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Cambridge Reproduction SRI

 

Previous projects and ongoing collaborations have focused on investigating causes and potential treatments to prevent stillbirth and fetal growth restriction in specific high-risk obstetric populations. This was approached by focusing on placental function, structure and physiology. I primarily focused on the trend of advanced maternal age – or the ageing obstetric population – as is becoming increasingly prevalent globally. Because of this I have also had an interest in the social and medical reasons behind delayed childbearing such as shifted social pressures and advancements in assistive reproductive technologies.

More recent projects are focused on obesity in pregnancy – another growing obstetric concern with >50% of women of reproductive age classifying as obese in the UK (as of 2014). Pregnancy alters the maternal metabolism in order to optimise nutritional availability for the growing fetus. In obese mothers, this effect is perturbed and can result in fetal over or under growth which “programs” the offspring for higher risk of metabolic diseases in adult life. The placenta plays a key role as messenger between the mother and fetus for availability and delivery of nutrients. My interests are on how maternal and placental metabolism is altered in obese pregnancies, what signals drive these changes and what effect it has on fetal and post-natal health.