Researcher in lab

Prematurity is the leading cause of death for the under-fives, with one million children dying every year from preterm birth complications. Preterm birth is a major health challenge globally, yet its causes are complex and not fully understood. Why do some mothers go into labour early? Why are more babies being born preterm? How can we reduce the number of premature births in the UK and worldwide?

Premature BabyImperial has been at the forefront of pregnancy research for over 30 years. Led by Professors Phil Bennett and TG Teoh, the Preterm Birth Research Group directly involves over 30 clinical doctors and scientists at all levels, from PhD student to senior clinical academics, working closely together to solve this critical problem.

The group is researching the processes at work in the onset of labour, in order to pinpoint the factors that increase the risk of premature birth and to develop new tools that doctors can use to identify women who are more likely to enter labour prematurely. In doing so, they are working to bring better health to infants all around the world, and give them and their families the best chance for long and happy lives together.

Support preterm birth research at Imperial

With Professors Bennett and Teoh's drive for long-term succession planning, we are seeking support from alumni and friends, to create an academic chair in preterm birth, enabling us to secure world-leading research and strategic leadership for the group. A position of this kind will give the post-holder the security and flexibility to plan for the group’s long-term future and steer the team towards its ultimate goal – to reduce the risks and impacts of preterm birth and help babies, mothers and families lead longer, happier, healthier lives.

Our target is to raise £2.5m and already we have raised over £500,000 towards an Endowed Professorial Chair. This important post will be there forever to secure the leadership and global excellence of the preterm birth research group.

Thank you for your support for this exciting ambition!

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