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Fetal Medicine Foundation donates £1.5m for providing care to pregnant women and their babies

A significant investment from the Fetal Medicine Foundation will enable a closer partnership between King’s College London and the maternal and fetal medicine departments at Guy’s & St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.

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This gift will allow King’s and its partners within King's Health Partners, the Academic Health Sciences Centre, to grow and maintain excellence in the field, develop new streams of research and enhance the care of pregnant women and their babies.

The donation will enable new research projects with the potential to improve the health of women at risk of specific diseases after pregnancy – a group that has not been fully studied before.

The diseases women develop in pregnancy give clues to their health problems in later life. With this donation, the team will also be able to create long-term, post-pregnancy research clinics to develop and test new treatments, improving the health of women and their children – particularly those at high risk.

‘The Fetal Medicine Foundation’s aim is to support the early stages of research that follows up women whose pregnancy complications are linked to risk of long-term cardiovascular and metabolic disease,’ said Professor Kypros Nicolaides, founder of the Fetal Medicine Foundation. ‘It was important to me to bring together and encourage close collaboration between the academic and the clinical aspects of the care of pregnant women.

‘We have come a long way towards solving many problems in pregnancy like the management, prediction and prevention of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver condition) for instance.

‘They fall between the cracks of the various academic and clinical disciplines and services, and I feel that it's important not to abandon these women after they deliver their babies, having recognised that they themselves and their children are at risk of very long-term complications.'

In addition to this research, the gift will also support the next generation of scientists by providing funds for talented mid-career researchers to develop novel ideas, a priority for the Fetal Medicine Foundation and for King’s College London.

Catherine Williamson
Professor Catherine Williamson, Head of the Department of Women and Children’s Health
We plan to invest in young researchers with excellent ideas and enable them to perform ambitious research that is designed to improve pregnancy outcomes and future maternal and child health across the life course.– Professor Catherine Williamson, Head of the Department of Women and Children’s Health at King’s College London

‘My very sincere thanks to the Fetal Medicine Foundation for providing this catalyst to enable practice-changing research in the long term. Professor Nicolaides has always been a visionary in the field of fetal medicine and more recently in maternal medicine – designing and delivering research that has real-world impact for patients.’

Professor Ajay Shah, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine at King’s College London said, ‘I am extremely grateful to The Fetal Medicine Foundation for this generous gift which will greatly enhance the Faculty’s research in the health of pregnant women and their children. It builds upon a very strong tradition of research in this area, notably the pioneering work of Professor Kypros Nicolaides and colleagues, to continue to develop leading-edge advances in the field.

A noteworthy aspect of the plans is the focus on translating research advances into clinical impact both locally and internationally. Our integration with King’s College Hospital, Guy’s & St Thomas’ and the wider clinical network through King’s Health Partners positions us ideally to deliver the ambitious vision supported by the Fetal Medicine Foundation.– Professor Ajay Shah, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine at King’s College London
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Professor Kypros Nicolaides, Founder of The Fetal Medicine Foundation

The Fetal Medicine Foundation was founded by Professor Kypros Nicolaides, a global pioneer in fetal medicine and surgery. Professor Nicolaides is Professor of Fetal Medicine at King’s College London and King’s College Hospital, and consultant and director of the Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine at King’s College Hospital.

King's Health Partners is an Academic Health Sciences Centre where world-class research, education and clinical practice are brought together for the benefit of patients. One of eight AHSCs nationally, our partnership brings together three NHS Foundation Trusts (Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley), uniquely including both mental and physical healthcare providers, and an internationally rated top 25 university in health research and education, King’s College London.

In this story

Catherine Williamson

Catherine Williamson

Professor of Women's Health

Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah

Executive Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine