Professor Lesley McCowan, CNZM
Professor Lesley McCowan, CNZM

5 January 2016

Congratulations to HRC Board member Professor Lesley McCowan who has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health in the 2016 New Year's honours list.

Professor McCowan is a sub-specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at National Women’s Health, and her main clinical interests are in management of high risk pregnancies. She is the secretary of the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She has chaired the perinatal mortality review process at National Women’s for many years and was a founding member of the national Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee.

Professor McCowan has been the Auckland principal investigator on the international SCOPE study since 2004, which aims to identify women early in their first pregnancy who will later develop preeclampsia, preterm birth or have a growth restricted baby. The SCOPE study, the New Zealand arm of which has been funded by the HRC, has established one of the best pregnancy databases in the world.

In 2015 Professor McCowan commenced the Healthy Mums and Babies intervention trial to explore maternal obesity and the risk of complications for mother and child. She was appointed to the HRC Board in 2014 and is leading a study which aims to identify modifiable risk factors for stillbirth in late pregnancy.

Professor McCowan has volunteered her time for New Zealand Action on Pre-eclampsia and is a member of the Ministry of Health ‘Tackling Smoking in Pregnancy’ technical advisory group.