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Meet our dedicated researchers involved in creating and managing this project 


Melanie Conrad, PhD

Melanie is an researcher at Charité Medical University in Berlin (Germany). Her research focuses on how maternal stress during pregnancy influences immune system development in the baby, and risk for diseases such as allergies and asthma during early life.  She is interested in how changes to the ‘helpful’ gut bacteria influence the maternal immune system, and how these changes are passed to the baby.  The aim of her work is to better understand how the stress or anxiety during pregnancy can influence the developing baby. The goal of her research is to creating strategies that can be used during pregnancy to reduce stress and also reduce the risk for allergy development in children.

Minesh Khashu, MD

Minesh is a Neonatologist at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UK) and a Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University.  His research involves preterm birth as well as neonatal nutrition, NEC, infection and fathers experiences of neonatal care. Minesh has an interest outside periantal health in reimagining health care with regard to system wide transformation, continuous quality improvement, and patient centred care. He is research chair of an International group of researchers studying fathers’ experiences of neonatal care. He is the founder of SIGNEC (, and developer of DadPad Neonatal, a resource to support dads whose babies have been admitted to neonatal units. 

Alison MacRae-Miller, MA

Alison is a practicing midwife and a Clinical Instructor for the University of British Columbia (Canada). She previously led a research unit responsible for resolution of the legacy of First Nations Residential Schools in Western Canada, and also holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management and a Master of Arts degree. Her current research interests include client-centred maternity care, bringing trauma-informed care in practice, bioethics, and public healthcare policy relating to surrogacy. She is also a mom to a seven year old.

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Edwin van Teijlingen, PhD

Edwin is Professor of Reproductive Health Research at Bournemouth University (UK).  He is trained as a sociologist and his research focuses on social and cultural aspects of midwifery and maternity care.  He has published widely in this field, including several edited books: Midwifery and the Medicalization of Childbirth: Comparative Perspectives, New Thinking on Improving Maternity Care: International Perspectives, and Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media. Edwin is a member of the national UK Research and Innovation International Development Peer Review College.


Latha Vinayakarao, MD

Latha is a consultant obstetrician at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UK) with special interest in intrapartum care and maternal and fetal medicine. Dr. Vinayakarao completed her training in Northern Ireland and has experience in the management of high-risk obstetrics patients. Her research involves improving preeclampsia diagnosis. She is co-lead for the Wessex intra-partum care network and is involved the fetal medicine service.

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Swarali Datye, PhD Candidate

Swarali has a Master's degree in Microbiology from Garware College in Pune, India. In March 2020, she joined Dr. Melanie Conrad's lab in Berlin as a PhD candidate. Swarali has wholeheartedly committed herself to the EPPOCH-UK project and plays a large role in the design of our questionnaires and management of the database. She will start writing her first publication on the study in early 2021.

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