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Emeritus Professor Carol Bower

UWA Medical School

"Approach everything with kindness in your heart."

Professor Carol Bower has qualifications in medicine (MBBS, UWA), epidemiology (MSc, DLSHTM, University of London; PhD, UWA) and public health (Fellow of Faculty of Public Health Medicine, RACP; Fellow of the Public Health Association of Australasia). Her research has a strong focus on surveillance and investigating causes and effects of birth defects, on translating research findings into public health policy and practice and on evaluating the effectiveness of that translation. Leading examples are the prevention of neural tube defects (promoting periconceptional folic acid supplement use and mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid) and research on prevention, diagnosis, and management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Most interesting aspect of my career

The wide variety of epidemiological research I have had the privilege of being involved with and the collegiality of epidemiologists the world over.

Where did you think you would end up when you began your career?

I entertained thoughts of doing obstetrics, but decided to pursue a non clinical field, in order to have more time with my young family, a decision I do not regret one bit. 

What do you consider to be your most significant achievements?

Establishing the WA Register of Developmental Anomalies; obtaining an MSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (on a WA and MG Saw Scholarship); contributing to our understanding of folic acid in the prevention of neural tube defects; and induction into the WA Premier's Science Hall of Fame.

Where to from here?

I have recently relocated to Sydney to be close to my family and, now that we are out of lockdown, I look forward to exploring the eastern half of the country.

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