Researcher biography

Prof Karen Moritz is internationally renowned for her work in understanding how early life perturbations contribute to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular, renal and metabolic disease in adulthood. Over the last 5-7 years, her research has focused on determining how prenatal alcohol can result in "developmental programming" of disease. Her research has identified critical windows of susceptibility to alcohol, including the period around conception and prior to implantation. In addition, her work has identified the placenta as playing a key role in the sex-specific offspring outcomes following maternal perturbations. Her research spans both preclinical and clinical domains, highlighted by her appointment as the Director of the Child Health Research Centre in 2016.

Current projects are:

  • Periconceptional alcohol exposure: Programming long-term health in offspring (with Dr Lisa Akison and Dr James Cuffe)

  • Emerging therapies for diabetes and complications: Effects on metabolic, cardiovascular and renal function (with Dr Linda Gallo)

  • Effect of prenatal insults on the developing placenta (with Dr Marloes Nitert Dekker, Prof Vicki Clifton [Mater], Dr David Simmons and Dr James Cuffe)

  • Effect of prenatal insults on the developing kidney and implications for adult disease (with Dr Peter Trnka [QLD Children's Hospital])

  • Impact of maternal cannabis and alcohol around conception on development and long-term health of offspring (with Dr David Simmons and Dr Lisa Akison)

Prof Moritz maintains a strong commitment to teaching of students, including lectures and research student supervision in undergraduate programs, supervision of Honours students and supervision of higher degree research students.