Investigators: Dr Christina Hayward, Kirsty McIntyre, Dr Susan Greenwood, Dr Paul Brownbill, Dr Richard Unwin, Professor Colin Sibley, Dr Mark Dilworth.
Summary: If the placenta fails to function as normal, fetal growth restriction (FGR) may occur, in which the baby doesn’t grow as expected. In normal pregnancy, the baby is able to signal to that it needs more nutrients via the placenta. However, there is evidence that this signalling fails in FGR. In this study we will compare placentas from normal and FGR-affected pregnancies to identify what these important signals might be. This includes using cutting-edge technologies to identify key markers within umbilical artery blood (which flows from the baby to the placenta) and the baby’s side of the placenta (where these signals would act). We can then test these signals in placentas after delivery of the baby (in a system that mirrors pregnancy) to determine whether they alter placental transfer of nutrients in a way that would be beneficial for the baby. Ultimately we hope to be able to exploit such signals to improve the baby’s growth in at-risk pregnancies. [M603]
The Tommy's Rainbow Clinic is part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. It provides specialist care for women who have suffered a previous stillbirth or neonatal death.
The Placenta Clinic, run as part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, is the largest placenta-focused research group in the world.
Tommy’s research centre at St Mary’s Hospital opened in 2001 and is now home to around 100 clinicians and scientists researching the causes of stillbirth, and how to prevent it.