Our research

In order to put the priorities of women and couples at the heart of our National Centre for Miscarriage Research, we focus on four themes to address the key questions asked by those who suffer early pregnancy loss. 

research body

Within each theme, researchers from the University of Birmingham and our partner institutions are leading the way in multidisciplinary working to gain new knowledge and deliver meaningful clinical impact.

Research themes

Why did it happen?

We are carrying out a programme of research that will explore the causes of miscarriage, aiming to develop accurate diagnostic tests.

In Birmingham we are investigating the role of sperm DNA fragmentation  in miscarriage, and exploring whether analysis of cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA) is of clinical use in evaluating miscarriage.

Finding out why it happens

Stephanie Allen Investigates cell free fetal DNA in the context of miscarriage.
Sarah Conner Supports a variety of our studies in the field of reproductive biology.
Graham Fews Brings expertise in molecular biology, cell biology and genetics.
Susan Hamilton Supports our portfolio of genetic studies.
Jackson Kirkman Brown Leads our work on the male causes of miscarriage
Fiona Togneri  Brings particular expertise in microarrays and cytogenetics.

Will it happen again?

We aim to identify prognostic markers and develop prediction models to provide accurate information to patients and allow targeted interventions, with the longer-term aim of offering ‘personalised medicine’ and prevention strategies.

For example, we are working to establish the role of the immune system as a prognostic factors in women with recurrent miscarriage, and incorporating these factors to predict pregnancy outcomes more accurately.

Finding out if it will happen again

Mark Drayson Director of Clinical Immunology Services in Birmingham.
Abey Eapen Developing prediction models of recurrent miscarriage risk. 
Hoda Harb  Founding co-ordinator of the United Kingdom Early Pregnancy Surveillance Service.
Mark Kilby Brings specialist expertise in prenatal diagnosis, fetal anomalies, fetal therapy and intrauterine growth restriction.
Jennifer Tamblyn Leads our work on adaptations of the maternal immune system during pregnancy.
Paul Moss  Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer. 
Aurelio Tobias  Assists our statistical analyses of miscarriage studies.  

How can we prevent it happening again?

Our aim is to make a significant reduction in preventable miscarriages amongst women in the UK with a history of recurrent miscarriages.

We have already established an unprecedented network of miscarriage researchers across the country: we are building on this national platform to identify and prioritise key research questions, and to design robust clinical trials of interventions that could reduce the risk of miscarriage. We are also developing clinical trial apprenticeships for researchers and clinicians to enhance their skills in the field.  

Our national platform is the foundation of many exciting studies of new miscarriage treatments including the PRISM trial, the TABLET trial and the MifeMiso trial.

Finding out how to prevent it happening again

Justin Chu Investigates the role of vitamin D in early pregnancy, and the medical management of miscarriage. 
Adam Devall  Co-ordinator of our national network of miscarriage researchers and our work on progesterone for early pregnancy bleeding
Ioannis Gallos Leader of our network meta-analyses of miscarriage studies. 
Paul Smith Investigates the use of ultrasound in surgical management of miscarriage.
Kirandeep Sunner Co-ordinator of our study of thyroid antibodies in women with unexplained miscarriage.
Amie Wilson Co-ordinator of our trial of antibiotics for miscarriage surgery in low income settings.
Manjeet Shehmar Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Clinical Director for Gynaecology at Birmingham Women's Hospital. 

How can we move forward from here?

We aim to better understand the psychosocial effects of miscarriages, and to harness this understanding to enable early pregnancy doctors, midwives and nurses to improve miscarriage care and support.

Finding out how to bear it

 Laura Jones Oversees our qualitative studies of early pregnancy.
 Helen Williams Exploring stories of misCOURAGE and the lived experience of miscarriage.