Premature birth research in £1m grant

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Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Pic © Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Pic © Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women’s Hospital have been awarded a £1 million grant to help pioneer vital research into the causes of premature birth.

The charity behind the funding – Wellbeing of Women – is dedicated to improving the health of women and babies across the UK, and aims to make the donations available over the next five years.

The £1 million grant will enable the opening of a new Centre for Pre-Term Birth Research at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and will open in summer 2015. With this funding, it is hoped that the research centre will help improve understanding of what causes preterm birth and what can be done to prevent it.

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 Pre-Term Birth Centre will focus on new treatments to prevent premature birth and help women who have had previous pre-term births feel more confident about their pregnancies and their ability to carry a pregnancy to full term.”

The University of Liverpool will help lead the research and investigate treatments addressing women who have experienced or are at risk of pre-term birth. This will include developing risk assessments for early pregnancy, understanding the effectiveness of different labour drugs and looking closely at better and safer use of preventative therapies.

Centre Director of the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine, Professor Zarko Alfirevic, 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.”

About James Busby, JMU Journalism