Project Details


The vision of The Maternal & Fetal Health Research Centre is to find solutions to pregnancy problems through research excellence. We aim to deliver world-class advances in pregnancy research to inform better clinical care, policy and practice that will improve outcomes for mothers, their babies and their families. We also aim to provide education and training for clinicians and scientists in pregnancy research.

Our research strategy is built on the need for a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that lead to healthy pregnancy and how any failure of these can result in pregnancy complications and stillbirth. We focus on the placenta because it is the interface between mother and baby and we know that abnormal development and function of this essential organ is often the cause of the major pregnancy complications, especially stillbirth, fetal growth restriction (FGR) and pre-eclampsia. We also study fertility and the impact of the environment on early pregnancy and child growth.

Using the knowledge about placental abnormalities in stillbirth and related pregnancy complications we have investigated new tools and evaluated existing strategies to identify and predict placental complications and to improve their management when they occur. We have a portfolio of research clinics to improve care. In our clinics we recruit women to clinical studies and translate improved understanding of stillbirth, FGR, hypertension and diabetes into clinical practice.

The strategy for attaining our vision has four main objectives: 1. Provide a foundation of understanding of the biological mechanisms that result in healthy pregnancy. 2. Investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms behind the pregnancy problems i.e. try to understand what goes wrong. 3. Develop new tools for predicting, diagnosing and treating pregnancy problems, test them in the clinic, and use the outcomes of these studies to inform 1 and 2. 4. Implement changes into clinical practice and evaluate their impact.
Effective start/end date1/09/1831/12/22

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 project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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