Meredith Kelleher, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon National Primate Research Center


Meredith Kelleher is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). Dr. Kelleher graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons) and a PhD in Experimental Pharmacology, receiving an Australian Postgraduate Award for her Ph.D. studies on the effect of neurosteroid replacement therapy on perinatal brain development following premature birth. Dr. Kelleher has continued her studies of pregnancy and perinatal physiology, with a focus on intrauterine Ureaplasma infection, premature birth, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. Dr. Kelleher was awarded a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from NICHD in order to study the early stages of intrauterine infection that lead to preterm labor and perinatal neurodevelopmental injury. Dr. Kelleher also has ongoing collaborations examining potential therapies to prevent cerebral palsy and investigating perinatal brain injury associated with Zika virus infection during gestation.

Education and training

    • B.S., 2006, University of Newcastle
    • Ph.D., 2012, University of Newcastle
  • Certifications

    • Graduate Certificate in Human Investigations, OHSU, 2018
    • Biomedical Science Honours – 1st Class, University of Newcastle, Australia, 2007

Memberships and associations:

  • Society for Reproductive Investigation
  • American Society for Reproductive Immunology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society

Honors and awards

  • Travel Award, American Society for Reproductive Immunology Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids MI, 2019
  • Best Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Oregon Chapter Meeting, Edgefield OR, 2019
  • Miltenyi Biotech Award for Best Student Oral Presentation, Australian Society for Medical Research, NSW Scientific Meeting, 2011
  • 1st Place “10 of the Best” Research Showcase, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, NSW Australia, 2010
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (PhD Scholarship), Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Australian Federal Government, 2008-2012
  • Summer Research Scholarship, School of Biomedical Science, University of Newcastle, NSW Australia, 2005


Selected publications

  • A neonatal nonhuman primate model of gestational Zika virus infection with evidence of microencephaly, seizures and cardiomyopathy. Steinbach RJ, Haese NN, Smith JL, Colgin LMA, MacAllister RP, Greene JM... Kelleher M, Hirsch A, Streblow DN. PLoS ONE. 2020, 15(1): e0227676.
  • Increased placental T-cell trafficking results in adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in offspring exposed to sub-chronic maternal inflammation. Novak CM, Lee JY, Ozen M, Tsimis ME, Kucirka LM, McLane, MW, Xie L, Kelleher MA, Xie J, Jia B, Lei J, Burd I. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 2019 Jan;75:129-136. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2018.09.025.
  • Antenatal prevention of cerebral palsy and childhood disability: is the impossible possible? Ellery SJ, Kelleher MA, Grigsby P, Burd I, Derks JB, Hirst J, Miller SL, Sherman LS, Tolcos M, Walker DW. J Physiol. 2018 Jun 21. doi: 10.1113/JP275595. PubMed PMID: 29928763.
  • Zika virus infection in pregnant rhesus macaques causes placental dysfunction and immunopathology. Hirsch AJ, Roberts VHJ, Grigsby PL, Haese N, Schabel MC, Wang X, Lo JO,Liu Z, Kroenke CD, Smith JL, Kelleher M , Broeckel R, Kreklywich CN, Parkins CJ, Denton M, Smith P, DeFilippis V, Messer W, Nelson JA, Hennebold JD, Grafe M, Colgin L, Lewis A, Ducore R, Swanson T, Legasse AW, Axthelm MK, MacAllister R, Moses AV, Morgan TK, Frias AE, Streblow DN. Nat Commun.
  • Beyond the uterine environment: Nonhuman primate model to investigate maternal-fetal and neonatal outcomes following chronic intrauterine infection. Kelleher MA, Liu Z, Wang X, Kroenke CD, Houser LA, Martin LD, Waites, KB, McEvoy C, Schelonka, RL, Grigsby PL. Pediatric Research (2017) doi:10.1038/pr.2017.57;
  • Effect of postnatal progesterone therapy following preterm birth on neurosteroid concentrations and cerebellar myelination in guinea pigs. Palliser HK, Kelleher MA, Tolcos M, Walker DW, Hirst JJ. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2015 Apr 24: 1-12
  • Neuroactive steroids in pregnancy: Key regulatory and protective roles in the foetal brain. Hirst JJ, Kelleher MA, Walker DW, Palliser HK. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Jan. 139: 144-153 Review.
  • Mechanisms Leading to Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Growth-Restricted Guinea Pig Pregnancies. Palliser HK, Kelleher MA, Welsh TN, Zakar T, Hirst JJ. Reprod Sci. 2013 Jul 24.


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