Opened in 1995, the Tommy’s centre at St Thomas’ Hospital was the first maternal and fetal research unit in the UK.
Led by Professor Lucilla Poston CBE, the team in London focus on understanding, predicting, and preventing premature birth. Our researchers are also committed to finding new treatments and developing best practice to support pregnant women with conditionals such as gestational diabetes and hypertension.
Premature birth research
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. These babies are vulnerable because they are born before they have grown to cope with the outside world. They are at greater risk of blindness, deafness, respiratory problems, cerebral palsy and delayed neurological development.
Clinicians don’t always know what causes preterm labour: 40% of preterm births in the UK are classified as ‘unknown causes. This makes our research to find answers to this widespread pregnancy complication especially urgent.
Gestational diabetes research
Gestational diabetes can make it more likely for women to suffer from pre-eclampsia, premature birth and give birth to larger-than-normal babies. Obesity can increase the likelihood of gestational diabetes, but it is still not well understood why some women develop it and others don’t.
That’s why the Tommy’s team in London is researching how and why gestational diabetes happens, so we can make sure as many women as possible have safe, uncomplicated pregnancies. Where women do develop diabetes, we are finding most effective ways to treat them so that their babies have the best chance at health.
London Research clinics
Our research centre in London is home to 3 flagship research clinics which provide exemplary evidence-based care to women with high-risk pregnancies and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
The clinics provide best practice care and recruit women to participate in research. The information and samples collected are vital for our researchers, enabling them to explore promising areas and make significant discoveries that will improve the chances of at-risk babies.
- Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic
- The Hypertension in Pregnancy (HiP) Clinic
- Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic