The Centre was founded in 2007 as a focus of excellence to promote scientific study of the placenta and maternal-fetal interactions during pregnancy. It brings together over 25 Principal Investigators, many of whom are recognized international experts in their fields, based in different departments within the University and Babraham Institute. The range of expertise extends from stem cell biology, through genetics and epigenetics, immunology, physiology, biochemistry and metabolism, bioengineering, to clinical studies and epidemiology. In addition, the Centre embraces Fellows holding externally funded research fellowships, e.g. Marie Curie, and its own Next Generation Fellows who are developing their independent research careers. This unique depth and breadth of expertise allows members to adopt an integrated and comprehensive scientific approach to understanding the complexity of placental biology.
The ultimate aim is to alleviate suffering resulting from placentally-related complications of pregnancy, such as miscarriage, growth restriction and stillbirth, that remain a major cause of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality worldwide.
To achieve this aim, our objectives are:
- To facilitate interactions between basic scientists and academic clinicians both within Cambridge and nationally/internationally to address major outstanding questions in placental biology;
- To provide research training of the highest standard, and to promote the careers of recent graduates as independent researchers;
- To act as an international resourceto to facilitate placental research.
The Centre was endowed by a medical alumnus and the University is fully committed to its success, assigning the Centre academic positions and core laboratory and administrative space. The research activities of members are supported by grant income from the Wellcome Trust, the MRC, the BBSRC, the British Heart Foundation, Action Medical Research and other funding bodies, for which they are most grateful.