Liverpool to establish Centre for preterm birth research

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been awarded £1 million to establish a centre for preterm birth research.

Supported by the Wellbeing of Women’s Harris award, the Centre will be home to a research programme aimed at improving understanding of what causes preterm birth and what can be done to prevent it.

Researchers at the University will investigate treatments using a personalised medicines approach, addressing women who have experienced or are at risk of preterm birth.

This will include developing risk assessments for early pregnancy, understanding the effectiveness of different preterm labour drugs and facilitating better and safer use of preventative therapies.

Professor Zarko Alfirevic, from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine and Centre Director, said: “The Centre will act as an international hub for research, and best clinical practice related to preterm birth and will provide cutting-edge research training for early career researchers committed to preterm birth research.”

Professor Susan Wray, the Centre Co-Director, said: “All the team are really excited about the opportunities the Centre will provide for research and translational medicine.”

The award will be available over the next five years through the generous donation of Lord and Lady Harris of Peckham who have supported the Wellbeing of Women charity for 30 years.

Liz Campbell, Director of Wellbeing of Women, said: “Premature birth can be very dangerous for mother and baby and is particularly devastating when babies die.

“The new Harris/Wellbeing of Women PreTerm Birth Centre will focus on new treatments to prevent premature birth and help women who have had previous preterm births feel more confident about their pregnancies and their ability to carry a pregnancy to full term.”

The Centre is due to open in Summer 2015.




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