Research Themes

Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health; Infection and Immunological conditions; Healthy Ageing


Prof William Tarnow-Mordi

Director, Neonatal & Perinatal

Professor William Tarnow-Mordi is Director of Neonatal and Perinatal Trials at the CTC and Foundation Director of the WINNER Centre for Newborn Research at the University of Sydney.

William completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge, UK, followed by specialist training in Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine. He migrated to Australia in 1999 to commence an appointment as inaugural Professor of Neonatal Medicine, University of Sydney and Director of Neonatology, Westmead Hospital, where he led NSW’s busiest Neonatal department until 2010.

Trials in extremely premature babies are challenging, and William and his team work to form global partnerships to find cost-effective treatments that will reduce infant mortality and illness. The CTC’s Neonatal Research program focuses on areas of need, such as neonatal infection, oxygen therapy and simple cost-effective measures to reduce health problems and improve outcomes for high-risk newborn infants.

William's work has helped to improve survival rates in very preterm infants, influence clinical practice and achieve major health care cost savings worldwide by identifying ineffective treatments. He serves on the Steering Group of NSW Health’s Better Treatment for Kids Network and is co-chair of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Working Group.

Research interests

William leads and collaborates on large-scale, international multicentre randomised trials and cohort studies to improve outcomes for high-risk newborn infants. To date he has been involved in trials that have included >30,000 infants in >200 neonatal units worldwide. He is Principal Investigator of the BOOST II trial of 1,135 very preterm infants randomised to high vs low oxygen saturation targets during oxygen treatment, assessing death or major disability at 18-24 months after birth. He also has brought together Principal Investigators of four other similar international trials (the NeOProM Collaboration), who will conduct individual patient data analysis in 4,959 very preterm infants, to help resolve the long-standing uncertainty about appropriate oxygen saturations in infants of < 28 weeks gestation.

William is Principal Investigator of the Lactoferrin Evaluation in Anaemia in Pregnancy (LEAP-1) trial, which addresses the question of whether iron deficiency anaemia of pregnancy should be treated with lactoferrin. The study will compare the effects of supplementation with standard iron sulphate vs oral bovine lactoferrin in iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy, on fetal growth (birth weight for gestational age) and neonatal iron status at birth. Additionally, he co-chairs the Australian Placental Transfusion Study, which is assessing whether a 60-second delay in clamping and cutting the cord can improve blood flow to the brain and gut and reduce death and disability in babies born more than 10 weeks early.

Key areas of expertise

  • Neonatal health and paediatric medicine
  • Biostatistics
  • Infection and immunity
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Trial concepts and design
  • International trial collaboration


View William's publications.