Last updated: November 2013
Research centres and teams
At Tommy’s we know there is no experience more harrowing than losing a baby. Yet medical research into pregnancy complications has traditionally received little funding in the UK. That’s why, since our inception in 1992, Tommy’s has been determined to create a pregnancy research network of worldwide importance, so more babies can be born healthily.
In 1995 we opened the UK’s first-ever Maternal and Fetal Research Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Six years later we established a second unit at St Mary’s Hospital in the University of Manchester and in 2008 our third centre was opened at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
We can now justifiably claim internationally renowned research capabilities and we are very excited by the projects our teams are working on. We believe they will bring real pregnancy health benefits sooner rather than later, meaning fewer families will have to endure the terrible heartache of losing a baby.
All three of our centres have established specialised clinics to provide expert care to women at high risk of pregnancy complications.
The Tommy’s research centre in London
Our London centre, opened in 1995, is led by Professor Lucilla Poston. Although the centre has a broad spectrum of research interests in women’s health, the clinical research programme focuses on screening for, treating and preventing pre-eclampsia and premature birth. In particular, our researchers are playing a large part in a worldwide effort to introduce a routine screening test for these problems to identify women at high risk. Such an intervention has the potential to dramatically improve pregnancy outcome. The centre established the first clinic in the UK that focuses on the care of women who are at increased risk of preterm labour.
Find out more about our London research centre.
The Tommy’s research centre in Manchester
Our Manchester centre, opened in 2001, is led by Professor Colin Sibley. It specialises in examining the role of the baby’s life support system, the placenta. Important breakthroughs have been made that bring treatments and predictive tests for pregnancy problems much closer. In 2009 our Manchester team opened the UK’s first clinic to focus on the placenta to improve monitoring of women whose pregnancies are affected by fetal growth restriction. In 2011 the centre launched its new Stillbirth Research Programme with funding from Tommy’s.
Find out more about our Manchester research centre.
The Tommy’s research centre in Edinburgh
Our Edinburgh centre, opened in 2008, is led by Professor Jane Norman. It specialises in alleviating the risks of being obese during pregnancy. Given that 50 per cent of women of childbearing age in the UK are currently overweight or obese, progress in this field has the potential to benefit millions. Soon after the centre launched, our Edinburgh team opened the Tommy’s Antenatal Metabolic Clinic, which is already providing specialised care to around 200 women per year.
Find out more about our Edinburgh research centre.
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