Mrs Joanna Latter

Research Assistant

School of Medicine and Public Health (Public Health)

Career Summary

Biography

I have a B.Sc (Hons 1) and MPhil in Plant Science, where my studies focused on carotenoid content and regulation in wheat as a primary determinant of flour colour. After graduating with my MPhil, I moved to Newcastle in 2005 and since then have worked as a research assistant on a range of research projects with the University of Newcastle. I began working as a laboratory research assistant on projects using primary bronchial epithelial cell models of virus infection to determine mediators of viral respiratory tract infections. 

From there I went on to an NHMRC-funded project looking at susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis infection, where we sought to determine the effects of female sex hormones on the innate immune response to Chlamydia infection using primary endocervical cells. 

I was then employed as a research assistant working with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit research team at the John Hunter Hospital, which mainly involved Laser Doppler and videomicroscopy studies for measurement of peripheral microvascular function in newborn infants as a cause of cardiovascular instability in pre-term newborns.

Since 2012 I have worked at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics as a project officer. I work on the Hospital Outpatient Alcohol Project, which is a large randomised controlled trial of electronic screening and brief intervention for outpatients with unhealthy alcohol use. I am also involved in a pilot study of genetic feedback and telephone counselling on cancer susceptibility to reduce risky drinking in hospital outpatients. In my current role I provide research support for Prof Kypros Kypri who leads an alcohol research group at the University of Newcastle which addresses a range of methodological, aetiological and intervention studies addressing the burden of injury and disease attributable to alcohol.


Qualifications

  • Master of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Science (Biomedical), University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Sc)(Honours), University of Technology Sydney

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Research role

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified 100
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2006 Cuttriss AJ, Mimica JL, Howitt CA, Pogson BJ, 'Carotenoids', The Structure and Function of Plastids, Kluwer Academic Pub, Netherlands 315-334 (2006)
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-4061-0

Journal article (12 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Wright IMR, Latter JL, Dyson RM, Levi CR, Clifton VL, 'Videomicroscopy as a tool for investigation of the microcirculation in the newborn', PHYSIOLOGICAL REPORTS, 4 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.14814/phy2.12941
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Vicki Clifton, Christopher Levi, Ian Wright
2016 Johnson NA, Kypri K, Latter J, Attia J, McEvoy M, Dunlop A, Scott R, 'Genetic feedback to reduce alcohol consumption in hospital outpatients with risky drinking: Feasibility and acceptability', Public Health Research and Practice, 26 (2016) [C1]

© 2016 Johnson et al. Objective: There have been no trials in healthcare settings of genetic susceptibility feedback in relation to alcohol consumption. The purpose of this study... [more]

© 2016 Johnson et al. Objective: There have been no trials in healthcare settings of genetic susceptibility feedback in relation to alcohol consumption. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a full-scale randomised trial estimating the effect of personalised genetic susceptibility feedback on alcohol consumption in hospital outpatients with risky drinking. Methods: Outpatients =18 years of age who reported drinking more than 14 standard drinks in the past week or in a typical week were asked to provide a saliva sample for genetic testing. Genetic susceptibility feedback was posted to participants 6 months after recruitment. The co-primary outcomes were the proportion of participants who (i) provided a saliva sample that could be genotyped, and (ii) spoke with a genetic counsellor. Secondary outcomes included changes in patients' weekly alcohol consumption; scores on scales measuring readiness to change, importance of changing and confidence in ability to change drinking habits; knowledge about which cancers are alcohol-attributable; and acceptability of the saliva collection procedure and the genetic-feedback intervention. McNemar's test and paired t-tests were used to test for differences between baseline and follow-up in proportions and means, respectively. Results: Of 100 participants who provided a saliva sample, 93 had adequate DNA for at least one genotyping assay. Three participants spoke to a genetic counsellor. Patients' readiness to change their drinking, their views on the importance of changing and their stated confidence in their ability to change increased between baseline and follow-up. There was no increase in patients' knowledge about alcohol-attributable cancers nor any reduction in how much alcohol they drank 4 months after receiving the feedback. Most participant s (80%) were somewhat comfortable or very comfortable with the process used to collect saliva, 84% understood the genetic feedback, 54% found it useful, 10% had sought support to reduce their drinking after receiving the feedback, and 37% reported that the feedback would affect how much they drink in the future. Conclusion: Results of this study suggest it would be feasible to conduct a methodologically robust trial estimating the effect of genetic susceptibility feedback on alcohol consumption in hospital outpatients with risky drinking.

DOI 10.17061/phrp2641645
Co-authors Mark Mcevoy, Natalie Johnson, Kypros Kypri, A Dunlop, Rodney Scott, John Attia
2016 Corbisier De Meautsart C, Dyson RM, Latter JL, Berry MJ, Clifton VL, Wright IMR, 'Influence of sympathetic activity in the control of peripheral microvascular tone in preterm infants', Pediatric Research, 80 793-799 (2016) [C1]

Copyright © 2016 International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc. Background:Microvascular dysregulation following preterm birth is associated with increased illness severity an... [more]

Copyright © 2016 International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc. Background:Microvascular dysregulation following preterm birth is associated with increased illness severity and hypotension, particularly in males. Sympathetic nervous vascular regulation is evident in females. We hypothesized that sympathetic dysfu nction in male preterm infants may contribute to a failure of peripheral microvascular vasoconstriction.Methods:Microvascular blood flow of infants 24-43 wk gestational age was assessed at 6, 24, and 72 h of age by laser Doppler. Blood flow Fourier transformed frequency distribution spectra (low frequency/high frequency ratio) were used to assess the influence of sympathetic tone on microvascular regulation. Total sympathetic output was assessed as urinary normetanephrine.Results:Microvascular sympathetic activity at 24 h postnatal age decreased in early preterm males, but not females. Peripheral sympathetic activity increased with advancing postnatal age in females, but decreased in males. In early preterm infants, total normetanephrine outputs increase significantly with postnatal age, in both sexes.Conclusion:Sympathetic activation following preterm birth is sexually dimorphic, with preterm males having reduced sympathetic tone and reduced upregulation of sympathetic tone following birth. There is evidence of a disconnect between central sympathetic activity and local peripheral microcirculatory sympathetic drive. This may relate to autonomic nervous immaturity and highlights the need to understand how preterm birth may affect autonomic function.

DOI 10.1038/pr.2016.160
Co-authors Vicki Clifton, Ian Wright
2015 Johnson NA, Kypri K, Latter J, McElduff P, Attia J, Saitz R, et al., 'Effect of telephone follow-up on retention and balance in an alcohol intervention trial', Preventive Medicine Reports, 2 746-749 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 The Authors. Objectives: Telephone follow-up is not currently recommended as a strategy to improve retention in randomized trials. The aims of this study were to estimate ... [more]

© 2015 The Authors. Objectives: Telephone follow-up is not currently recommended as a strategy to improve retention in randomized trials. The aims of this study were to estimate the effect of telephone follow-up on retention, identify participant characteristics predictive of questionnaire completion during or after telephone follow-up, and estimate the effect of including participants who provided follow-up data during or after telephone follow-up on balance between randomly allocated groups in a trial estimating the effect of electronic alcohol screening and brief intervention on alcohol consumption in hospital outpatients with hazardous or harmful drinking. Method: Trial participants were followed up 6. months after randomization (June-December 2013) using e-mails containing a hyperlink to a web-based questionnaire when possible and by post otherwise. Telephone follow-up was attempted after two written reminders and participants were invited to complete the questionnaire by telephone when contact was made. Results: Retention before telephone follow-up was 62.1% (520/837) and 82.8% (693/837) afterward: an increase of 20.7% (173/837). Therefore, 55% (95% CI 49%-60%) of the 317 participants who had not responded after two written reminders responded during or after the follow-up telephone call. Age. < . 55. years, a higher AUDIT-C score and provision of a mobile/cell phone number were predictive of questionnaire completion during or after telephone follow-up. Balance between randomly allocated groups was present before and after inclusion of participants who completed the questionnaire during or after telephone follow-up. Conclusion: Telephone follow-up improved retention in this randomized trial without affecting balance between the randomly allocated groups.

DOI 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.08.016
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors John Attia, Luke Wolfenden, A Dunlop, Kypros Kypri, Natalie Johnson, Patrick Mcelduff
2015 Dyson RM, Palliser HK, Latter JL, Kelly MA, Chwatko G, Glowacki R, Wright IMR, 'Interactions of the gasotransmitters contribute to microvascular tone (Dys)regulation in the preterm neonate', PLoS ONE, 10 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Dyson et al. Background & Aims: Hydrogen sulphide (H 2 S), nitric oxide (NO), and carbon monoxide (CO) are involved in transitional microvascular tone dysregulation in t... [more]

© 2015 Dyson et al. Background & Aims: Hydrogen sulphide (H 2 S), nitric oxide (NO), and carbon monoxide (CO) are involved in transitional microvascular tone dysregulation in the preterm infant; however there is conflicting evidence on the interaction of these gasotransmitters, and their overall contribution to the microcirculation in newborns is not known. The aim of this study was to measure the levels of all 3 gasotransmitters, characterise their interrelationships and elucidate their combined effects on microvascular blood flow. Methods: 90 preterm neonates were studied at 24h postnatal age. Microvascular studies were performed by laser Doppler. Arterial COHb levels (a measure of CO) were determined through co-oximetry. NO was measured as nitrate and nitrite in urine. H 2 S was measured as thiosulphate by liquid chromatography. Relationships between levels of the gasotransmitters and microvascular blood flow were assessed through partial correlation controlling for the influence of gestational age. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the combination of these effects on microvascular blood flow and derive a theoretical model of their interactions. Results: No relationship was observed between NO and CO (p = 0.18, r = 0.18). A positive relationship between NO and H 2 S (p = 0.008, r = 0.28) and an inverse relationship between CO and H 2 S (p = 0.01, r = -0.33) exists. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the combination of these effects on microvascular blood flow. The model with the best fit is presented. Conclusions: The relationships between NO and H 2 S, and CO and H 2 S may be of importance in the preterm newborn, particularly as NO levels in males are associated with higher H 2 S levels and higher microvascular blood flow and CO in females appears to convey protection against vascular dysregulation. Here we present a theoretical model of these interactions and their overall effects on microvascular flow in the preterm newborn, upon which future mechanistic studies may be based.

DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0121621
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Hannah Palliser, Ian Wright
2014 Dyson RM, Palliser HK, Latter JL, Chwatko G, Glowacki R, Wright IMR, 'A Role for H2S in the microcirculation of newborns: The major metabolite of H2S (thiosulphate) is increased in preterm infants', PLoS ONE, 9 (2014) [C1]

Excessive vasodilatation during the perinatal period is associated with cardiorespiratory instability in preterm neonates. Little evidence of the mechanisms controlling microvascu... [more]

Excessive vasodilatation during the perinatal period is associated with cardiorespiratory instability in preterm neonates. Little evidence of the mechanisms controlling microvascular tone during circulatory transition exists. We hypothesised that hydrogen sulphide (H 2 S), an important regulator of microvascular reactivity and central cardiac function in adults and animal models, may contribute to the vasodilatation observed in preterm newborns. Term and preterm neonates (24-43 weeks gestational age) were studied. Peripheral microvascular blood flow was assessed by laser Doppler. Thiosulphate, a urinary metabolite of H 2 S, was determined by high performance liquid chromatography as a measure of 24 hr total body H 2 S turnover for the first 3 days of postnatal life. H 2 S turnover was greatest in very preterm infants and decreased with increasing gestational age (p = 0.0001). H 2 S turnover was stable across the first 72 hrs of life in older neonates. In very preterm neonates, H 2 S turnover increased significantly from day 1 to 3 (p = 0.0001); and males had higher H 2 S turnover than females (p = 0.04). A significant relationship between microvascular blood flow and H 2 S turnover was observed on day 2 of postnatal life (p = 0.0004). H 2 S may play a role in maintaining microvascular tone in the perinatal period. Neonates at the greatest risk of microvascular dysfunction characterised by inappropriate peripheral vasodilatation - very preterm male neonates - are also the neonates with highest levels of total body H 2 S turnover suggesting that overproduction of this gasotransmitter may contribute to microvascular dysfunction in preterms. Potentially, H 2 S is a target to selectively control microvascular tone in the circulation of newborns. © 2014 Dyson et al.

DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0105085
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Ian Wright, Hannah Palliser
2014 Dyson RM, Palliser HK, Lakkundi A, de Waal K, Latter JL, Clifton VL, Wright IMR, 'Early microvascular changes in the preterm neonate: a comparative study of the human and guinea pig.', Physiol Rep, 2 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.14814/phy2.12145
Co-authors Vicki Clifton, Ian Wright, Hannah Palliser
2014 Wan C, Latter JL, Amirshahi A, Symonds I, Finnie J, Bowden N, et al., 'Progesterone Activates Multiple Innate Immune Pathways in Chlamydia trachomatis-Infected Endocervical Cells', American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 71 165-177 (2014) [C1]

Problem: Susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis infection is increased by oral contraceptives and modulated by sex hormones. We therefore sought to determine the effects of femal... [more]

Problem: Susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis infection is increased by oral contraceptives and modulated by sex hormones. We therefore sought to determine the effects of female sex hormones on the innate immune response to C. trachomatis infection. Method of study: ECC-1 endometrial cells, pre-treated with oestradiol or progesterone, were infected with C. trachomatis a nd the host transcriptome analysed by Illumina Sentrix HumanRef-8 microarray. Primary endocervical epithelial cells, prepared at either the proliferative or secretory phase of the menstrual cycle, were infected with C. trachomatis and cytokine gene expression determined by quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Results: Chlamydia trachomatis yield from progesterone-primed ECC-1 cells was significantly reduced compared with oestradiol-treated cells. Genes upregulated in progesterone-treated and Chlamydia-infected cells only included multiple CC and CXC chemokines, IL-17C, IL-29, IL-32, TNF-a, DEFB4B, LCN2, S100A7-9, ITGAM, NOD2, JAK1, IL-6ST, type I and II interferon receptors, numerous interferon-stimulated genes and STAT6. CXCL10, CXCL11, CX 3 CL1 and IL-17C, which were also upregulated in infected secretory-stage primary cells, and there was a trend towards higher levels of immune mediators in infected secretory-phase compared with proliferative-phase cells. Conclusion: Progesterone treatment primes multiple innate immune pathways in hormone-responsive epithelial cells that could potentially increase resistance to chlamydial infection. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI 10.1111/aji.12168
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8
Co-authors Rodney Scott, Ian Symonds, Nikola Bowden
2014 Johnson NA, Kypri K, Latter J, McElduff P, Saunders JB, Saitz R, et al., 'Prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use in hospital outpatients', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 144 270-273 (2014) [C1]

© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Background: Few studies have examined the prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use in the hospital outpatient setting. Our aim was to estimate the prevale... [more]

© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Background: Few studies have examined the prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use in the hospital outpatient setting. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use among patients attending a broad range of outpatient clinics at a large public hospital in Australia. Methods: Adult hospital outpatients were invited to complete the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Consumption questions (AUDIT-C) using an iPad as part of a randomised trial testing the efficacy of alcohol electronic screening and brief intervention. Unhealthy alcohol use was defined as an AUDIT-C score =5 among men and =4 among women. Results: Sixty percent (3616/6070) of invited hospital outpatients consented, of whom 89% (3206/3616) provided information on their alcohol consumption (either reported they had not consumed any alcohol in the last 12 months or completed the AUDIT-C). The prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use was 34.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 33.0-36.3%). The prevalence among men aged 18-24 years, 25-39 years, 40-59 years and 60 years and older, was 74.4% (95% CI: 68.4-80.4%), 54.3% (95% CI: 48.7-59.8%), 44.1% (95% CI: 39.9-48.3%), and 27.0% (95% CI: 23.6-30.4%), respectively (43.1% overall; 95% CI: 40.8-45.5%). The prevalence among women aged 18-24 years, 25-39 years, 40-59 years, and 60 years and older, was 48.6% (95% CI: 39.2-58.1%), 36.9% (95% CI: 31.2-42.6%), 25.2% (95% CI: 21.5-29.0%) and 14.5% (95% CI: 11.7-17.3%), respectively (24.9% overall; 95% CI: 22.7-27.1%). Conclusion: A large number of hospital outpatients who are not currently seeking treatment for their drinking could benefit from effective intervention in this setting.

DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.08.014
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Natalie Johnson, Patrick Mcelduff, John Attia, Luke Wolfenden, Kypros Kypri, A Dunlop
2011 Amirshahi A, Wan C, Beagley K, Latter JL, Symonds IM, Timms P, 'Modulation of the Chlamydia trachomatis In vitro transcriptome response by the sex hormones estradiol and progesterone', BMC Microbiology, 11 150 (2011) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Ian Symonds
2009 Howitt CA, Cavanagh CR, Bowerman AF, Cazzonelli C, Rampling L, Mimica JL, Pogson BJ, 'Alternative splicing, activation of cryptic exons and amino acid substitutions in carotenoid biosynthetic genes are associated with lutein accumulation in wheat endosperm', Functional & Integrative Genomics, 9 363-376 (2009)
DOI 10.1007/s10142-009-0121-3
2007 Wark PA, Bucchieri F, Johnston SL, Gibson PG, Hamilton L, Mimica J, et al., 'IFN-gamma-induced protein 10 is a novel biomarker of rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbations', Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 120 586-593 (2007) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.04.046
Citations Scopus - 106Web of Science - 98
Co-authors John Attia, Peter Gibson, Peter Wark
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Conference (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Johnson N, Latter J, Kypri K, 'PREVALENCE OF UNHEALTHY ALCOHOL USE AMONG HOSPITAL OUTPATIENTS', DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Natalie Johnson, Kypros Kypri
2012 Wright IM, Latter JL, Buchan J, 'Videomicroscopy of neonatal microvasculature: Relationship to laser doppler flowmetry', Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Ian Wright
2012 Dyson RM, Palliser HK, Latter JL, Chwatko G, Glowacki R, Wright IM, 'Hydrogen sulphide in the neonatal transitional circulation', Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Hannah Palliser, Ian Wright
2012 Wright IM, Latter JL, Wright A, Finnegan T, Clifton VL, 'Maternal peripheral constriction in preeclampsia is not reflected in the central microvasculature', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Ian Wright, Vicki Clifton
2012 Wright IM, Latter JL, Wright A, Finnegan T, Clifton VL, 'Functional capillary density in babies born to mothers with preeclampsia', 16th Annual Congress of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Ian Wright, Vicki Clifton
2011 Wright IM, Dyson RM, Latter JL, Clifton VL, 'Microvascular blood flow changes from 6 to 24 h in the preterm infant', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Ian Wright, Vicki Clifton
2010 Wright IM, Latter JL, Finnegan T, Clifton VL, 'Placental vascular mediators in preeclampsia', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health: Abstracts of the 14th Annual Congress of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand 2010 (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Ian Wright, Vicki Clifton
Show 4 more conferences
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Mrs Joanna Latter

Position

Research Assistant
Physical Health in Mental Illness research group
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Public Health

Contact Details

Email joanna.latter@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4042 0379

Office

Building Behavioural Sciences Building - W210
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