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Dr Giavanna Angeli

HMRI Research Officer

School of Medicine and Public Health

Career Summary


Research Expertise
During my PhD studies, completed jointly in the Mothers and Babies Research Centre and the Cell Signalling Unit, at the Children’s Medical Research I developed a strong interest in intracellular signalling mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on protein kinases and protein phosphorylation. My PhD thesis explored signalling through cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) in the pituitary. During this time I developed a particular interest in the actions of corticotrophin releasing hormone. Following my PhD I gained some experience in the field of vascular biology where I developed an interest in apoptosis in particular, the role of apoptosis in tissue remodelling following vascular grafting. Since returning to the Mothers and Babies Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, I have developed an interest in the syncytialisation of cytotrophoblast cells in the placenta. Fusion of cytotrophoblast cells to form the syncytiotrophoblast layer is a fundamental process in the formation and maintenance of the placenta. The dramatic changes in expression of genes that occurs as cells alter their phenotype from cytotrophoblast to syncytiotrophoblast make the placental trophoblast an ideal model in which to explore transcriptional organisation in the nucleus, in particular, the formation and function of transcription factories. I am also the Ethics Officer for the Mothers and Babies Research Centre and have gained extensive experience in the co-ordination of grant submissions.


  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Newcastle


  • Corticotropin releasing hormone
  • FISH
  • Intracellular signalling
  • Placenta
  • Placental cell culture
  • Syncytiotrophoblast
  • Transcription

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
HMRI Research Officer University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Sharma BB, Loxton DJ, Murray H, Angeli GL, Oldmeadow C, Chiu S, Smith R, 'A first step to improving maternal mortality in a low-literacy setting; the successful use of singing to improve knowledge regarding antenatal care', American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 219 615.e1-615.e11 (2018) [C1]

© 2018 Background: Preventable maternal mortality is related to delays in recognizing the problem, transport to a facility, and receiving appropriate care on arrival. Reducing mat... [more]

© 2018 Background: Preventable maternal mortality is related to delays in recognizing the problem, transport to a facility, and receiving appropriate care on arrival. Reducing maternal mortality in low-literacy settings is particularly challenging. In the rural villages of Nepal, the maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the world; the reasons include illiteracy and lack of knowledge of the needs of pregnant women. Culturally, singing and dancing are part of Nepalese daily life and present an opportunity to transmit knowledge of antenatal care and care at birth with a view to reducing the first 2 delays. Objective: We hypothesized that health messages regarding the importance of antenatal care and skilled birth assistance would be effectively transmitted by songs in the limited literacy environment of rural Nepal. Study Design: We randomly grouped 4 rural village development committees comprising 36 villages into 2 (intervention and control) clusters. In the intervention group, local groups were invited to write song lyrics incorporating key health messages regarding antenatal care to accompany popular melodies. The groups presented their songs and dances in a festival organized and judged by the community. The winning songs were performed by the local people in a song and dance progression through the villages, houses, and fields. A wall chart with the key health messages was also provided to each household. Knowledge of household decision makers (senior men and women) was assessed before and after the intervention and at 12 months using a structured questionnaire in all households that also assessed behavior change. Results: Structured interviews were conducted at baseline, immediately postintervention in the control and intervention areas (intervention n = 735 interviews, control n = 775), and at 12 months in the intervention area only (n = 867). Knowledge scores were recorded as the number of correct items out of 36 questions at baseline and postintervention, and of 21 questions at follow-up. Postintervention, test score doubled in the intervention group from a mean of 11.60/36¿22.33/36 (P <.001), with no practically significant change in the control population (17.48/36¿18.26/36). Improvement was greatest among the most illiterate members of the community (6.8/36¿19.8/36, P <.001). At 12 months follow-up, a majority of the participants (63.9%) indicated that they provided information learned from the songs to their neighbors and friends, and 41.3% reported still singing the songs from the intervention. Conclusion: The use of songs bypassed the limitations of literacy in communicating health messages that are key to improving maternal care in this low-literacy rural setting within a developing country. The improvements were maintained without further intervention for 12 months. With appropriate sociocultural adaptation to local contexts, this low-cost method of community education may be applicable to improving maternal health knowledge and behavior change in other low-resource and limited literacy settings that may lead to reductions in maternal mortality.

DOI 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.09.038
Co-authors Roger Smith, Christopher Oldmeadow, Deborah Loxton
2013 Chen Y, Allars M, Pan X, Maiti K, Angeli G, Smith R, Nicholson RC, 'Effects of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) on cell viability and differentiation in the human BeWo choriocarcinoma cell line: a potential syncytialisation inducer distinct from cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)', REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY AND ENDOCRINOLOGY, 11 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1477-7827-11-30
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Roger Smith, Kaushik Maiti
2011 Chen Y, Allars MJ, Maiti K, Angeli GL, Abou-Seif C, Smith R, Nicholson RC, 'Factors affecting cytotrophoblast cell viability and differentiation: Evidence of a link between syncytialisation and apoptosis', International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 43 821-828 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.biocel.2011.02.007
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Kaushik Maiti, Roger Smith
2002 Huang P, Med M, Hawthorne WJ, Ao P, Angeli GL, Medbury HJ, Fletcher JP, 'Perigraft adventitia and intima remodeling after synthetic patch implantation in sheep carotid artery: Role of apoptosis and proliferation', JOURNAL OF VASCULAR SURGERY, 36 371-378 (2002)
DOI 10.1067/mva.2002.123749
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
2001 Huang P, Hawthorne WJ, Peng A, Angeli GL, Medbury HJ, Fletcher JP, 'Calcium channel antagonist verapamil inhibits neointimal formation and enhances apoptosis in a vascular graft model', AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGERY, 181 492-498 (2001)
DOI 10.1016/S0002-9610(01)00615-8
Citations Scopus - 23Web of Science - 18
Show 2 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Sharma BB, Loxton DJ, Murray H, Angeli GL, Oldmeadow C, Chiu S, Smith R, 'In Nepal a Culturally Appropriate Method of Education Regarding Antenatal and Delivery Care was Highly Effective in Changing Behaviour.', REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES, Paris, FRANCE (2019)
Co-authors Roger Smith, Christopher Oldmeadow, Deborah Loxton

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 2
Total funding $33,409

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20131 grants / $23,809

Testing parallels between placental and cancer cell proliferation and fusion: the role of transcription factories$23,809

Funding body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust

Funding body John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust
Project Team Doctor Giavanna Angeli, Doctor Jorge Tolosa Gonzalez, Doctor Brett Locker, Doctor Jennette Sakoff
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1301207
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS

20081 grants / $9,600

LED fluorescence illuminators and filter set (525nm + 575DF20) for LAS3000 image analysis system$9,600

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Funding body NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)
Project Team Laureate Professor Roger Smith, Professor Ian Symonds, Conjoint Associate Professor Andrew Bisits, Conjoint Professor Tamas Zakar, Doctor John Fitter, Doctor Eng-Cheng Chan, Conjoint Associate Professor Rick Nicholson, Doctor Giavanna Angeli, Doctor Kaushik Maiti, Doctor Jonathan Paul, Professor Jon Hirst, Doctor Hannah Palliser, Professor Eugenie Lumbers
Scheme Equipment Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0188543
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC

Dr Giavanna Angeli


HMRI Research Officer
Mothers and Babies research Centre
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Contact Details

Phone 40420350
Fax (02) 4042 0350


Room Level 3 East
Building HMRI
Location HMRI