skip to content

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



Worldwide, the prevalence of obesity is increasing relentlessly. In 2016, the World Health Organisation reported that >1.9 billion adults (39% of the global population) were overweight and >650 million (13%) were obese (Body Mass Index; BMI >30kg/m2). In conjunction with the widely known obesity comorbidities (insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancers), overweight/obesity is linked to reproductive defects in females and males. Women who are overweight/obese are at increased risk of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, placental insufficiency, and abnormal fetal growth. Their infants are also more prone to abnormal fetal metabolism, as well as adulthood obesity, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. Similarly, maternal obesity in animal models has been linked to feto-placental growth alterations and metabolic dysfunction in adult offspring. High BMI in men has been recently shown to increase the risk of pregnancy complications for their partner and is linked to abnormal fetal growth, and greater adiposity in their offspring, creating a generational cycle of negative health impacts. My work with Dr. Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri revolves around the effects of high fat high sugar diet and endocrine dysfunction of the placenta, through IGF-2 modifications. I intend to elucidate the effects that this has on offspring development of health and possible disease.


Dr Joshua J Fisher (University of Newcastle)
Dr Tu'uhevaha Kaitu'u-Lino (University of Melbourne)
Dr. Anthony Perkins (Griffith University)


Key publications: 

McKeating, D. R., Fisher, J. J., MacDonald, T., Walker, S., Tong, S., Bennett, W. W., Kaitu'u-Lino, T. J., Perkins, A. V. (2021). Circulating trace elements for the prediction of preeclampsia and small for gestational age babies. Metabolomics, 17(10), 1-11.

McKeating, D. R., Clifton, V. L., Hurst, C. P., Fisher, J. J., Bennett, W. W., & Perkins, A. V. (2020). Elemental Metabolomics for Prediction of Term Gestational Outcomes Utilising 18-Week Maternal Plasma and Urine Samples. Biological Trace Element Research.

McKeating, D. R., Fisher, J. J., Zhang, P., Bennett, W. W., & Perkins, A. V. (2019). Elemental metabolomics in human cord blood: Method validation and trace element quantification. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 126419.

McKeating, D. R., Fisher, J. J., & Perkins, A. V. (2019). Elemental metabolomics and pregnancy outcomes. Nutrients, 11(1), 73.

Fisher, J., McKeating, D., Pennell, E., Cuffe, J., Holland, O., & Perkins, A. (2019). Mitochondrial isolation, cryopreservation and preliminary biochemical characterisation from placental cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast. Placenta, 82, 1-4.

Komarova, T., Mckeating, D.R., Perkins, A.V., & Tinggi, U. (2021). Trace Element Analysis in Whole Blood and Plasma for Reference Levels in a Selected Queensland Population, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(5), 2652

McAlpine, J. M., McKeating, D. R., Vincze, L., Vanderlelie, J. J., & Perkins, A. V. (2019). Essential Mineral Intake During Pregnancy and Its Association With Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes in South East Queensland, Australia. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 12, 1178638819879444.

Postdoctoral researcher

Contact Details