Professor Arri Coomarasamy MBChB, MD, FRCOG, FMedSci

Professor Arri Coomarasamy

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine
Director of the Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research
Joint Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health

Contact details

Address
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK
Birmingham Heroes: Arri Coomarasamy
Founders Award: Arri Coomarasamy
Tommy's PRISM Research

Professor Arri Coomarasamy leads two research teams, one focusing on treatments to prevent miscarriages and the other targeting on ways to stop mothers dying during childbirth.

One in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, causing untold amount of devastation to couples. In his role as the Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, Professor Coomarasamy leads a world-class team of scientists and doctors, researching to stop the occurrence of miscarriages. 

Every 2 minutes a mother dies during childbirth somewhere in the world, often leaving behind a young family. A third of these deaths are from post-partum haemorrhage (excessive bleeding at childbirth). In his role as Joint Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health, Professor Coomarasamy leads an international team of researchers focused on finding ways to prevent women dying from excessive bleeding at childbirth.

Professor Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical education from the University of Birmingham, and completed his subspecialist training in reproductive medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London. 

His research portfolio includes numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, including:

  • The PROMISE Trial (NEJM, 2015), exploring the role of progesterone in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages,
  • The WHO CHAMPION Trial (NEJM, 2018), studying the effects of heat-stable carbetocin to prevent postpartum haemorrhage,
  • The TABLET Trial (NEJM, 2019), evaluating the effects of levothyroxine therapy to prevent miscarriages in women with thyroid antibodies,
  • The AIMS Trial (NEJM, 2019), assessing the effects of prophylactic antibiotics before miscarriage surgery in low-income countries,
  • The PRISM Trial (NEJM, 2019), evaluating the effects of progesterone therapy for women with early pregnancy bleeding,
  • The MifeMiso Trial (ongoing), exploring the role of misoprostol with or without mifepristone in the medical management of missed miscarriages,
  • The LOCI Trial (ongoing), studying the effects of letrozole versus clomifene, with or without metformin, for ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome,
  • The E-MOTIVE Trial (ongoing), exploring the effects of early detection and first-response management of postpartum haemorrhage with a bundle of care in low resource countries.

Professor Coomarasamy has published over 210 medical articles in high impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, The British Medical Journal and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Professor Coomarasamy takes particular pride in mentoring junior doctors and researchers, and several of his trainees have become outstanding clinicians and researchers.

Professor Coomarasamy serves or has in the past served on several international and national committees, including grant funding boards for NIHR, MRC, Wellcome and DfID, the BJOG editorial board, the RCOG Wellbeing of Women Research Panel, various committees of the WHO, the Early Pregnancy Clinical Studies Group, the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group, and the GLOW organising committee. He is the founding trustee of Ammalife, a UK-registered charity with a global mission of reducing maternal deaths in low-income countries.

Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science (2019)
  • FRCOG, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2014)
  • MD in Integration of diagnostic and effectiveness evidence, University of Birmingham (2004)
  • MRCOG, London (2001)
  • DFFP, London (2000)
  • MBChB in Medicine and Surgery, University of Birmingham (1995)

Biography

Professor Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical training from the University of Birmingham (1995), and completed his subspecialist training in reproductive medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London. He gained his MD in 2004 for work exploring the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic information. He now leads a team that continues to move from strength to strength in the development of early pregnancy and global women’s health research. 

Teaching

Professor Coomarasamy leads and teaches on various MRCOG part 1, 2 and 3 courses, and contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the University of
Birmingham. Course websites: www.acecourses.co.uk and www.aceonline.org.uk

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Coomarasamy considers it a duty and privilege to support the next generation of academic and clinical investigators. He currently guides a cohort of over twenty doctoral researchers, postdoctoral fellows and clinical lecturers in the fields of gynaecology, early pregnancy care, and global women’s health.

Past and present PhD students include:

Amie Wilson
Hoda Harb
Justin Chu
Yee Yin Chan
Sesh Kamal Sunkara
Rima Dhillon-Smith
Paul Smith
Abey Eapen
Abi Merriel
Bala Karunakaran
Emily Colley
Will Parry-Smith
Helen Williams
Laurentiu Craciunas
Thanos Georgakas
James Cheshire
Catherine Dunlop
Jay Ghosh
Hajra Khattak
Sheikh Irfan
Madara Ralapanawe
Danai Bagkou
Eleanor Thomas
Preth De Silva
Pedro Melo
Yealin Chung
Ishita Mishra
Charlotte Palmer
Thomas Bamford

Past and present lecturers include:

David Lissauer
Ioannis Gallos
Justin Chu
Rima Dhillon-Smith
Paul Smith
Hoda Harb
Jennifer Tamblyn  

Research

Clinical Trials 

Professor Coomarasamy has led or is currently leading numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, including:

Professor Coomarasamy is a co-investigator in several clinical trials, including:

  • Surgical Evacuation with intraopErative Ultrasound: a pilot trial to assess feasibility (The SEE U Trial)
  • Chronic Endometritis and Recurrent Miscarriage (The CERM Trial)
  • Pilot trial of Antioxidant Therapy in Men with Unexplained Miscarriage (The pAToMiUM Trial),
  • A multicentre trial of outpatient hysteroscopy before IVF, after recurrent IVF failures (The TROPHY Trial, Lancet 2016)
  • Selection of sperm for assisted reproductive treatment by prior hyaluronic acid binding: increasing live birth outcomes and reducing miscarriage rates – multicentre randomised controlled, blinded trial (The HABSelect Trial, Lancet 2019). 

Evidence synthesis 

Professor Coomarasamy has significant expertise in effectiveness and test accuracy data meta-analysis techniques, including advanced data synthesis approaches such as network meta-analysis, meta-regression and bivariate meta-analysis. His work with Professor Zamora (Madrid, Spain) resulted in the first most comprehensive data synthesis software for test accuracy data, Metadisc, which was made available free of charge to researchers worldwide. The software has been cited in the Lancet, JAMA, BMJ and other journal articles more than 1400 times. 

Research groups and centres

Twitter: @arricoomarasamy

Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research:

Global Women’s Health:

MRCOG Courses:

Other activities

Professor Coomarasamy is the Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, and the co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health.

Professor Coomarasamy serves or has in the past served on several international and national committees, including grant funding boards for NIHR, MRC and Wellcome Trust, the BJOG editorial board, the RCOG Wellbeing of Women Research Panel, various committees of the WHO, the Early Pregnancy Clinical Studies Group, the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group, and the GLOW organising committee.

Professor Coomarasamy is a founding trustee of Ammalife (www.ammalife.org), an international charity with a mission to find solutions for maternal health problems through practical research and sustainable projects in the developing world. He is an enthusiastic communicator on the theme of research into global women’s health, and frequently delivers talks and seminars on this theme to a range of groups at local and national levels.

Professor Coomarasamy also maintains clinical responsibilities as a consultant gynaecologist with a special interest in early pregnancy management and reproductive medicine.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Merriel, A, Dembo, Z, Hussein, J, Larkin, M, Mchenga, A, Tobias, A, Lough, M, Malata, A, Makwenda, C & Coomarasamy, A 2021, 'Assessing the impact of a motivational intervention to improve the working lives of maternity healthcare workers: a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of a feasibility study in Malawi', Pilot and Feasibility Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, 34. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-021-00774-7

Hodgetts-Morton, V, Hewitt, CA, Jones, L, Leighton, L, Pilarski, N, Molloy, E, Hinshaw, K, Norman, J, Waugh, J, Stock, S, Thornton, J, Toozs-Hobson, P, Johnston, T, Coomarasamy, A, Thangaratinam, S, Mol, B, Pajkrt, E, Marlow, N, Roberts, T, Middleton, L, Brocklehurst, P & Morris, K 2021, 'C-STICH2: emergency cervical cerclage to prevent miscarriage and preterm birth-study protocol for a randomised controlled trial', Trials, vol. 22, no. 1, 529. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05464-6

Okeke Ogwulu, D, Williams, E, Chu, J, Devall, A, Beeson, L, Hardy, P, Cheed, V, Sun, Y, Jones, L, La Fontaine, J, Bender Atik, R, Brewin, J, Hinshaw, K, Choudhary, M, Ahmed, A, Naflalin , J, Nunes, N, Oliver, A, Izzat, F, Bhatia, K, Hassan, I, Jeve, Y, Hamilton, J, Shilpa, D, Bottomley, C, Ross, J, Watkins, L, Underwood, M, Cheong, Y, Kumar, CS, Gupta, P, Small, R, Pringle, S, Hodge, F, Shahid, A, Horne, AW, Quenby, S, Gallos, I, Coomarasamy, A & Roberts, T 2021, 'Cost-effectiveness of mifepristone and misoprostol versus misoprostol alone for the management of missed miscarriage: an economic evaluation based on the MifeMiso Trial', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16737

Hemming, K, Martin, J, Gallos, I, Coomarasamy, A, Middleton, L & E-MOTIVE study group 2021, 'Interim data monitoring in cluster randomised trials: practical issues and a case study', Clinical Trials. https://doi.org/10.1177/17407745211024751

Quenby, S, Gallos, I, Dhillon-smith, R, Podesek, M, Stephenson, MD, Fisher, J, Brosens, JJ, Brewin, J, Ramhorst, R, Lucas, ES, McCoy, RC, Anderson, R, Daher, S, Regan, L, Al-Memar, M, Bourne, T, MacIntyre, DA, Rai, R, Christiansen, OB, Sugiura-Ogasawara, M, Odendaal, J, Devall, A, Bennett, PR, Petrou, S & Coomarasamy, A 2021, 'Miscarriage matters: the epidemiological, physical, psychological and economic burden of early pregnancy loss', The Lancet, vol. 397, pp. 1658–1667. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00682-6

Kumarendran, B, O'reilly, M, Subramanian, A, Sumilo, D, Toulis, K, Gokhale, K, Wijeyaratne, CN, Coomarasamy, A, Tahrani, A, Azoulay, L, Arlt, W & Nirantharakumar, K 2021, 'Polycystic ovary syndrome, combined oral contraceptives and the risk of dysglycemia: a population-based cohort study with a nested pharmaco-epidemiological case-control study', Diabetes Care. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc21-0437

Devall, A, Papadopoulou, A, Podesek, M, Haas , DM, Price, MJ, Coomarasamy, A & Gallos, I 2021, 'Progestogens for preventing miscarriage: a network meta-analysis (Review)', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2021, no. 4, CD013792. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013792.pub2

Coomarasamy, A, Dhillon-smith, R, Papadopoulou, A, Al-Memar, M, Brewin, J, Abrahams, VM, Maheshwari, A, Christiansen, OB, Stephenson, MD, Goddijn, M, Oladapo, OT, Wijeyaratne, CN, Bick, D, Shehata, H, Small, R, Bennett, PR, Regan, L, Rai, R, Bourne, T, Kaur, R, Pickering, O, Brosens, JJ, Devall, A, Gallos, I & Quenby, S 2021, 'Recurrent miscarriage: evidence to accelerate action', The Lancet, vol. 397, no. 10285, pp. 1675-1682. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00681-4

Pundir, J, Achilli, C, Bhide, P, Sabatini, L, Legro, RS, Rombauts, L, Teede, H, Coomarasamy, A, Zamora, J & Thangaratinam, S 2021, 'Risk of foetal harm with letrozole use in fertility treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Human Reproduction Update, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 474-485. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmaa055

Melo, P, Chung, Y, Pickering, O, Price, M, Fishel, S, Khairy, M, Kingsland, C, Lowe, P, Petsas, G, Rajkhowa, M, Sephton, V, Tozer, A, Wood, S, Labarta, E, Wilcox, M, Devall, A, Gallos, I & Coomarasamy, A 2021, 'Serum luteal phase progesterone in women undergoing frozen embryo transfer in assisted conception: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Fertility and Sterility. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.07.002

Coomarasamy, A, Gallos, I, Papadopoulou, A, Dhillon-smith, R, Al-Memar, M, Brewin, J, Christiansen, OB, Stephenson, MD, Oladapo, OT, Wijeyaratne, CN, Small, R, Bennett, PR, Regan, L, Goddijn, M, Devall, A, Bourne, T, Brosens, JJ & Quenby, S 2021, 'Sporadic miscarriage: evidence to provide effective care', The Lancet, vol. 397, no. 10285, pp. 1668-1674. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00683-8

Cheshire, J, Jones, L, Munthali, L, Kamphinga, C, Liyaya, H, Phiri, T, Parry‐Smith, W, Dunlop, C, Makwenda, C, Devall, AJ, Tobias, A, Nambiar, B, Merriel, A, Williams, H, Gallos, I, Wilson, A, Coomarasamy, A & Lissauer, D 2021, 'The FAST‐M complex intervention for the detection and management of maternal sepsis in low‐resource settings: a multi‐site evaluation', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16658

Wilson, A, Hodgetts-Morton, VA, Marson, EJ, Markland, AD, Larkai, E, Papadopoulou, A, Coomarasamy, A, Tobias, A, Chou, D, Oladapo, OT, Price, MJ, Morris, K & Gallos, ID 2021, 'Tocolytics for delaying preterm birth: a network meta-analysis', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2021, no. 4, CD014978. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD014978

Review article

Ghosh, J, Papadopoulou, A, Devall, AJ, Jeffery, HC, Beeson, LE, Do, V, Price, MJ, Tobias, A, Tunçalp, Ö, Lavelanet, A, Gülmezoglu, AM, Coomarasamy, A & Gallos, ID 2021, 'Methods for managing miscarriage: a network meta-analysis', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2021, no. 6, CD012602. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012602.pub2

Williams, H, Topping, A, Coomarasamy, A & Jones, L 2020, 'Men and miscarriage: a systematic review and thematic synthesis', Qualitative Health Research, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 133-145. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732319870270

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Maternal Health

Developing World

Miscarriage

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