Paul Brownbill

Paul Brownbill, PhD


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I study human placental physiology and toxicology, with an emphasis on vascular function and transfer. My expertise includes transplacental transfer of solute and water, the transplacental paracellular route and the regulation of fetoplacental vascular tone and its dysregulation in disease. I have an interdisciplinary collaborations with: (i) mathematicians interested in the study of oxygen transfer across the placenta; (ii) a pharmacologist on placental-targeted nanoparticle therapies for pregnancy related diseases; (iii) scientists and obstetricians in Manchester, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, interested in understanding the mechanism of idiopathic fetal growth restriction (FGR); and the effect of maternal anti-hypertensive treatments on fetal growth and development; and (iv) an epidemiologist, immunologists and a materials scientist interested in understanding placental transfer and potential carcinogenic effects of traffic air pollution (TRAP) in evoking childhood leukaemia during the in utero period.

I continue to collaborate with industry and have had industrial funding as a PI on translation driven research investigating a potential adenoviral vector therapy to alleviate compromised uteroplacental blood flow in early-onset FGR; evaluating its potential placental transfer and safety. I am participating in a network of placental physiologists, pathologists, biophysicists and mathematicians interested in modelling placental transfer in normal and diseased pregnancies. I have formed and co-lead an international consortium (PlaNet) of placental physiologists, biophysicists, mathematicians and industrialists from 55 international centres to promote human placental biological models towards standardised testing systems to better understand the reproductive toxicology effects of the human exposome. I hold an editorial board position with an international journal, Placenta. I am also one of three international panellists on a new Doctoral Partnership program on “Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy” (DP-iDP) at Graz Medical University, Austria (currently 17 PhD students on a partnership program with industry).

Research interests

  • Transplacental paracellular pathways
  • Regulation of fetoplacental blood flow
  • Regulation of placental oxygen transfer
  • Regulation of transplacental water and solute transfer
  • Signalling in the fetoplacental endothelium
  • Placental Toxicology
  • Supervisor / Co-supervisor to PhD / MD students (Universities of Manchester, ICL, Nottingham, UK)


Project 1 & 2 Supervisor, for MRes in Maternal & Fetal Health; MRes in Translational Medicine; MSc Clinical Biochemistry.

Workshop Tutor & Health & Safety module teacher, for MRes in Maternal & Fetal Health

Academic Advisor (Years 1 & 2) MBChB

Supervisor, for FLS intercallating medical students on BSC(HONS) research projects

My collaborations


Prof John Wright, University of Bradford, UK.

Prof Jos Kleinjans and Dr Kevin Knoops, University of Maastricht, Holland.

Prof Stefan Hansson, University of Lund, Sweden.

Prof Anna David, University College London, UK.

Prof. Rohan Lewis, University of Southampton, UK.

Dr Gowsihan Poologasundarampillai, University fo Birmingham, UK

Drs Win Tun and Michelle Durrows, Diamond Light Source, Harwell, UK

Drs Nicola Powles-Glover and Rhiannon David, Astra-Zeneca, Cambridge. UK

Profs Gernot Desoye & Christian Wadsack, Medical University of Graz, Austria.

Profs Henning Schneider & Christiane Albrecht, Bern University, Switzerland.

Prof Natalia Schlabritz-Lutsevich, Texas Technical University at Odessa, USA.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Physiological Society
  • British Microcirculation Society
  • International Federation of Placenta Associations
  • Blair Bell Research Society (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists)
  • European Society of Cardiology
  • Fetal & Neonatal Physiological Society
  • NC3Rs non-animal testing (NATs) specialist interest group

Methodological knowledge

Ex vivo dual perfusion of the human placenta

Placental endothelial cell physiology

Endothelial cell-flow shear-stress investigation

Phosphoproteome analysis

ELISAs and other assays


BSc(HONS), MPhil, PhD

Social responsibility

Annual hosting of A-level students on work-experince placements.

Associate of Greenhead College "PAWS" program

Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre Patient Research Involvement Group

Various departmental associated events

Speaker to various ProBus (retired business womens meetings)

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

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 1 Dec 2007

Master of Philosophy, Permeability of the Human Placenta, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 1 Dec 2001

Bachelor of Science, Applied Biological Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

Award Date: 1 Jul 1988

Areas of expertise

  • RG Gynecology and obstetrics
  • Placenta
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pathology

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Lydia Becker Institute
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


Dive into the research topics where Paul Brownbill is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

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