Dr Erin McGillick

Dr Erin McGillick is a NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Research Fellow in the Fetal and Neonatal Health research group at The Ritchie Centre. Her research uses an integrative approach at the molecular and functional physiology level to understand how a compromised intrauterine environment affects lung growth and the transition from fetal to newborn life. Dr McGillick’s research has provided the molecular basis of poor lung development in fetuses from complicated pregnancies, including gestational diabetes, intrauterine growth restriction and maternal obesity. Her current work using cutting edge pre-clincal models and state-of-the-art synchrotron X-ray imaging techniques is aimed at identifying mechanisms underpinning disease manifestation and at developing new/improved strategies to assist compromised babies successfully make the transition to newborn life. She has gained international clinical research experience working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands to translate pre-clinical findings from her laboratory into clinical studies to improve the transition to air-breathing at birth. Her work targets significant morbidity and mortality in perinatal medicine and a major social and economic burden. Her ultimate research goal is to occupy and populate the void between basic research and clinical practice to provide practical solutions to issues facing compromised newborns at birth.

Selected publications

  • Brownbill P, Sebire N, McGillick EV, Ellery SJ, Murthi P (2018) Ex vivo dual perfusion of the human placenta – Disease simulation, therapeutic pharmacokinetics and analysis of their off-targets, Methods in Molecular Biology, 1710: 173-189.

  • Soo JY, Orgeig S, McGillick EV, Zhang S, McMillen IC, Morrison JL (2017) Normalisation of surfactant protein -A and -B expression in the lungs of low birth weight lambs by 21 days old, PLoS one, 12(9):e0181185.

  • McGillick EV*, Lee K*, Yamaoka S, te Pas AB, Crossley KJ, Wallace MJ, Kitchen MJ, Lewis R, Kerr TL, DeKoninck P, Dekker J, Hooper SB (2017) Elevated airway liquid volumes at birth: a potential cause of transient tachypnea of the newborn, The Journal of Applied Physiology, 123(5):1204-1213.

  • Lock ML, McGillick EV, Orgeig S, McMillen IC, Mulhausler BS, Zhang Z, Morrison JL (2017) Differential effect of late gestation maternal overnutrition on the regulation of surfactant maturation in fetal and postnatal life. The Journal of Physiology, 595(21):6635-6652.

  • McGillick EV et al. (2017) Maternal chronic hypoxia increases expression of genes regulating lung liquid movement and surfactant maturation in male fetuses in late gestation, The Journal of Physiology, 595(13):4329-4350.

  • McGillick EV*, Lock MC* et al. (2017) Maternal obesity mediated predisposition to respiratory complications at birth and in later life: understanding the implications of the obesogenic intrauterine environment, Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 21: 11-18.

  • McGillick EV et al. (2017) Chronic hypoxeamia as a molecular regulator of fetal lung development: implications for risk of respiratory complications at birth, Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 21: 3-10.

  • McGillick EV et al. (2016) Risk of respiratory distress syndrome and efficacy of glucocorticoids: are they the same in the normally grown and intrauterine growth restricted infant?, Reproductive Sciences, 23(11): 1459-1472.

  • McGillick EV et al. (2016) Regulation of lung maturation by prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) inhibition in the lung of the normally grown and placentally restricted fetus in late gestation, American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 310(11): R1226-1243.