Big Ideas 2017

Barbara Meyer

Have you ever wondered how a human fertilised egg turns into an embryo and then ultimately a new human being? Is there something fishy about this process? Professor Barbara Meyer and her research team have shown that an omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in abundant amounts in fish and seafood, is critical in very early pregnancy. This presentation will show the importance of the pregnant woman to be able to mobilise DHA at the critical time of neural tube closure.


After studying Biochemistry at Monash University in Australia, Professor Barbara Meyer undertook her PhD at the Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Victoria. Barbara’s first academic appointment was in the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Wollongong in 1992 and is now Professor in the School of Medicine. Her current research is in the field of lipid and fatty acid metabolism; notably the role of omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease including mental health and complicated pregnancies.


Last reviewed: 6 June, 2017