Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation
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Professor Nadia Badawi AM


Macquarie Group Foundation Professor and Chair of Cerebral Palsy, The University of Sydney


I have no hesitation in now saying that one day there will be prevention and cure for cerebral palsy.

Professor Badawi AM is an internationally recognised neonatologist with extensive experience working in the field of cerebral palsy and newborn brain conditions.

In 2009 Cerebral Palsy Alliance appointed Professor Badawi as Australia’s first Chair of Cerebral Palsy, at the University of Notre Dame Australia, to oversee projects funded by the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The position has been funded by the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Commonwealth Government. In 2015, this appointment as the Chair of Cerebral Palsy moved to the Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, within the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health.

With an outstanding record in attracting and leading research in the area of cerebral palsy, one of Professor Badawi’s key roles as Chair is to implement the strategic plan for cerebral palsy research priorities.

Professor Badawi’s dedication, commitment and determination have put cerebral palsy research under the international spotlight, and the results have been ground breaking.

Professor Badawi is renowned for her research on the outcomes of neonatal intensive care, neurodevelopmental outcomes following major cardiac and non-cardiac surgery, neonatal encephalopathy and cerebral palsy.

Her papers on newborn encephalopathy and the paper entitled ‘What Constitutes Cerebral Palsy?’ are some of the most cited cerebral palsy research papers in the world.

Her reputation as a leading authority on cerebral palsy has ensured the Research Foundation has some of the world’s best research minds now working collaboratively and proactively to find ways to not only prevent cerebral palsy and to establish best practice interventions to help people with cerebral palsy live as full a life as possible, but also to cure cerebral palsy.

In 2014 Professor Badawi was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her significant service to paediatrics and neo-natal intensive care medicine as a clinician and researcher,and for her leadership and promotion of research into cerebral palsy.

Less than a decade ago, most people believed cerebral palsy was a non-preventable and incurable condition.
Now, medical science’s attitudes towards severe brain injury are changing thanks to the efforts of Professor Badawi and her colleagues around the world, alongside advances in brain-imaging technology, stem-cell science, gene therapy and metabolic research.

‘I am delighted to work with so many outstanding researchers and families who support the search for prevention and cure.’

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute

Professor Badawi is based at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, from where she is leading our dedicated team of researchers at our Research Institute.

Professor Badawi is also:

  • Medical Director and Co-Head of the Grace Centre for Newborn Care, and Medical Director of Neonatology, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
  • Professor and Chair of Cerebral Palsy, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney
  • Clinical Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney
  • Honorary Research Fellow at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, WA
  • A founding member of the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register and NSW Cerebral Palsy Register

Research interests

  • Australian cerebral palsy register
  • Research aimed at improving the outcome for babies admitted to newborn intensive care
  • Early diagnosis of cerebral palsy and best early intervention
  • Identifying the causes of cerebral palsy
  • Preventive strategies for cerebral palsy
  • Decreasing complications of cerebral palsy
  • Increasing international collaboration between cerebral palsy researchers
  • Measuring the educational outcomes for children with cerebral palsy
  • Improving the outcomes for babies with newborn encephalopathy

Significant achievements

  • Being part of the group establishing the NSW and Australian cerebral palsy registers
  • Being part of the group establishing IMPACT for CP
  • Raising funds for cerebral palsy research internationally

Awards & Honours

2014 Membership of the Order of Australia (AM)
2012 Selected as one of Australia’s most influential female voices
2011 NHMRC selected as one of Australia’s Researchers changing the world

Competitive Grants Program: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC)

2014 – 2019 NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy (CRE-CP): $2,538,749. Chief Investigators: Dinah Reddihough; Nadia Badawi; Christine Imms; Eve Blair; Robert Carter; Herbert Graham; Michael Coory; Elizabeth Waters. (Field of Research: Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine; ref: 1057997)

2014 – 2018 NHMRC Project Grant $2,044,764. Preventing Adverse Outcomes of Neoantal Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy with Erythropoeitin – the PAEAN study. Chief Investigators: Helen Liley; Nadia Badawi; Susan Jacobs; Rachel O’Connell; Malcolm Battin; Rod Hunt; Iona Novak; Lisa Askie. (Field of Research: Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine; ref: 1064294.)

2011 – 2015 NHMRC Project Grant: $1,361,390. A study of the impact of treating electrographic seizures in newborn infants with encephalopathy. Chief Investigators: Ian Wright; Karen Simmer; Terrie Inder; David Osborn; Nadia Badawi; Paul Colditz; Jeanie Cheong; Helen Liley. (Field of Research: Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine; ref: 1006053.)

2008 -2012 ARC Linkage Project: $140,290. The emotional and social burden of caring for a young child with complex health needs. Chief Investigators: LJ Johnston; PJ Anderson; RW Hunt; K Spence; B Jordan; N Badawi. (Field of Research: Public Health and Health Services; ref LP0883457)

2003 – 2007 NHMRC Career Development Award (Clinical): $237,750. Outcomes of newborn encephalopathy. Chief Investigator. Nadia Badawi. (Field of Research: Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics; ref 249421.)

2000 – 2004 NHMRC Project Grant: $443,253. School performance and other outcomes among survivors of newborn encephalopathy. Chief Investigators: N Badawi; JJ Kurinczuk; SR Silburn; SR Zubrick; FJ Stanley.

1998 – 2001 NHMRC Public Health Post-doctoral Fellowship: $266,925. Outcomes of newborn encephalopathy in term infants. Chief Investigator: N Badawi. (Field of Research: Public Health and Health Services, Epidemiology; ref 987062)

1996 – 2000 NHMRC Project Grant: $321,315. Antecedents and outcomes of newborn encephalopathy in term infants. Chief Investigators: N Badawi; LM Alessandri; PP Pemberton, FJ Stanley. (ref 960560)

1994 – 1995 NHMRC Public Health Research and Development Committee Research PhD Scholarship: $46,056. Antecedents and outcomes of newborn encephalopathy in term infants. Chief Investigator: N Badawi. (ref 94/3368)


2014 – 2015 Macquarie Group Foundation 2013 200/200 Award: $200,000. International Multidisciplinary Prevention and Cure Team (IMPACT) for Cerebral palsy.

2012 – 2015 Collaborative Research Network Program, University of Notre Dame Australia: $980,929. The right services at the right time, promoting healthy people with cerebral palsy. Chief Investigators: Iona Novak; Nadia Badawi; Sarah McIntyre; Petra Karlsson; Shona Goldsmith.

2009 Perpetual Foundation: $18,000. Early developmental Outcomes Following Major Surgery in Infancy.

2010 Quality at Kids Awards: Making Smart Choices. 2010 (Finalist in NSW Health Awards in two categories)

2006 – 2009 March of Dimes (USA) Project Grant: $320,000. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Following Cardiac Surgery in the First Ninety Days.

2006 Quality at Kids Awards: Caring for Parents and Carers.

2006 Quality at Kids Awards: Consumer Participation in Health Care.

2000 – 2002 New Children’s Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Research Grant: $46,000. Outcomes of surgery in the neonatal period. Chief Investigator: N Badawi.


Click here to view Nadia’s publications.