Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (PNG) Group

Head: Professor James Beeson


Burnet’s groundbreaking Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) collaborative research project aims to define the major causes of poor maternal, newborn, and infant health in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where the rate of maternal mortality is 80 times that of Australia.

The HMHB experienced team of laboratory and field researchers specialising in maternal and child health, paediatric medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and public health, bring a diverse range of technical skills to the project.

They work closely with the five busiest health facilities in East New Britain (ENB) province, who provide services for most pregnant women in that region.

The first two of five major research studies are underway. In the Mothers and Babies Follow-Up Study our researchers are following a group of 700 women to find out what health problems are complicating their pregnancy or affecting the mother and baby in the 12-month period after pregnancy.

The HMHB Health Services in Postnatal and Infancy Study involved partnerships with the PNG Institute for Medical Research, national stakeholders and the East New Britain Provincial Health Office.

Our committed field team based in Kokopo, East New Britain also includes clinical research officers, laboratory staff, drivers, data managers and administrative project staff, led by Research Project Manager Dr Liz Peach.


  • Professor William Pomat
  • Kirby Institute
  • University of PNG
  • Dr Chris Morgan


  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • HMHB - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care

  • HMHB: The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants

Staff Members

  • Doctor Alyce Wilson

    Doctor Alyce Wilson
    Honorary Staff member

  • Professor Brendan Crabb AC

    Professor Brendan Crabb AC
    Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)

  • Professor Caroline Homer AO

    Professor Caroline Homer AO
    Burnet Executive Team; Co-Program Director, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health; Working Group Head

  • Clarissa  Moreira

    Clarissa Moreira
    PhD Student and Research Assistant

  • Dukduk Kabiu

    Dukduk Kabiu
    Community Liaison Officer

  • Doctor Elissa Kennedy

    Doctor Elissa Kennedy
    Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health; Co-Head Global Adolescent Health

  • Eliza Davidson

    Eliza Davidson
    PhD Candidate

  • Doctor Elizabeth Peach

    Doctor Elizabeth Peach
    Research Project Manager, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • Eremas Amos

    Eremas Amos

  • Professor Freya J.I. Fowkes

    Professor Freya J.I. Fowkes
    Deputy Program Director, Maternal and Child Health

  • Doctor Gladys Naa Lomole Lomotey

    Doctor Gladys Naa Lomole Lomotey
    Masters Student

  • Hannah Clark

    Hannah Clark
    Honours Student

  • Doctor Herbert Opi

    Doctor Herbert Opi
    Postdoctoral Scientist

  • Professor James  Beeson

    Professor James Beeson
    MBBS, BMedSc, PhD, FAFPHM, FAAHMS | Deputy Director (People); Head of Malaria Immunity and Vaccines Laboratory; Adjunct Professor Monash University

  • Doctor Kudakwashe Chani

    Doctor Kudakwashe Chani
    Country Director, Papua New Guinea

  • Professor Leanne Robinson

    Professor Leanne Robinson
    Program Director, Health Security; Senior Principal Research Fellow, Group Leader, Vector-Borne Diseases and Tropical Public Health

  • Doctor Michelle Scoullar

    Doctor Michelle Scoullar
    HMHB Principal Investigator; PhD candidate

  • Doctor Nick Scott

    Doctor Nick Scott
    Head, Modelling & Biostatistics

  • Doctor Stenard Hiasihri

    Doctor Stenard Hiasihri
    Team Leader, Fleming Fund Country Grant

  • Associate Professor Suman Majumdar

    Associate Professor Suman Majumdar
    Deputy Program Director, Health Security & Pandemic Preparedness; Co-head, Tuberculosis Elimination & Implementation Science; Principal Research Fellow