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Prof Peter Brocklehurst
244
74 Huntley Street
Medical School Building
London
WC1E 6AU
Appointment
  • Director of the Institute of Women's Health, Professor of Women's Health
  • Inst for Women's Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Role
Head of Department
Biography

Director of the Institute for Women’s Health at UCL and Co-Director of the Department of Health Policy Research Unit in Maternal Health and Care, University of Oxford. I spend 100% of my time on academic activities.

The Institute for Women’s Health at UCL is the UKs largest group of academics in Women’s Health, and consists of four Research Departments (Reproductive Health, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Neonatology and Women’s Cancer). Ongoing work includes the largest individually randomised trial ever performed (over 200,000 women screened for ovarian cancer); highly innovative work in gene therapy in pregnancy (recent EU grant 6m Euros); developing drug pipeline for neonatal hypoxic brain injury; policy research in preconception care etc. I am also Interim Director of the UCL Clinical Trials Unit.

In addition, I am currently involved with the following national initiatives:

  • Co-applicant for LIFE Study (formerly 2012 Birth Cohort Study). Lead for national maternal sample workstream of 90,000 women.
  • UK Medicines for Children Research Network (co-applicant on Co-ordinating Centre grant; member of Executive and Board)
  • National Reproductive Health Research Network (founder with RCOG; Chair of Research Committee of Academic Board, RCOG)
  • NICE lead for Women’s Health for Eyes on Evidence and for Evidence Updates.
  • Chair of UKCRC Regulatory and Governance Forum

Research Groups
Research Summary

Recent examples of completed research include:

The Birthplace in England research programme included a cohort study to evaluate the safety of planned place of birth at home, in freestanding midwifery units, alongside midwifery units and in obstetric units. A total of nearly 80,000 women were in the study, including 60,000 who were at low risk of complications in labour. The implications of the findings of this study (and the alongside economic evaluation) in relation to government policy which promotes choice for women planning their place of birth is now being implemented throughout England, the UK and internationally.

The International Neonatal Immunotherapy Study (INIS) was a randomised trial comparing the use of human intravenous immunoglobulin (VIG) compared with placebo in newborns with sepsis. The mortality from neonatal sepsis has not decreased despite widespread antibiotic therapy, and a Cochrane review of small trials suggested that IVIG could decrease mortality. This large, multinational trial, clearly demonstrated no improvement in mortality or any other clinical outcome when this therapy was used in 3500 babies with neonatal sepsis. IVIG is a very scarce product with limited applications, so clear demonstration that this therapy is not effective allows it to be used in those indications where effectiveness has been clearly demonstrated.

In addition I am Chief Investigator of the following on-going randomised controlled trials:
  • MRC. Three-year follow-up of the CORONIS trial cohort to assess the impact of caesarean section surgical techniques. £2,647,667
  • NIHR HTA Programme. BUMPES: Upright maternal position in second stage labour in women with epidural analgesia: a randomised controlled trial. £2,507,762
  • MRC/NIHR EME. I2S2: A randomised, controlled trial of iodine supplementation in preterm infants. £2,514,064
  • NIHR HTA Programme. INFANT: Intelligent system to support decision making in the management of labour using the cardiotocogram. £5,957,981

Teaching Summary

I teach obstetricians and gynaecologists in training. I developed and run a regular 3 day Research Methods Course at the RCOG. I teach on the Masters course in Global Health at the University of Oxford, and on Doug Altman’s RCT course in Oxford. I am an external examiner for the Clinical Trials Distance Learning MSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Institute for Women’s Health has doctoral students and taught MSc students in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Science and Women’s Health, which I have overall responsibility for. I teach Research Methods to the Masters students, as well as running a Journal Club for all the post-graduate students (and junior clinical staff). I also deliver an Epidemiology lecture to the medical students of Women’s Health and Communicable Diseases module.

I actively encourage junior and senior researchers within the Institute to seek appropriate training fellowships. I currently mentor an NIHR Professor as well as support the development of new clinical and non-clinical research fellows. I Chair the Wellbeing of Women research charity Research Advisory Committee where we award 1-2 research training fellowships in women's health annually, and have, for the last two years been able to appoint joint Wellbeing/Wellcome Fellowships. I have also worked with Wellbeing and the Royal College of Midwives to set up Entry Level Scholarships for midwives and am actively negotiating to set up Midwifery Doctoral Fellowships, funded by the Royal College of Midwives but awarded by a rigorous peer review process run by Wellbeing.

Academic Background
1994 MSc Master of Science – Epidemiology London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1991 MRCOG Member of the Royal College of Gynaecologists – Obstetrics and Gynaecology Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
1985 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Medicine University of Dundee
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