Annette’s quest to help pregnant asthmatics

Dr Annette Osei-Kumah

Respiratory and reproductive health researcher Dr Annette Osei-Kumah is winning both hearts and minds in Adelaide thanks to her academic excellence and community work.

The postdoctoral researcher, originally from Ghana, is helping to improve the care of pregnant asthmatic women in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. In her spare time Annette is giving back to the community she now calls home, serving on a number of church and voluntary organisations.

Name: Dr Annette Osei-Kumah

Role: Postdoctoral researcher at the Robinson Institute and Lyell McEwin Hospital and inaugural Florey Fellow, University of Adelaide, researching why asthma worsens in pregnancy.

University degree details:

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) and a PhD from the University of Newcastle

Details of any scholarships/fellowships awarded:

Florey Early Career Northern Health Research Fellow in honour of the University of Adelaide’s most famous graduate Lord Howard Florey.

How has this fellowship assisted you?

The Florey Fellowship has enabled me to help improve poor obstetric outcomes for pregnant, asthmatic women living in Adelaide’s north. We have recruited 100 patients at the Lyell McEwin Hospital for studies, collecting blood samples and looking at each woman’s immune system to try to understand why their asthma worsens in pregnancy. The Fellowship has also enabled me to present our research at the International Conference of Reproductive Immunology in Germany, the Thoracic Society for Australia and New Zealand in Canberra and the Endocrine Society of Australia conference in the Gold Coast in 2012.

Why choose University of Adelaide to undertake your research?

The University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute has an outstanding reputation for its obstetrics research and is very competitive at the international level. I am constantly learning from and working with the top researchers in their field. Adelaide itself is also a very liveable, relaxed and family friendly city.

Other awards

In 2012 I was named one of the 200 most influential Africans in South Australia. I was recognised for both my professional work and also voluntary work as I am involved in a number of community and church organisations, including the Ghana Association in South Australia.

Tips for early career researchers:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek out mentors. Actively pursue opportunities to attend conferences and present your research at seminars. Also cultivate media interest in your particular area of research so your findings can be communicated to the general public.



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