• The University of Western Australia (M504), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M550), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Jeff Keelan gained his PhD from the University of Auckland in 1994, moving from Auckland to Perth WA in 2007. Although his research was initially in the field of steroid biochemistry, where he specialised in assay development, his postdoctoral research has primarily focused on the study of the immunology, endocrinology and pharmacology of pregnancy.
He is Professor of Obstetrics and Head of School of Biomedical Sciences at QEII Medical Centre, Perth. He is also Director of the Women and Newborn Health Research Network at King Edward Memorial Hospital. He has supervised more than 50 postgraduate students and published more than 220 articles in the fields of immunology, pharmacology, obstetrics and endocrinology (Google Scholar: >11,000 citations; h-index 61); he has received more than $18 M in competitive grant funding.

His current research is centred on the pharmacological treatment of intra-amniotic infection/inflammation, nanoparticle-based drug delivery in pregnancy, the intrauterine microbial and endocrine environment, amniotic fluid metagenomics, lipidomics and toxicology.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Head of School of Biomedical Sciences, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands, Perth
  • Research Professor, Division of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Director, Women and Newborn Health Research Network (WNHRN), King Edward Memorial Hospital
  • Adjunct Professor, Curtin University
  • Board Member, Marshall Centre Advisory Board
  • Board Member, QEII Trust

Future research

I am interested in exploring the prognostic value of assessing maternal inflammation in pregnancy, and the use of drugs, probiotics and dietary supplements to mitigate the effects of inflammation in pregnancy.

Funding overview

Since 2017:

2017:  Chief applicant (CIB) with John Newnham, Dorota Doherty, Matthew Payne. NHMRC project grant APP1111111: “A prospective, open-label, single-centre/multi-site, randomized clinical trial of a novel maternal microbiological “screen & treat” program compared with normal care for the prevention of preterm birth”

2017   Chief applicant (CIA) with David Olson, Sarah Robertson, Matthew Kemp and Hayley Dickinson. NHMRC project grant AP1145295: “Preclinical evaluation of a novel allosteric IL-1R inhibitor (rytvela) for the prevention of perinatal inflammation-induced fetal injury”

2017   Chief applicant (CIB) with Sarah Robertson and Mark Hutchins. NHMRC project grant APP1140916: “Preclinical development of TLR signalling inhibitors for prevention of preterm labour and fetal inflammatory injury”

2017   Co-applicant with Jiake Xu and others, NHMRC Equipment Grant: “iCelligence System”

2017   Co-applicant with J Newnham and others, NHMRC Equipment Grant: “Kingfisher 96-Plex Purification System”

2018   Chief applicant, Channel 7 Telethon Trust Grant: “Multi-omic analysis of cervicovaginal fluids for predicting preterm birth”

2019   Co-applicant, NHMRC Equipment Grant

2020   Co-applicant, NHMRC Equipment Grant

Previous positions

1985 – 94: Hospital Scientific Officer, Dept. Clinical Biochemistry, National Women’s Hospital, Auckland, NZ
1994 – 2001: Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Auckland, Dept Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Auckland, NZ
2001 – 2007: Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ
2006 – 2007: Head, Pregnancy Research Group, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland

2007 - 2020: Head, Women and Infants Health Research Laboratories, KEMH, Perth WA.

Current projects

Contact Jeff Keelan for details

Industrial relevance

Commercialization of a test to predict risk of infection-driven preterm birth

Teaching overview

Lecturing: Molecular Pharmacology; Reproductive biology; Placental pharmacology; Pharmacology in pregnancy.

Uni Western Australia: Lecturer for PHAR2220; ANHB2216; APHB5501; ANHB3316; IMED1108, IMED2208; IMED3308

Uni Auckland: MEDSCI201 (Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology): Lecturer and course coordinator.
Uni Auckland: MEDSCI720 (Biomedical research techniques) lecturer and course coordinator.


See this link for an online profile of Jeff's research:

Current research interests:
Inflammation- and infection-associated preterm labour.
Anti-inflammatory/anti-microbial modalities to prevent preterm labour.
Fetal membrane apoptosis and premature rupture
Placental drug transport.
Lipid-derived mediators in placental growth and function in pregnancy.
Nanoparticle transport and drug delivery in the placenta.
Endocrine disrupters in amniotic fluid and pregnancy.
The role and significance of the microbiome in pregnancy and fetal development.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Obstetrics, PhD, University of Auckland

Award Date: 1 Jul 1994

Biochemistry, MSc, University of Auckland

Award Date: 1 Dec 1986

Applied Biology, BSc (Hons), Liverpool John Moores University

Award Date: 1 Sept 1979

External positions

Board Member, QEII trust, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Trust

1 Jan 2020 → …

Adjunct Professor, Curtin University

2017 → …

Director, Research Governance, Women and Newborn Health Service

1 Oct 2009 → …

Industry keywords

  • Medicine and Pharma
  • Clinical Trials
  • Diagnostics

Research expertise keywords

  • Placental inflammation
  • Lipid-derived mediators in pregnancy
  • Preterm birth (prevention of)
  • Placental growth, development and apoptosis
  • Placental drug transporters
  • Placental nanoparticle transport
  • Pregnancy: obesity and inflammation
  • Antibiotic pharmacokinetics in pregnancy
  • Microbiome


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