Researcher biography

Dr Julie Wixey is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Perinatal Research Centre. Her research focusses on mechanisms, detection, and treatment of brain injury in fetally growth restricted babies.

Fetal growth restriction (FGR), where a fetus fails to grow normally in utero, is a leading cause of death and long-term disability with around 32 million babies born FGR globally each year. The fetal brain is particularly vulnerable to FGR conditions, and adverse outcomes cause life-long difficulties ranging from schooling and behavioural issues to cerebral palsy. These disabilities occur in up to 50% of FGR infants and have significant impacts on their lives. There is no treatment to protect the FGR newborn brain.

Dr Wixey is investigating how inflammation is associated with brain injury in the growth restricted newborn. She is examining novel detection methods of brain injury and applying different treatments to the clinically relevant growth restriction animal model, targeting both inflammation and blood brain barrier integrity to protect the vulnerable newborn brain.

Research Projects

• Mechanisms of brain injury in growth restriction

• Novel detection methods of brain injury in the growth restricted newborn using blood biomarkers

• Treatments to protect the growth restricted newborn from adverse brain outcomes