Women using microscope

A healthy life begins in the womb, so understanding what might go wrong in pregnancy and developing interventions to help will ultimately improve the health of society overall. "

Professor Phillip Bennett

Head of Division

The stage is set for a healthy pregnancy before conception and events during pregnancy can influence the whole of the rest of life. The quality of fetal life predicts not only pregnancy specific maternal disease, appropriate fetal growth, and early neonatal outcomes, but is a major contributor to the quality of health in adult life. The major complications of pregnancy; preterm birth, pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restrictions are major causes of childhood mortality and life-long morbidity. Pregnancy acts to uncover maternal predisposition to diseases such as diabetes and hypertension in later life, providing an opportunity to consider earlier interventions to improve population health.

Across 30 principal investigators (11 scientists and 19 clinician-scientists), the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology has a portfolio of basic and translational research into fertility, stem cell biology, reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth, preterm labour, women’s cancer, and pregnancy after cancer treatment. We facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists and clinical academics to translate research of the highest quality into patient benefit, and to improve reproductive outcomes for women and the long-term health of them and their children.

The IRDB hosts two pregnancy research centres; The Tommys National Miscarriage Research Centre (in collaboration with the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick), and March of Dimes European Preterm Birth Research Centre.

Digestive Diseases

Areas of Study

The Division is split into Sections, each containing a number of principle-investigator-led research groups. Explore the sections listed below for further information:
Prof Phil Bennett

Division leadership

Head of Reproductive and Developmental Biology - Professor Phillip Bennett
Phillip Bennett is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology to Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust at Queen Charlottes and Hammersmith Hospitals. He is Director of the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology and NHS Research Director for Women's and Children's Health.