Professor Jane Pillow

Started at UWA: 1997

Internationally recognised neonatologist improving outcomes for premature infants

Working in a transdisciplinary setting, and maintaining links to the hospital gives me the rare opportunity to see ideas progress through to clinical translation. Finding ways to help premature babies survive and develop will improve their life long health and welfare, and reduce the burden of premature birth on society as a whole. Professor Jane Pillow

Jane Pillow is an Professor in Neonatology and Co-Director of the UWA Centre for Neonatal Research and Education. Her dedication to neonatology has seen her complete research projects in both Australia and the United Kingdom which support growth and development in premature infants.

After completing her undergraduate medical studies at the University of Queensland (MBBS), she undertook her Bachelor of Medical Science at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne before interning in Townsville. She then moved to Melbourne to complete training in Paediatrics and Neonatology (FRACP 1996).

Upon returning to research during her advanced specialisation, Professor Pillow was recruited to evaluate a novel mode of mechanical ventilation called high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, in which babies are ventilated with up to 900 miniature breaths per minute. In 2000, she completed her PhD before moving to London for National Health and Medical Research Council postdoctoral studies.

Professor Pillow’s current clinical research includes determining if helping premature infants to developing their circadian rhythm earlier will improve their brain development and general well-being.

Normal development of the brain and other body organs early in life is essential to lifelong health and wellbeing. Premature babies are born before these organs have developed properly, and Professor Pillow’s preclinical research evaluates novel new therapies for premature babies after birth to reduce the risk of damage to fragile developing organs such as the lung, intestines and brain.

External positions:

  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
  • Co-Director, UWA Centre for Neonatal Research and Education
  • Director, Preclinical Intensive Care Research Unit

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National Health and Medical Research Council 10 of the Best Project Grants, 2016

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Awarded NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence to improve outcomes of preterm infants, 2013

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Distinction – PhD, Optimising high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, 2000




National Health and Medical Research Council

  • ‘Understanding and improving treatment of premature infants to improve long term outcomes’
  • Professor Jane Pillow


Health Department of Western Australia

  • ‘The CIRCA DIEM Trial: Reintroducing circadian cues to decrease length of stay, improve growth and metabolic outcomes in preterm neonates’
  • Professor Shane Maloney, Assistant Professor Peter Mark, Professor Jane Pillow, Professor Brendan Waddell


National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence

  • ‘Improving the immediate and longer-term health outcomes of preterm infants’
  • Professor Jane Pillow, Clinical Professor Sanjay Patole, Professor Karen Simmer, Clinical Associate Professor Andrew Gill, Clinical Associate Professor Tobias Strunk, Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Professor Susan Prescott

Supervisor opportunities

Professor Pillow has supervised PhD students for 11 years and is available to supervise students whose research interests include respiratory physiology or prematurity. Her students’ projects span multiple areas, such as biomedical engineering, physiology, biology and clinical disciplines.

Previous topics she has supervised include:

  • High-frequency ventilation
  • Respiratory function
  • Lung development
  • Innate immunity

She also teaches Advanced Techniques in Physiology, a coursework unit for honours students.

Contact Professor Jane Pillow

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