IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor: John Thompson

25 March - 6 April 2014

John Thompson (University of Auckland) is a Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologist and Statistician and has been involved in a number of large epidemiological projects over time including:

a) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: His early career was involved in the analysis of the New Zealand Cot Death Study. He is also involved in a current nationwide study of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) which is focused on the potential mechanisms some of the hard to change risk factors previously identified.

b) Small for gestational age, growth and development: He is the deputy-director  of the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative (ABC) study, a longitudinal case-control study of small for gestational age infants which to date includes 6 phases at birth, 1, 3½, 7, 11 and currently 16 years of age. His expertise in this area has led to his involvement in a contemporary study SCOPE and the Children of SCOPE studies.

c) Stillbirth: The Auckland Stillbirth Study was one of the first major studies investigating potentially modifiable risk factors for late stillbirth. This has led to a new nationwide study of stillbirth looking to confirm the potentially modifiable factors identified in the original study and also to elucidate some of the mechanisms. It is also investigating the physiology of sleep during pregnancy to better understand the potential mechanisms of the previously identifiable risk factors.

d) Cleft Lip and Palate: He leads research on cleft lip and palate in New Zealand. This has involved identifying all cases of cleft lip and palate over a 10 year period. This dataset is now being used to develop further research involving risk factors, outcomes, quality of life and burden of care.He is a member of the International taskforce of cleft lip and palate, with a specific focus on aetiology and prevention.

For more information about Dr. Thompson's visit, please contact Professor Jonathan Sandy