veski inspiring women bridging the funding gap grant recipient
A veski inspiring women grant – bridging the funding gap is awarded to Associate Professor Lisa Moran, Head of the Healthy Lifestyle Research Program, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) at Monash University.
Prevention of obesity-related cardio-metabolic risk in high-risk reproductive aged women – risk prediction and tailored lifestyle management
Associate Professor Moran is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and works in nutrition research across clinical trials, epidemiology and implementation research. She was unsuccessful in securing funding for a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant Leadership 1 (L1) in 2023 for her project “Prevention of obesity related cardio-metabolic risk in high-risk reproductive aged women – risk prediction and tailored lifestyle management”.
Under the veski inspiring women – bridging the funding gap grant, Associate Professor Moran will extend her work with high-risk women and health professionals to improve identification, awareness, screening, lifestyle and weight management during the reproductive years to optimise long term cardiovascular disease prevention. She will also work on integrating novel strategies on improving collaborative parenting relationships which we have previously shown to be associated with improved weight in women following birth. Reproductive aged women are at high risk for obesity-related cardio-metabolic disease offering prevention opportunities. This includes women with polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy.
Associate Professor Moran’s research aims to reduce the impact of lifestyle and weight-related disease in reproductive aged women and their families. This includes working across key life stages for targeting lifestyle interventions including preconception, during pregnancy and post-partum, and high-risk conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. By developing optimal lifestyle interventions for Australian women, her research will result in improved fertility, a reduced risk of pregnancy complications, improved future maternal health including diabetes, heart disease and depression and provide a foundation to secure a healthier future for newborn children.
Over the last 15 years Associate Professor Moran has worked with Monash Health, which is the largest health service nationally overseeing 40 community clinics and ~10,000 public births/year. Within Monash Health, approximately 20,000 residents of the Monash Health catchment area identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (with this number doubling from 2017-8 to 2019), and 65% of births are from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Monash Health catchment covers areas that involved many populations experiencing some of the greatest socioeconomic disadvantage in the state. Across her research, Associate Professor Moran specifically works with women from these diverse locations and background to ensure their needs and preferences are represented.
Being an outstanding internationally recognised leader in cardiovascular disease prevention in women’s health, Associate Professor Moran is generating novel knowledge and an impact in screening/management strategies in high-risk populations. She was head hunted to establish and lead the MCHRI Healthy Lifestyle and Risk Prediction Research Programs in 2016. Here she is successfully leading a growing multidisciplinary team of 11 PhD students and three post-Doctoral research fellows in epidemiological, clinical and implementation research, culminating in lifestyle interventions combining mechanistic, clinical and public health research with a goal of decreasing the burden of obesity on reproductive, metabolic and psychological health in young women.