts CT, Bianco-Miotto T Mechanistic insight into long noncoding RNAs and the placenta International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18(7):1371.
    • Grzeskowiak LE, Roberts CT, Calabretto H Emergency Contraception - An Evidence-Based Practice Guide Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research47(6):486-493.


    • Mol BW, Roberts CT, Thangaratinam S, Magee L, de Groot C, Hofmeyr J Pre-eclampsia Lancet 387(10022):999-1011. INVITED SEMINAR
    • Andraweera PH, Bobek G, Bowen C, Burton GJ, Correa Frigerio P, Chaparro A, Dickinson H, Duncombe G, Hyett J, Illanes SE, Johnstone E, Kumar S, Morgan TK, Myers J, Orefice R, Roberts CT, Salafia CM; Thornburg KL, Whitehead CL, Bainbridge S IFPA Meeting 2015 Workshop Report: Late Onset IUGR Surveillance and Monitoring; Biomarkers of Placental Function and Complications of Pregnancy; Mechanistic Role of the Placenta in Fetal Programming. Placenta pii: S0143-4004(15)30108-9.
    • Bianco-Miotto T, Mayne B, Buckberry S, Breen J, Rodriguez Lopez C, Roberts CT Recent progress towards understanding the role of DNA methylation in human placental development. Reproduction 152(1):R23-R30.
    • Wilson RL, Grieger JA, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Maternal zinc status and dietary zinc intake effects on placenta-related pregnancy complications: A systematic review. Nutrients 8:641 doi:10.3390/nu8100641.
    • Hodyl NA, Roberts CT, Bianco-Miotto T Cord blood epigenetic markers for predicting neurodevelopmental outcome. Genes 7(12):117. doi:10.3390/genes7120117.


    • Barbaux S, Erwich JJ, Favaron PO, Gil S, Gallot D, Golos TG, Gonzalez-Bulne, A, Guibourdenche J, Heazell AE. Jansson T, Laprevote O, Lewis RM, Miller RK, Monk D, Novakovic B, Oudejans C, Parast M, Peugnet P, Pfarrer C, Pinar H, Roberts CT, Robinson W, Saffery R, Salomon C, Sexton A, Staff AC, Suter M, Tarrade A, Wallace J, Vaillancourt C, Vaiman D, Worton SA, Lash GE IFPA meeting 2014 workshop report: Animal models to study pregnancy pathologies; new approaches to study human placental exposure to xenobiotics; biomarkers of pregnancy pathologies; placental genetics and epigenetics; the placenta and stillbirth and fetal growth restriction, Placenta 36 Suppl 1:S5-10.
    • Zhang S, Regnault T, Barker P, Botting K, McMillen IC, McMillan C, Roberts CT, Morrison J Placental Adaptations in Growth Restriction Nutrients 7:360-389.
    • Buckberry S, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Imprinted and X-linked non-coding RNAs as potential regulators of human placental function. Epigenetics 9(1):81-89.


    • Ahmed MS,,Aleksunes LM, Boeuf P, Chung MK, Daoud G, Desoye G, Diaz P, Golos TG, Illsley NP, Kikuchi K, Komatsu R, Lao T, Morales-Prieto DM, Nanovskaya T, Nobuzane T, Roberts CT, Saffery R, Tamura L, Tamura K, Than NG, Tomi M, Umbers A, Wang B, Weedon-Fekjaer S, Yanmada S, Yamazaki K, Yoshie M, Lash GE IFPA Meeting 2012 Workshop Report II: Epigenetics and imprinting in the placenta, growth factors and villous trophoblast differentiation, role of the placenta in regulating fetal exposure to xenobiotics during pregnancy, infection and the placenta Placenta 34 SUPPL:S6-S10.


    Book Chapters


    • Andraweera PH, Dekker GA, Arstall M, Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT Complications of pregnancy and future cardiovascular risk. In: Encyclopedia of Cardiovascular Research and Medicine 1st Edition Eds: Douglas Sawyer and Ramachandran Vasan Elsevier Invited Book Chapter.

    Non-refereed Papers


    • Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT DNA Methylation in the Placenta: accelerated aging in pregnancy complications. 2017. EpiBeat Website:
    • *Roberts CT Pregnant women shouldn't start taking vitamin B3 just yet: reports it prevents miscarriage and birth defects are overblown The Conversation 11 August 2017
    • Bianco-Miotto T, Roberts CT What happens in the womb affects our health as adults, but girls and boys respond differently The Conversation 10 August 2017


    • *Roberts CT, Bianco-Miotto T Which pregnant women are at risk? Australasian Science Jan/Feb 2016 37(1):26-28.
    • *Roberts CT Why males are more likely to die from conception to old age The Conversation 26 August 2016


    • Buckberry S and Roberts CT Why are boys more at risk in the womb? Australasian Science November 2014. 



    • Roberts CT and Owens PC (2002) Regulation of cytotrophoblast cell differentiation and cell migration. Patent Cooperation Treaty Application # PCT/AU02/01226 filed 30 August 2002, International Publication Date 28 February 2004, WO2003/018781, Claiming priority #PR7331 from 30 August 2001. Licensed by Medicult A/S, Denmark. Currently being examined in Australia, Canada and Europe. Granted in USA. Granted in New Zealand.

    • Roberts CT (2005) Compositions and methods for improving implantation, development and pregnancy outcomes. PCT # 2005903997 Filed 27 July 2006 Claiming priority from 27 July 2005 International Publication Date 1 February 2007 #WO2007/012117 A1 Licensed by Medicult A/S, Denmark. Filed in Australia, USA, Europe and China (Chinese application #200680032241.8).

    • Roberts CT and Thompson SD (2008). IGF2 polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications. Provisional patent application #2008902646 filed 27.5.2008 (Priority Date).

    • Roberts CT (2008) Insulin gene polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications. Provisional patent application #2008902733 filed 30.5.2008 (Priority Date)

    • Roberts CT (2008) UPA polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications.Provisional patent application # 2008902753 filed 2.6.2008 (Priority Date)

    • Roberts CT (2008) Polymorphisms in genes of the renin angiotensin system associated with pregnancy complications. Provisional patent application #2008903044 Filed 16.6.2008 (Priority Date)

    • Roberts CT, Thompson SD, Zhou A, Andraweera P. Polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications. #PCT/AU2009/000668 filed 27.5.2009 Claiming priority from 27.5.2008 incorporating Provisional patent applications #2008902646, #2008902646, # 2008902753 and #2008903044.

    • Roberts CT, Furness DL, Andraweera P, Nowak R. Maternal, paternal and neonatal polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications. Provisional patent application #2009903976 Filed 21.8.2009 (Priority Date)

    • Roberts CT, Furness DL, Andraweera P, Nowak R, Thompson SD, Zhou A. Polymorphisms associated with pregnancy complications. Provisional patent application #2009904774 Filed 1.10.2009 (Priority Date)

    • Roberts CT, Dekker GA, Leemaqz SY Methods and systems for determining risk of a pregnancy complication occurring PCT Application PCT/AU2016/0502 Filed 23 March 2016 Priority Date 23 March 2015 

    International Patents Granted:

    • Roberts CT and Owens PC (2007) Regulation of cytotrophoblast cell differentiation and cell migration. US Patent 7,244,707. Issued July 2007.

    • Roberts CT and Owens PC (2008) Regulation of cytotrophoblast cell differentiation and cell migration. New Zealand Patent 531362 Issued 12 June 2008.


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