Associate Professor Mhoyra Fraser
PhD, MPhil, DipSci, BSc
A/Professor Mhoyra Fraser is a neuroendocrinologist interested in fetal brain development and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. She has contributed substantially to our understanding of fetal brain development and how this is disrupted when fetuses are deprived of oxygen or either exposed to infection or glucocorticoids.
Evidence suggests that the earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk the baby has of developing brain injury. Around half of the very preterm babies will have neurological and cognitive deficits that affect their daily life. The cause of this injury is unclear and there is no current treatment.
Hypoxia-ischaemia caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or infection of the brain originating from the placenta and fetal membranes are major contributors to injury of the preterm brain.
A/Professor Fraser seeks to advance our understanding of the complex mechanisms, which link preterm brain injury to infection/inflammatory processes, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies such as non-invasive targeted exosomal or immunomodulatory therapies.
Affiliations and collaborations
Associate Professor, Department Physiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland
Research | Current
•Project 1: Non-invasive targeted exosomal therapies for preterm brain injury
•Project 2: Are exosomal microRNAs biomarkers for risk of cerebral palsy?
•Project 3: Immunomodulatory therapies for treatment of preterm brain injury
Teaching | Current
Senior lecturer, Dept Physiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland
Areas of expertise
Preterm brain injury
Fetal and maternal exosomal based research
Cytokines and perinatal brain injury
Fetal neuroendocrine system
Biomarkers of perinatal brain injury
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Cho, K. H. T., Zeng, N., Anekal, P. V., Xu, B., & Fraser, M. (2020). Effects of delayed intraventricular TLR7 agonist administration on long-term neurological outcome following asphyxia in the preterm fetal sheep. Scientific reports, 10 (1)10.1038/s41598-020-63770-6
- Galinsky, R., Dhillon, S. K., Dean, J. M., Davidson, J. O., Lear, C. A., Wassink, G., ... Yuill, C. (2020). Tumor necrosis factor inhibition attenuates white matter gliosis after systemic inflammation in preterm fetal sheep. Journal of neuroinflammation, 17 (1)10.1186/s12974-020-01769-6
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christopher Lear, Justin Dean, Guido Wassink, Laura Bennet, Alistair Gunn
- Wassink, G., Davidson, J. O., Fraser, M., Yuill, C. A., Bennet, L., & Gunn, A. J. (2020). Non-additive effects of adjunct erythropoietin therapy with therapeutic hypothermia after global cerebral ischaemia in near-term fetal sheep. The Journal of physiology, 598 (5), 999-1015. 10.1113/jp279131
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Laura Bennet, Alistair Gunn, Guido Wassink
- Cho, K. H., Fraser, M., Wassink, G., Dhillon, S. K., Davidson, J. O., Dean, J. M., ... Bennet, L. (2020). TLR7 agonist modulation of postasphyxial neurophysiological and cardiovascular adaptations in preterm fetal sheep. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 318 (2), R369-R378. 10.1152/ajpregu.00295.2019
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alistair Gunn, Guido Wassink, Justin Dean, Laura Bennet
- Cho, K. H. T., Wassink, G., Galinsky, R., Xu, B., Mathai, S., Dhillon, S. K., ... Bennet, L. (2019). Protective effects of delayed intraventricular TLR7 agonist administration on cerebral white and gray matter following asphyxia in the preterm fetal sheep. Scientific Reports, 9 (1), 9562-9562. 10.1038/s41598-019-45872-y
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alistair Gunn, Guido Wassink, Laura Bennet
- Cho, K. H. T., Xu, B., Blenkiron, C., & Fraser, M. (2019). Emerging Roles of miRNAs in Brain Development and Perinatal Brain Injury. Frontiers in physiology, 1010.3389/fphys.2019.00227
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cherie Blenkiron
- Davidson, J. O., Dean, J. M., Fraser, M., Wassink, G., Andelius, T. C., Dhillon, S. K., ... Gunn, A. J. (2018). Perinatal brain injury: mechanisms and therapeutic approaches. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 23, 2204-2226. 10.2741/4700
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Guido Wassink, Laura Bennet, Alistair Gunn, Justin Dean
- Galinsky, R., Lear, C. A., Dean, J. M., Wassink, G., Dhillon, S. K., Fraser, M., ... Gunn, A. J. (2018). Complex interactions between hypoxia-ischemia and inflammation in preterm brain injury. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 60 (2), 126-133. 10.1111/dmcn.13629
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alistair Gunn, Christopher Lear, Guido Wassink, Laura Bennet, Justin Dean