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Membership of ROAM is open to all interested researchers who wish to make a contribution to the work of the collaboration. A request to be added to the ROAM mailing list, outlining your interest and potential contribution to the collaboration, should be directed to: Professor Birgitta Essén at​

Steering Committee

Currently Professor Birgitta Essén from Uppsala University in Sweden leads the collaboration. 









A steering committee plans and co-ordinates ROAM meetings and activities. Steering Committee Members are:

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Birgitta Essén, MD, PhD, Professor

Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University

Her research focus on maternal mortality and female genital cutting. Since the last 25 years she has had a  collaboration with anthropologists where they have translate theoretical knowledge of anthropology–as social, religious & cultural aspects of reproductive phenomena among different ethnic groups–and then made results applicable in health promotions or in reproductive and maternity care.


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Mika Gissler, Research Professor

THL National Institute for Health and Welfare

My main research focus has been in utilization of routinely collected health and welfare registers. These include the Medical Birth Register, Hospital Discharge and Outpatient Register, Prescription Register and Cause-of-Death Registers. The main research interests include migrant health, especially studies on perinatal and maternal health, childhood and adolescent health, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and use of health care services.


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Lisa Merry, PhD

Faculty of Nursing, University of Montreal

My program of research aims to produce knowledge towards optimizing the well-being of migrant families with children by conducting studies to 1) gain a better understanding on transnational ties and their impact on families; and 2) generate evidence for health and social care practices and policies that are adapted to the transnational contexts of migrant families with children.


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Sarah Maria Salway, BA(Hons) Oxon, MSc, PhD

Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

Sarah’s work lies at the intersection of sociology, social policy and public health, with the aim of understanding and addressing the social and political determinants of health and wellbeing. Her work has particularly focused on health inequalities linked to migration, ethnicity and gender, and the processes of identification and in/exclusion operating at policy, practice and community levels that shape health-related experiences and outcomes.  




Sara Fredsted Villadsen, PhD

University of Copenhagen

My research aims to reduce social and ethnic disparities in reproductive health by interventional research, including implementation and effectiveness evaluations. I’m PI of the Danish national MAMAACT trial, which aims to improve the communication between pregnant women and midwives and to ensure optimal response to warning signs in pregnancy, and thus reduce ethnic inequity in maternal and child health.


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Marcelo Urquia, PhD

University of Manitoba

Immigrant and refugee health, gender and health, social determinants of health, maternal and child health, reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, and international health. He is also interested in applying and developing innovative approaches to the use of large administrative databases for health research, such as family-based designs, intergenerational studies, cross-provincial and cross-country studies.


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Jennifer Zeitlin, DSc. MA
Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team, Inserm

My research focuses on assessing the impact of the organization of care on the health and development of babies born very preterm (<32 weeks of gestational age) in France and other European countries and on the effects of the restructuring of obstetric and pediatric health services on access to care for pregnant women and newborns. I also lead a project to develop perinatal health surveillance for the evaluation of health systems and policy in Europe. 


Current ROAM members


Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, MD, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen and her research group is working with maternal and child health, mainly using epidemiologic approaches, but also some health services research. The group finds special interest in the fetal, childhood and long-term health effects of exposures in pregnancy, particularly working conditions, social factors (including maternal and paternal age), infections and health behavior during pregnancy, reproductive immunology, and reproductive conditions among ethnic minorities in Denmark. Furthermore, the group takes an interest in development of epidemiologic methods, register-based research and in birth cohort studies.


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Elie Azria, MD, PhD

Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (EPOPé), UMR1153

Professor of obstetrics and gynecology and head of the Paris Saint Joseph maternity unit in Paris, Elie Azria is also a researcher in epidemiology. Member of the EPOPé research team, his research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of social inequalities in maternal and perinatal health, as well as to promote access to healthcare for women in the most deprived social situations. 


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A.D. (Ashna) Hindori-Mohangoo PhD MPH

Perisur, TNO Healthy Living

Dr. Hindori-Mohangoo is a perinatal epidemiologist in the Netherlands and Suriname focusing on improving health and care for pregnant women and their babies through implementation of perinatal interventions including preconception care, group prenatal care and group baby care (, and on assessing the impact of neurotoxins exposure on pregnant women and their babies (


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Teresa Janevic, PhD MPH

Assistant Professor of Population Health Science & Policy

Teresa Janevic is an epidemiologist with a focus on social determinants of maternal and child health and health disparities. Areas of interest related to migrant reproductive health include health policy, quality of care, health care discrimination, ethnic enclaves, lifecourse migration history, stress, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, severe maternal morbidity, perinatal mental health, and Romani women’s health.


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Russell S. Kirby, PhD, MS, FACE

College of Public Health, University of South Florida

My research areas focus on 1) public health implications of health policies and programs, 2) population health informatics, including design, data integration, record linkage, data quality, and roles for spatial analysis, 3) clinical and population-based research in genetics, birth defects, developmental disabilities, and reproductive health outcomes.  Health disparities in immigrant and minority groups feature in all three areas.


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Musa Abubakar Kana, MD, FMCPH, PhD
Instituto Saude Publica da Universidade do Porto, Portugal 

Musa Kana is a Public Health Physician with experience in research and managing interventional projects  directed at improving maternal, newborn and child health in Africa. Under the supervision of Professor Henrique Barros he studied the person, place and time contexts of perspectives of growth and development of second generation migrant children in Portugal.


Stephanie Koning, PhD

Northwestern University, IL (USA)

Stephanie is a social epidemiologist whose research is situated at the intersection of social disparities and reproductive health and human development, with a focus on populations in the United States and Southeast Asia. Recent studies center on migrant and refugee health, social policy and stratification, and biosocial mechanisms linking social stress and adversity to health over the life-course.


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Elin C Larsson, MSc, PhD

Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University Sweden.

I am a pharmacist with a PhD in global health. I combine qualitative and quantitative research methods. Currently I am involved in a fellowship program in improvement research. My research interest is in SRH among migrants in Sweden, especially access to care in relation to abortion and contraception. I am also involved in project in low-resource settings such as Uganda and Mocambique, studying abortion and contraception.


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Alison Macfarlane BA, Dip Stat, C Stat, FFPH

Professor of Perinatal Health, City, University of London, London, England

Using secondary analysis and linkage of routine data for research on settings for birth, timing of birth, multiple births and issues related to migration, including the prevalence of female genital mutilation / cutting in migrant population.



 Can Liu, MD PhD 

Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet

I am interested in social factors in early and middle life that affect pregnancy outcomes. 



Dr. Ghazala Mir

Leeds Institute of Health Sciences

Ghazala's research interests are in health and social inequalities. Her research has included work on interventions to reduce infant mortality in minority ethic women in the UK and globally. She also covers service development in other areas relating to ethnic and faith communities, women and people with learning disability.



Naho Morisaki, MD MPH PhD

Dept of Social Medicine, National Center for Child Health and Development  Japan

Life course epidemiology, with special interest in maternal and child nutrition, as well as socio-economic factors including minority groups.



Ariel Pulver, MSc, PhD candidate

Department of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Many immigrants to Canada are born in countries where girls experience inadequate routine health care and elevated early under-five mortality compared to boys. I study patterns of routine health care and maltreatment for girls and boys of immigrants in early childhood to consider how gender inequality around the world may influence gender inequality within a high immigration context


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Shuby Puthussery, BSc, MSW, MScIH, DrPH

University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK

As the Director of the Maternal and child Health Research Centre at the University of Bedfordshire, Shuby leads research and stakeholder engagement activities that extend current thinking in the area of maternal, infant and family health both nationally and internationally.  Areas of interest include social and ethnic disparities in birth experiences and perinatal outcomes;  respectful maternity care; migrant women’ s health; parenting in early years; father’s involvement



Claudia Schönborn, MBBS, MSc PH

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Social inequalities in perinatal health. Migration and poverty. Access, use and experience of perinatal healthcare services.



Vera Seidel-Eider, MD, BA

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Obstetrics

Migrant women's perception of obstetric care, health professionels' perspectives on obstetric care


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Rhonda Small, BA, Grad Dip Epid, PhD

Foreign Adjunct Professor, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm SWEDEN

Rhonda was one of the founding members of ROAM and has been  involved in research  to investigate and improve migrant women’s experiences of maternity care and their birth outcomes for almost thirty years, first in Melbourne, Australia, and more recently in Sweden, were she has been a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute since 2014.




Ingvil Krarup Sørbye, MD, PhD, Consultant OBGYN

Department of Obstetrics, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Her main research interests are obstetric epidemiology in terms of migrant status and obstetric outcomes. She is the PI of the MIPREG study, a 4 year research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, with the aim to improve pregnancy outcomes among recent migrants in Oslo.



Octavia Wiseman BA, BSc, MSc, RM

City, University of London

Octavia is a Research Fellow based at City, University of London, working on the NIHR-funded REACH RCT of group antenatal care ('Pregnancy Circles'). She also works part-time as a midwife at King's College Hospital. Other than group antenatal care, her interests include continuity of care, perineal health and the experiences of migrant women seeking maternity care in the UK. 



Jane Yelland, BAppSc, PhD

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Jane Yelland is health services researcher and maternal epidemiologist with a keen interest in improving the health and wellbeing of socially disadvantaged families. Jane has established a research program that is building evidence about ways to strengthen services and health care outcomes for refugee and migrant families; and is doing this by working in partnership with communities, health care providers and policy makers.


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