Research at King Edward Memorial Hospital

King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) has a long history of ground-breaking research in the fields of maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, midwifery, perinatology, neonatology, perinatal mental health and gynaecology. As the State’s preeminent teaching and research hospital in the area of women’s health, KEMH boasts a raft of internationally recognised clinical and biomedical researchers, with successful and long-established links with centres and researchers in Europe & the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, China and South East Asia. 

KEMH’s patients have the opportunity to participate in research projects to help improve health care and develop new, safer and more effective therapies for women and their infants. 

Research at KEMH is funded by WA Health, NHMRC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Channel 7 Telethon Trust, Cancer Council of WA and a variety of other funding agencies. For more than forty years, research on the KEMH site has been facilitated by the Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) (external site). The Foundation is an independent accredited research organisation whose mission is “to conduct, enable and promote high quality research that will improve the health of women and babies in Australia and beyond”. 

Research at KEMH produces around 150 publications per year in medical journals and text books. Clinical research carried out at KEMH has contributed to major advances in the prevention of preterm birth ( - external site), use of antenatal steroid therapy (external site) for women in preterm labour, the use of probiotics (external site) in the treatment of preterm babies, and the accurate assessment of problematic anxiety (external site) in pre- and postpartum mothers. 

Two of KEMH’s most prominent researchers, Professor John Newnham and Professor Karen Simmer, have both received Australian honours for their contributions to clinical care and medical science. Prof Simmer was recently named Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. The Women and Newborn Health Service (WNHS) is a research partner of the Western Australian Health Translation Network (external site).

Research ethics and governance at KEMH

The review, approval and monitoring of human research at KEMH is governed by WA Health’s Research Governance Framework (external site) in conjunction with National guidelines and International conventions. Research ethics and governance applications are submitted and processed via the Research Governance Service (RGS) platform (external site). Administration and monitoring of approved research ethics and governance applications is carried out by the WNHS Research Ethics and Governance Office (REGO). A list of active research projects approved by the REGO can be found here.

Major research groups and centres

Research publications