Professor Karen Moritz

Associate Dean (Research)

Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 334 65305


Prof Karen Moritz is internationally renowned for her work in understanding how early life perturbations contribute to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular, renal and metabolic disease in adulthood. Over the last 5-7 years, her research has focused on determining how prenatal alcohol can result in “developmental programming” of disease. Her research has identified critical windows of susceptibility to alcohol, including the period around conception and prior to implantation. In addition, her work has identified the placenta as playing a key role in the sex-specific offspring outcomes following maternal perturbations. Her research spans both preclinical and clinical domains, highlighted by her appointment as the Director of the Child Health Research Centre in 2016.

Current projects are:

  • Periconceptional alcohol exposure: Programming long-term health in offspring (with Dr Lisa Akison and Dr James Cuffe)

  • Emerging therapies for diabetes and complications: Effects on metabolic, cardiovascular and renal function (with Dr Linda Gallo)

  • Effect of prenatal insults on the developing placenta (with Dr Marloes Nitert Dekker, Prof Vicki Clifton [Mater], Dr David Simmons and Dr James Cuffe)

  • Effect of prenatal insults on the developing kidney and implications for adult disease (with Dr Peter Trnka [QLD Children's Hospital])

  • Impact of maternal cannabis and alcohol around conception on development and long-term health of offspring (with Dr David Simmons and Dr Lisa Akison)

Prof Moritz maintains a strong commitment to teaching of students, including lectures and research student supervision in undergraduate programs, supervision of Honours students and supervision of higher degree research students.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne


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Book Chapter

  • Moritz, Karen M., Akison, Lisa K., Hayes, Nicole and Reid, Natasha (2023). Physical and mental health in FASD. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. (pp. 241-267) edited by Omar A. Abdul-Rahman and Christie L. M. Petrenko. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-32386-7_12

  • Cuffe, James S. M., Walton, Sarah L. and Moritz, Karen M. (2016). The developmental origins of renal dysfunction. The epigenome and developmental origins of health and disease. (pp. 291-314) edited by Cheryl S. Rosenfeld. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801383-0.00015-3

  • Moritz, Karen M. (2016). The effect of the in utero environment on nephrogenesis and renal function. Kidney development, disease, repair and regeneration. (pp. 177-190) edited by Melissa H. Little. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800102-8.00015-1

  • Moritz, Karen M., Wintour, E. Marelyn and Dodic, Miodrag (2006). The developmental environment, renal function and disease. Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. (pp. 310-322) edited by Gluckman, Peter and Hanson, Mark. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511544699.024

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision