Women's and Children's Health

The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health is internationally renowned for its research and teaching, with specialist groups covering obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and medical and surgical paediatrics.

The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health is devoted to understanding and improving women’s reproductive health and health events and outcomes for children and young people, and studying how they determine health and wellbeing throughout a lifetime. 

Understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning disease and developing effective therapies will contribute to the prevention and treatment of chronic pathology, resulting in improved life-time health and reduced healthcare costs.

Our challenges

Global Maternal Health

Developing new approaches, research and treatment to improve the health of people during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.

Obstetrics

Research focusing on developing novel approaches to tackling issues around Fetal Growth Restriction, Pre-eclampsia, Multiple Pregnancy, Intrapartum Care, and Pre-Term Birth.

Neonatal Pharmacology

The development and evaluation of reseach infrastructures, as well as advanced research into the treatment of infection via anti-infectives and anti-inflammatories.

Gynaecology

Challenges surrounding Endometrial regeneration and stem cells, Endometrial pathology: endometriosis, adenomyosis, reproductive health, including subfertility, endometrial cancer, and early pregnancy establishment

Childhood Inflammatory Disease

Developing work-streams focusing on a broad range of inflammatory diseases including Lupus and Arthritis.

Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

Specialised research into childhood respiratory conditions, infections, Cystic Fibrosis, and more recently, the effects of COVID.

Paediatric Nephrology

A collabortative theme working alongside the Inflammatory Disease team. Investigating IgA Vasculitis and Lupus Nephritis.

Paediatric Surgery

Developing improved procedures and techniques in Paediatric Surgery, with a focus on Oncology, Outcomes, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and Oesophageal Atresia.

Paediatric Pharmacology

A Drug Safety and Phramacogenomics research focus, utilsing a multi-skill approach to develop new avenues of research and policy.

Centres of Excellence

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The Centre for Women’s Health Research (CfWHR)

CfWHR houses, the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group (the largest and most productive Cochrane group), the Sanyu Research Unit for International Maternal and Child Health, Endometrial/ Gynaecological research group, Connect4Children (c4c) and the Harris Research Centre.

Childrens Health Research Team

The Child Health Research Team, based at the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, brings together the strengths of the University and NHS in Research, Innovation and Education with outstanding laboratory facilities.

Harris Research Centre

The Centre is home to a research programme aimed at improving understanding of what causes preterm birth, the single biggest cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the UK and worldwide, and what can be done to prevent it.

Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children (EATC4Children)

The work of the EATC4Children focuses on children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), JIA-associated uveitis, juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus, bone and bone health disorders, and other related conditions.

Case studies

UK JSLE Cohort Study and Repository

UK-wide cohort of >750 JSLE patients, one of the largest national cohorts in the world, investigating the clinical characteristics and outcomes of JSLE and supporting a comprehensive translational research program investigating mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, biomarkers and treatment targets (CI: Beresford; Hedrich, Smith)

Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study (BESS)

A phase-2 blinded randomised air-placebo-controlled trial of endotracheal surfactant (poractant alfa) in critically ill infants with bronchiolitis. NIHR EME funded (£1.4 million) study, CI Semple, Co-applicant McNamara.

CF STORM

UK-wide trial funded by the NIHR to determine if people with cystic fibrosis can safely rationalise their treatment burden. The trial will enrol over 700 people with CF and is using innovative methodology to answer the research question. The trial will be run by the LCTC and is an excellent example of partnership working between a disease charity and academia.

Departmental Leadership Team

Professor Christian Hedrich

Head fo the Department of Women's and Children's Health

Professor Dharani Hapangama

Departmental Research Lead