Tommy's London Research Centre

Tommy’s prematurity research centre in London is based at St Thomas’ Hospital, where the charity first began. Opened in 1995, it is the first Maternal and Fetal Research Unit in the UK.

“I can only congratulate the Tommy’s London prematurity research centre for its performance over the past year, and the years preceding it. The strength and productivity are having a global impact that is improving health outcomes and life trajectories for women and their fetuses.”Peer reviewer

Run by Professor Lucilla Poston CBE, Tommy’s London research centre focuses on understanding, predicting, and preventing premature birth. Over ten years, the clinic has reduced premature birth both locally and regionally by more than 10%, against a national and international rise in premature birth. Despite increasing referrals of high risk women, we are pleased to report a 21% reduction in preterm births at St Thomas’ Hospital in the last year.

Working in collaboration with our research teams across the UK, the London prematurity research centre is a vital part of the Tommy’s research network. Together, we are a major force behind improving pregnancy health across the world.

Research Highlights:

  • The SUPPORT trial is the first ever clinical study comparing the effectiveness of three different treatments in preventing premature birth in women with shortened cervixes.
  • We are helping women around the world have healthy pregnancies by trialling a cheap, easy-to-use saliva test that can tell how likely a woman is to give birth prematurely.
  • We have established the Preterm Trials Consortium, a platform that helps us run large-scale, long term clinical trials. Like this, we can continue to find answers to the difficult questions surrounding premature birth.
  • Together with MicroLife, we have created the CRADLE device: a cheap and simple blood-pressure measurement tool that can help detect pregnancy complications anywhere in the world.

Read more about the research at our London centre.  

Current research projects

Completed research projects

  • Clinician scanning a pregnant woman

    The London Preterm Birth Surveillance Clinic

    This unique Preterm Surveillance Clinic – funded by Tommy's as part of our research in St Thomas' Hospital, London, has won an NHS Innovation Challenge Prize, for its success in reducing the number of premature births in South East London.

  • Nurse monitoring premature baby in hospital

    Research into premature birth

    Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. These babies are vulnerable – they are born before they have grown to cope with the outside world. Tommy’s is saving lives by researching how we can prevent premature births by finding those at risk early on.