Professor Caroline Anne Crowther


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Professor Caroline Crowther is a maternal fetal medicine subspecialist and Professor of Maternal & Perinatal Health at the Liggins Institute. Through her professional work, she aims to attain the best health and well-being possible for women and their babies through excellence and leadership in research, education and knowledge transfer.  Caroline graduated in medicine at the University of Birmingham, completed her MRCOG training in obstetrics and gynaecology in the United Kingdom and undertook a MD whilst a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. She was appointed to the faculty of the University of Adelaide in 1988, where she completed her training in maternal-fetal medicine (CMFM) and in 2003 was promoted to Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Caroline was appointed Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland in 2012, where she is current chair of the LiFePATH research group.

Caroline has extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of randomised clinical trials and has coordinated many large, multicentre trials that focus on the evaluation of new perinatal therapies or care practices, in collaboration with researchers in key institutions in New Zealand, Australia and overseas. These trials are recognised internationally for their high quality and have led to translation of the research findings into clinical practice guidelines, improving maternal and perinatal health worldwide. Instrumental in establishing the IMPACT Network (Interdisciplinary maternal perinatal Australasian Clinical Trials Network) in 1996 and inaugural Chair of the Network. Editor for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, 1995-2019.  Her current research interests include studies that focus on antenatal therapies to improve maternal and infant health when pregnancy is complicated such as by preterm birth, multiple pregnancy, hypertensive disease and gestational diabetes.

Research | Current

  • Research synthesis – synthesising current knowledge about health care and identifying research gaps
  • Randomised clinical trials – recognised as the best research methodology when comparing different forms of treatment
  • International maternity and child health
  • Translational research – ensuring that new research findings are translated into clinical practice

Major grant funding:

  • Principal Investigator, Lottery Grants Board Health Grant “Mother and child health after tighter glycaemic targets for managing gestational diabetes: The TARGET 4.5 year Follow-up Study”, 2020-2022
  • Principal Investigator, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Grant “Antenatal Magnesium Sulphate at 30 to 34 Week’s Gestation for Fetal Neuroprotection – The MAGENTAL Trial”, 2017-2020
  • Principal Investigator, Strategic Research Initiative Grant, University of Auckland “Establishment of a multidisciplinary, transnational, collaborative clinical research network and central coordinating research hub in maternal and perinatal health (ON TRACK Network)”, 2015-2022
  • Principal Investigator, HRC Project Grant "GEMS Gestational Diabetes Trial of Detection Thresholds: Impact on Health and Costs”, 2014-2019
  • Principal Investigator, HRC Project Grant "Optimal glycaemic targets for gestational diabetes: The randomised trial TARGET”, 2014-2018
  • Principal Investigator, HRC Project Grant "Antenatal magnesium sulphate: mechanisms of fetal neuroprotection", 2014-2018
  • Co-Investigator, C*STEROID Grant “Safely improving outcomes for babies after birth by planned caesarean section”, 2020-2023
  • Co-Investigator, HRC Programme Grant "Assessing the impact of maternal and perinatal interventions on life-long health”, 2019-2024
  • Co-Investigator, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence “Targeted Nutrition to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes”, 2017-2022
  • Co-Investigator, HRC Programme Grant “Feeding preterm babies for life-long health”, 2016-2021

New 2020 Publications

  • Crowther CA, McCowan LM, Rowan JA, Edlin R, McKinlay CJ. Lower versus higher diagnostic criteria for the detection of gestational diabetes for reducing maternal and perinatal morbidity: study protocol for the GEMS randomised trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2020 Dec;20(1):1-7.
  • Poppe T, Thompson B, Boardman JP, Bastin ME, Alsweiler J, Deib G, Harding JE, Crowther CA, MagNUM Study Group. Effect of antenatal magnesium sulphate on MRI biomarkers of white matter development at term equivalent age: The magnum study. EBioMedicine. 2020 Sep 1;59:102957.
  • Middleton P, Shepherd E, Morris J, Crowther CA, Gomersall JC. Induction of labour at or beyond 37 weeks' gestation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020(7).
  • Griffith RJ, Alsweiler J, Moore AE, Brown S, Middleton P, Shepherd E, Crowther CA. Interventions to prevent women from developing gestational diabetes mellitus: an overview of Cochrane Reviews. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020(6).
  • Cormack BE, Jiang Y, Harding JE, Crowther CA, Bloomfield FH, ProVIDe Trial Group. Neonatal Refeeding Syndrome and Clinical Outcome in Extremely Low Birthweight Babies. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2020 May 26.
  • Lin L, Amissah E, Gamble GD, Crowther CA, Harding JE. Impact of macronutrient supplements on later growth of children born preterm or small for gestational age: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and quasirandomised controlled trials. PLoS medicine. 2020 May 26;17(5):e1003122.
  • Okesene-Gafa KA, Moore AE, Jordan V, McCowan L, & Crowther CA. (2020). Probiotic treatment for women with gestational diabetes to improve maternal and infant health and well-being. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 6, CD012970. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd012970.pub2

Postgraduate supervision

  • Currently supervising or co-supervising 8 PhD students


  • FRSNZ, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi of New Zealand 2019
  • Norbert Freinkel Award from the American Diabetes Association for outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of diabetes and pregnancy, 2013
  • Inaugural International Anne Anderson Award from the Cochrane Collaboration for meaningful contribution to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011
  • South Australian SA Great Award for contributions to health and the community through evaluating and improving the clinical management of pregnancy and childbirth, 2005
  • FRCOG 1993
  • FRANZCOG 1989

Areas of expertise

  • Maternal & perinatal health, systematic reviews, clinical trials, translational research

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Cormack, B. E., Jiang, Y., Harding, J. E., Crowther, C. A., Lynn, A., Nair, A., ... Webster, D. (2020). Plasma ammonia concentrations in extremely low birthweight infants in the first week after birth: secondary analysis from the ProVIDe randomized clinical trial. Pediatric research, 88 (2), 250-256. 10.1038/s41390-019-0730-z
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang, Barbara Cormack, Jane Harding, Frank Bloomfield
  • Kennedy, E., Wouldes, T., Perry, D., Deib, G., Alsweiler, J., Crowther, C., ... MagNUM Study Group (2020). Profiles of neurobehavior and their associations with brain abnormalities on MRI in infants born preterm. Early human development, 14510.1016/j.earlhumdev.2020.105041
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Trecia Wouldes, Jane Alsweiler, Jane Harding, Eleanor Kennedy
  • Egan, A. M., Bogdanet, D., Griffin, T. P., Kgosidialwa, O., Cervar-Zivkovic, M., Dempsey, E., ... Cooray, S. D. (2020). A core outcome set for studies of gestational diabetes mellitus prevention and treatment. Diabetologia, 63 (6), 1120-1127. 10.1007/s00125-020-05123-6
  • Shepherd, E., Mcintyre, S., Smithers-Sheedy, H., Ashwood, P., Sullivan, T. R., Te Velde, A., ... Crowther, C. A. (2020). Linking data from a large clinical trial with the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register. Developmental medicine and child neurology10.1111/dmcn.14556
  • Okesene-Gafa, K., McCowan, L., McKinlay, C., Nielson, D., Wilson, J., Taylor, R., ... Henning, M. (2020). Experiences of a multi-ethnic population with obesity receiving dietary interventions and probiotics in pregnancy, from the Healthy Mums and Babies randomised trial. Journal of Global Health Reports, 410.29392/001c.12664
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marcus Henning, Lesley McCowan
  • Cormack, B. E., Jiang, Y., Harding, J. E., Crowther, C. A., & Bloomfield, F. H. (2020). Relationships between Neonatal Nutrition and Growth to 36 Weeks' Corrected Age in ELBW Babies-Secondary Cohort Analysis from the Provide Trial. Nutrients, 12 (3).10.3390/nu12030760
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yannan Jiang, Barbara Cormack, Jane Harding, Frank Bloomfield
  • Gatman, K., May, R., & Crowther, C. (2020). Survey on use of antenatal magnesium sulphate for fetal neuroprotection prior to preterm birth in Australia and New Zealand - Ongoing barriers and enablers. The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology, 60 (1), 44-48. 10.1111/ajo.12981
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robyn May
  • Lin, L., Crowther, C., Gamble, G., Bloomfield, F., Harding, J. E., & ESSENCE IPD-MA Group (2020). Sex-specific effects of nutritional supplements in infants born early or small: protocol for an individual participant data meta-analysis (ESSENCE IPD-MA). BMJ open, 10 (1)10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033438
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frank Bloomfield, Jane Harding, Greg Gamble

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 503 - Bldg 503
Level 2, Room 271
New Zealand