Study short name


Study full name

The Barwon Infant Study

Principle Investigators

Peter Vuillermin and Anne-Louise Ponsonby

Administering Institutes

Barwon Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Deakin University

Major funding source

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Study focus


Study design


Main study aim

To investigate the mechanistic basis of the increase in immune-related diseases.

Additional study information

The modern environment is associated with an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases NCDs). Mounting evidence implicates environmental exposures, experienced early in life (including in utero), in the aetiology of many NCDs, though the cellular/molecular mechanism(s) underlying this elevated risk across the life course remain unclear. Epigenetic variation has emerged as a candidate mediator of such effects. The Barwon Infant Study (BIS) is a population-derived birth cohort study (n 1⁄4 1074 infants) with ante- natal recruitment, conducted in the south-east of Australia (Victoria). BIS has been de- signed to facilitate a detailed mechanistic investigation of development within an epidemiological framework. The broad objectives are to investigate the role of specific environmental factors, gut microbiota and epigenetic variation in early-life development, and subsequent immune, allergic, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Participants have been reviewed at birth, 1, 6, 9 and 12 months, 2 and 4-years and 7-9 year review underway.

Study population

Birth cohort (n=1074) recruited using an unselected antenatal sampling frame.

Study status

Recruitment completed January 2013. Data collection ongoing, through January 2029.

Study contact: [email protected]

Study website:

Main publications: List of BIS publications