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06 September 2019

Peter von Dadelszen awarded Collaborative Award in Science to continue pregnancy research in Gambia and Kenya

In collaboration with international colleagues, Peter von Dadelszen, Professor of Global Women’s Health, has been awarded a Collaborative Award in Science from the Wellcome Trust to continue the study of recently pregnant women and their infants in two sub-Saharan African countries.


The funding will go towards the PRECISE-DYAD project, an extension of the ongoing UK Research and Innovation-funded PRECISE (PREgnancy Care Integrating translational Science, Everywhere) study to include The Gambia and Kenya.

The PRECISE study, launched in January 2018, is establishing a pregnancy cohort of 10,000 women across East, West and Southern Africa. PRECISE-DYAD plans to follow 6000 of these mother-infant pairs. The study team is collecting biological samples and information about patients’ lives, contexts and stories to build a unique and comprehensive data set. This can then be used to better understand pregnancy problems associated with poor functioning of the afterbirth (placenta) such as high blood pressure, poor fetal growth, early birth and stillbirth.

In this newly funded study, the team will investigate if these pregnancy events or caring for children with delayed brain development due to these events, can cause similar complications in future pregnancies, influence mental health, or increase the risk of heart or breathing disease or diabetes.

The team will also investigate if pregnancy complications change physical and mental health and brain development of children from birth until three years of age. They will ask if these links are altered by social and environmental adversity, including environmental pollution.

This is an important opportunity for an international collaboration to link where and how women live, their biology, and what happens during pregnancy with their own health and that of their children during the following three years – this will establish a long term cohort that we hope to maintain through subsequent grants until these children themselves begin to have their own children. For example, we need to know how to prioritise between household cooking practices and the provision of new diagnostic tests – PRECISE and PRECISE-DYAD will help us know.

Professor Peter von Dadelszen, School of Life Course Sciences

By building up their database and bank of biological samples, the researchers aim to understand the processes behind whether women and their babies are healthy or not and will help design future preventative and treatment strategies.

The Collaborative Awards promote the development of new ideas and speed up the pace of discovery. The Wellcome Trust funds teams of researchers, consisting of independent research groups, to work together on the most important scientific problems that can only be solved through collaborative efforts.

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Peter  von Dadelszen

Professor of Global Women's Health