Personal profile


Dr Robert De Matteo works in the Respiratory Development and Programming Group located in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University as a Research Fellow.

Our research group focuses on better outcomes for preterm infants. Some of the areas we are investigating include;

  • the male disadvantage
  • treatments that may provide protection against fetal brain injury
  • the influence of high oxygen concentrations on the developing lung

My current roles also include Honours convenor in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology. I am also part of the executive committee of the Fetal and Neonatal Workshop of Australia and New Zealand (FNWANZ). The FNWANZ provides a forum for discussion of new ideas and presentation of experimental and clinical data in fetal and neonatal biology and aims to encourage discussion and establish collaborations between basic scientists and researchers from all disciplines of PSANZ. For more information please visit

I joined the Respiratory Development and Programming Group in 2006. Research in this group centred on the theme of developmental programming. In particular, how do changes in the developing fetal environment alter the long term structure and function of key organs. Changes in the fetal environment include placental insufficiency or maternal undernutrition (causing fetal growth restriction), premature birth, exposure to inflammatory intra-uterine environment, ventilator-induced lung injury and maternal alcohol ingestion.

My first introduction to the concept of Developmental Programming was during 2004-2005, when I examined if altered fetal renal development, from prenatal glucocorticoid exposure contributed to the higher blood pressure seen in adult sheep, conducted in the Department of Physiology, Monash University.

Prior to 2004, my post-doctoral research was centred on cardiovascular neuroscience, investigating the role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in cardiovascular and renal regulation in the conscious rabbit.

I completed my PhD in 1997, at the Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Physiology and Medicine investigating the renal and cardiovascular actions of adrenal steroids in the conscious unstressed adult sheep.

Overall I have gained in depth knowledge in the following disciplines; central regulation of blood pressure, role of the sympathetic nervous system in disease states, regulation of renal haemodynamics, integrated renal physiology, endocrinology of the adrenal gland, fetal programming, developmental origins of health and disease, lung development and fetal physiology.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Fetal Physiology
  • Premature babies
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • Neuroprotection
  • Sexual dimorphism

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or