The Gynaecological Research and Clinical Evaluation (GRACE) Unit undertakes quality Women’s Health and Benign Gynaecological research that will improve the care and outcomes for girls, women and the gender-diverse community assigned female at birth to live their best and healthy lives.

Our goals

The GRACE Unit provides evidence and knowledge to better optimise diagnosis and management pathways and interventions, reduce health service wastage and improve surveillance and reporting systems – leading to better quality of life and wellbeing for girls, women and the gender-diverse community assigned female at birth across their whole life course.

Research strengths

Our group undertakes clinical, scientific and translational research across our 4 major research streams:

  • Women’s health, benign gynaecology and gynaecological surgery
  • Endometriosis
  • Paediatric and adolescent gynaecology
  • Uterus transplantation
Women’s Health, Benign Gynaecology, Gynaecological Surgery and Endometriosis

UNSW is at the forefront of endometriosis research, with Professor Jason Abbott leading the GRACE Unit. Prof Abbott is a member of the National Endometriosis Advisory Group (EAG) which oversees the implementation of the National Action Plan for Endometriosis in Australia, which includes awareness and education, clinical management and the implementation of personal plans and clinical trial research. He is also current Chair of the National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific Trials (NECST) Network and Chair of the Expert Endometriosis Working Group for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology

A multidisciplinary team of clinicians, and nurses collaborate in clinical practice and research projects improving outcomes for children and adults with medical problems that affect the gynaecological system in children into the teenage years and beyond. 

Uterus Transplantation

Our research includes pre-clinical training for uterus transplantation in the human model and exploration of both cold and warm ischemic times in the uterus and the psychology of uterine transplantation.

Our results

2022 MRFF Clinician Researchers Initiative
Australian Endometriosis Clinicians Collaborative (AECC)

Prof Jason Abbott, Dr Rebecca Deans, Dr Erin Nesbitt-Hawes, Dr Danny Chou, A/Prof Krish Karthigasu (University of Western Australia), Dr Martin Ritossa (Lyell McEwin Hospital), Prof Luk Rombauts (Monash University), Prof Anusch Yazdani (University of Queensland), Dr Mike Armour (NICM Health Research Institute), A/Prof Richard De Abreu Lourenco (UTS), Prof Caroline Gargett (Hudson Research Institute), Dr Anusha Hettiaratchi, Prof Grant Montgomery (Institute for Molecular Bioscience)

 

2021 Frontier Health and Medical Research
Earlier Diagnosis and Personalised Treatments for Endometriosis (EndoAIMM)

Prof Grant Montgomery (Institute for Molecular Bioscience), Prof Jason Abbott, Prof Gita Mishra (University of Queensland), Prof Caroline Gargett (Hudson Research Institute), Prof Luk Rombauts (Monash University)

 

2021 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) – Robert Wrigley Pain Research Scholarship
Women with persistent pelvic pain a lived experience

Dr Supuni Kapurubandara, Prof Jason Abbott, Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly

 

2021 Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery Society (AGES) Clinical Research Grants
Post-operative recovery following endometriosis surgery

Dr Blake Knapman, Dr Erin Nesbitt-Hawes, Dr Rebecca Deans, Prof Jason Abbott

 

2021 Endometriosis Australia Research Grant
The development of phenotype-specific organoid models of endometriosis for therapeutic targeting

A/Prof Caroline Ford, Dr Kristina Warton, Dr Rebecca Deans, Prof Jason Abbott

 

2020 MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research – Endometriosis Research
Long STEPPP-A Longitudinal Study of Teenagers with Endometriosis, Period and Pelvic Pain in Australia to identify early risk factors, educational and management strategies that will lead to optimal health outcomes and appropriate health utilisation

Prof Sonia Grover (Murdoch Children's Research Institute), Prof Harriet Hiscock (Murdoch Children's Research Institute), Prof Catherine Bennett (Deakin University), Dr Brooke Harcourt (Murdoch Children's Research Institute), Prof Andrew Chanen (University of Melbourne), Dr Rebecca Deans, Dr Julie Abimanyi-Ochom (Deakin University)

 

2020 MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research – Endometriosis Research
Genetic variants, Early Life exposures, and Longitudinal Endometriosis Symptoms study (GELLES)

Prof Gita Mishra (University of Queensland), Dr Ingrid Rowlands (University of Queensland), Dr Sally-Anne Mortlock (Institute for Molecular Bioscience), Prof Jenny Doust (University of Queensland), Prof Annette Dobson (University of Queensland), Dr Marina Kvaskoff (The French National Institute for Health and Medical Research), Prof Grant Montgomery (Institute for Molecular Bioscience), Prof Jason Abbott

 

2020 MRFF Primary Healthcare Research Data Infrastructure
Imagendo: Diagnosing endometriosis with imaging and AI

Prof Mary Louise Hull (Robinson Research Institute), A/Prof David Gonzalez-Chica, A/Prof George Condous (University of Sydney), Dr Jodie Avery (Robinson Research Institute), Dr Rebecca O'Hara (Robinson Research Institute), Dr Steven Knox (Benson Radiology), Ms Aisha Sirop (Robinson Research Institute), Ms Catrina Panuccio (Specialist Imaging Partners), Prof Gustavo Carneiro (University of Adelaide), Prof Jason Abbott

 

2018 MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research
The NECST Network – National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific Trials

Prof Jason Abbott, Mr Andrew Michelmore AO (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health), Mrs Janet Michelmore AO (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health), Prof Gita Mishra (University of Queensland), Prof Grant Montgomery (Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland), Prof Peter Rogers (University of Melbourne)

Our experts

Professor of Gynaecological Surgery and GRACE Unit Chair

E: j.abbott@unsw.edu.au

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Senior Lecturer, Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecologist

E: r.deans@unsw.edu.au

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Lecturer, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

E: erin.nesbitthawes@health.nsw.gov.au

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Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

E: aaron.budden@health.nsw.gov.au

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AGES Fellow, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

E: blake.knapman@health.nsw.gov.au

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Conjoint Associate Lecturer, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

E: fiona.li@unsw.edu.au

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Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

E: lalla.mccormack@health.nsw.gov.au

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Medical Resident

E: jana@janapittman.com

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Research Fellow

E: a.meneses_gonzalez@unsw.edu.au

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Adjunct Senior Lecturer, GRACE Unit Research Program Manager

E: cecilia.ng@unsw.edu.au

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Adjunct Lecturer, Physiotherapist

E: ruth.schubert@unsw.edu.au