Tommy’s news, 2018
We are incredibly pleased to congratulate our very own Professor Andrew Shennan who has been made an OBE (Officer of the Order for the British Empire) in the New Year Honours List for his work in maternity services at our award-winning preterm surveillance clinic.
Professor Shennan said:
“I am delighted to receive this recognition, but am basking in the reflected glory from the efforts of many. I really enjoy working with my patients. Making a difference to them is the reason why we do this.”
He added: “It’s also really satisfying having students, both undergraduate and PhD, because you’re able to nurture the next generation of researchers who will have an impact on the future population. Helping others to realise their potential is truly worthwhile.”
Run by Professor Andrew Shennan, the Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ has been providing specialist care to women at risk of preterm birth for over 10 years. Experts state that rolling out this clinic’s model nationally could prevent almost 9,000 premature births each year in the UK. Each year, we are seeing more referrals from women at high risk of giving birth too early.
Just last year, Professor Shennan, alongside his colleague Professor Shivaprasad Goudar, was awarded the 2017 Newton Prize for their life saving blood pressure monitoring CRADLE device. This award recognised for their work on ‘Evaluation of the Introduction of a Novel Device in the Management of Hypertension and Shock in Pregnancy in Low Resource Settings.’
Professor Shennan’s research interests include interventions to predict and prevent preterm birth, pre-eclampsia and the use of blood pressure monitoring. He has published more than 400 peer reviewed research reports and received numerous awards for his work in the developing world.
We are funding a clinical trial to find out whether the QUIPP app – developed by Tommy’s researchers – can help doctors treat women at risk of premature birth. This will help save more babies lives and reduce chances of health problems in the future.
Corticosteroids are given to mothers at risk of premature labour to prevent health complications for their baby. However, many of these women will go on to have a normal birth at term. Our researchers are investigating what effect these drugs have for babies who are not born prematurely after all.
Inducing labour early in uncomplicated pregnancies may reduce the risk of a baby dying, but may also influence their educational achievement later in life. Our researchers are linking information about births to the children’s school records. This will help doctors and parents make informed decisions about inducing labour early.
Premature birth can lead to health problems for the baby, including brain injury. Our researchers are looking into whether statins – drugs to prevent heart disease – could also be used to prevent brain injury in premature babies.
Tommy’s researchers have shown that statins – drugs normally used to prevent heart disease – could also help to prevent premature birth and the health problems it can cause. Our researchers are now running a clinical trial to test this in pregnant women in preterm labour.
If a mother’s waters break early, it can sometimes lead to the baby being born early, but it is difficult to predict exactly when. We’re funding research to help doctors accurately predict time until birth, and ensure that premature babies get the best possible start in life.