Professor Khaled M K Ismail MBBCh, MSc., MD, PhD, FRCOG

Photograph of Professor Khaled Ismail

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Contact details

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Khaled Ismail is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Birmingham.

The underlying theme of his research work is improving pregnancy related maternal and fetal outcomes both at the short and longer term. The main focus of his research programme falls into three broad categories: 

1. Childbirth-related pelvic floor dysfunction
2. Improvement Science
3. Effect of maternal nutrition and vitamin supplementation on the fetal Epigenome

Professor Ismail has won several prestigious awards including the University College London Dean’s award for teaching and the Stoke and North Staffordshire Citizens of the year Innovation in Medical Technology and Development award.

Professor Ismail is the Chair of the European Perineal Trauma PEERS group.


  • PhD, Keele University, UK
  • Certificate of Postgraduate Studies, Keele University, UK
  • RCOG/RCR Ultrasound Scan Diploma, RCOG, UK
  • MD, Ain Shams University, Egypt
  • MSc, Ain Shams University, Egypt


Khaled qualified in 1990 with 1st class honours and after house jobs I started my training in obstetrics and gynaecology. As a resident and later as a clinical tutor in obstetrics and gynaecology at Ain Shams University, he submitted and successfully defended an MSc. and MD theses respectively. As a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology in the West Midlands, his academic contribution was recognised by a secondment as a clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham where he had both research and undergraduate teaching responsibilities. He moved to Keele University in 2001 as a clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology. He was responsible for organising the clinical attachment of University College London (UCL) medical students at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) for which he was awarded the UCL Dean’s award for teaching.

As a lecturer in Keele he completed a PhD looking at the association of key genetic polymorphisms within the serotonergic pathway and premenstral dysphoria. He was appointed as a senior lecturer / consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in Keele University and UHNS since October 2003 with research, undergraduate education and clinical responsibilities and was subsequently promoted to a personal Chair. Khaled was appointed as Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the University of Birmingham in December 2011.

He won the Stoke and North Staffordshire Citizens of the year Innovation in Medical Technology and Development award for the conception and development of a regulated obstetric forceps (The Safeceps™) This new instrument abolishes the subjectivity of the traditional obstetric forceps while preserving its functionality as an effective assisted delivery tool. The product has also recently won a British Design Innovation award, his team were runners-up in the RCUK Business Plan Competition. More recently, Safeceps™ won the Cardiff design festival award as well as the prestigious International Forum (IF) and Red Dot awards. Professor Ismail is the Editor of StratOG (Core training), the RCOG distant learning package and has been recently appointed as the Honorary Director of e-Learning in the RCOG.


  • 2nd year medical stujdents
  • Final year medical students
  • BMedSci students.

Postgraduate supervision

Postgraduate supervisor at PhD, MD and Master level


1.  Childbirth-related pelvic floor dysfunction

Khaled’s group has been actively involved in evaluating interventions and multiprofessional training programmes to improve maternal outcomes following childbirth related trauma. Professor Ismail is an author of several Cochrane reviews that have informed practice both nationally and internationally with regards to materials and methods of childbirth-related perineal trauma repair. Khaled has been invited to run multi-professional perineal repair workshops in several countries including Denmark, Brazil, Saudi, Qatar and Sudan, Egypt, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Portugal.

2.  Improvement Science

Stemming for his work in relation to improving perineal trauma outcomes, Khaled has been applying improvement science methodology to facilitate the implementation of evidence into practice and testing interventions to close the second translational gap. Khaled was the lead obstetrician on the Perineal Assessment and Repair Longitudinal Study, which was a national quality improvement initiative undertaken in 22 maternity units in the UK.

3.  Effect of maternal nutrition and vitamin supplementation on the fetal Epigenome

Professor Ismail is a founding member of the fetal epigenomics group (FEG). The group's first publication on "Epigenetic control of fetal gene expression" is one of the most commonly cited articles in this research area. The group were the first to demonstrate an association between DNA methylation, both globally and at a gene specific level and birth weight in humans and the first to show fetal epigenetic differences in association with exposure to anti-epileptics in-utero.

Current grants as principle or co-investigator:

  • Patient Reported Outcomes in Maternity (PRO-Maternity) - Wellbeing of Women.
  • The impact of Birth After Sphincter Injury on bowel symptoms and Quality of life (The BASIQ study) - NIHR/CNO Doctoral fellowship
  • Hardiness and Outcome of Self-catheterisation Training (HOST) NIHR MRES
  • MedaPhor Assessment in Specialist Training and its Ecomonic Recompense Study (MASTERS): Use of virtual reality simulation for transvaginal ultrasound scan training. – The Health Foundation
  • Perineal resuturing versus expectant management following vaginal delivery complicated by a dehisced wound (PREVIEW) – CCF RfPB
  • Hepatitis B immunisation and screening in high risk infants - Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme Grant
  • Evaluating Acupuncture and Standard care for pregnant womEn with low BACK pain (EASE BACK trial) – NETSCC HTA
  • Antiepileptic Drug Management in Pregnancy: An evaluation of Effectiveness, Cost-effectiveness and Acceptability of Dose Adjustment Stategies NETSCC HTA
  • Development and validation of a Prediction model for Risk of complications in Early Onset Pre eclampsia (PREP) NETSCC HTA

Other activities

  • Honorary Director of e-Learning, The Royal College of Obstetricians and gynaecologists
  • Chair of the European Perineal Trauma PEERS
  • Lead for reproductive health and childbirth specialty group for the Birmingham and Black Country CLRN


Perkins K, Randall D, Toozs-Hobson P, Sitch A and Ismail KM (2014) Hardiness and Outcome of Self-catheterisation Training (HOST): protocol for an observational study exploring the effects of personality traits in women on ability to learn clean intermittent self-catheterisation. BMJ Open 4(1):e003986

Israfil-Bayli F, Toozs-Hobson P, Lees C, Slack M, Daniels J, Vince A and Ismail KM (2013) Cervical cerclage and type of suture material: A survey of UK consultants' practice. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med [Epub ahead of print]

Paschetta E, Berrisford G, Coccia F, Whitmore J, Wood AG, Pretlove S and Ismail KM (2013) Perinatal Psychiatric Disorders: an Overview. Am J Obstet Gynecol [Epub ahead of print]

Dudley LM, Kettle C and Ismail KM (2013) Secondary suturing compared to non-suturing for broken down perineal wounds following childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 9:CD008977 

Ismail KM, Kettle C, Macdonald SE, Tohill S, Thomas PW and Bick D (2013) Perineal Assessment and Repair Longitudinal Study (PEARLS): a matched-pair cluster randomized trial. BMC Medicine 11:209 

Israfil-Bayli F, Toozs-Hobson P, Lees C, Slack M and Ismail KM (2013) Pregnancy outcome after elective cervical cerclage in relation to type of suture material used. Med Hypotheses 81(1):119-21

Nevatte T, O'Brien PM, Bäckström T, Brown C, Dennerstein L, Endicott J, Epperson CN, Eriksson E, Freeman EW, Halbreich U, Ismail K, Panay N, Pearlstein T, Rapkin A, Reid R, Rubinow D, Schmidt P, Steiner M, Studd J, Sundström-Poromaa I, Yonkers K and the Consensus Group of the International Society for Premenstrual Disorders (2013) ISPMD consensus on the management of premenstrual disorders.  Arch Womens Ment Health 16(4):279-91

Mahmud A, Kettle C, Bick D, Rowley C, Rathod T, Belcher J, Abdelmaguid MM and Ismail KM (2013) The development and validation of an internet-based training package for the management of perineal trauma following childbirth: MaternityPEARLS. Postgrad Med J 89(1053):382-9 

Dudley L, Kettle C and Ismail KM (2013) Prevalence, pathophysiology and current management of dehisced perineal wounds following childbirth. British Journal of Midwifery Vol 21, No 3

Haworth KE, Farrell WE, Emes RD, Ismail KM, Carroll WD, Borthwick HA, Yates AM, Hubball E, Rooney A, Khanam M, Aggarwal N, Jones PW and Fryer AA (2013) Combined influence of gene-specific cord blood methylation and maternal smoking habit on birth weight. Epigenomics 5(1):37-49

Ismail KM, Nevatte T, O’Brien S, Paschetta E, Bäckström T, Dennerstein L, Eriksson E, Freeman WE, Panay N, Pearlstein T, Rapkin A, Steiner M, Studd J and Sundström-Poromma I (2013) Clinical subtypes of core premenstrual disorders: a Delphi survey. Arch Womens Ment Health 16(3):197-201