MRC Centre for Reproductive Health
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The Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory celebrates 15 years of saving lives

The MRC CRH welcomed Gordon and Sarah Brown and around 80 guests of the charity Theirworld to a gala event to celebrate the work of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory (JRBL), established in memory of Jennifer Brown in 2004.

This article was first published on 3 March, 2017

Professor Sir John Savill welcomed guests and we celebrated past achievements during presentations from Sarah and Gordon Brown, and Professor Andrew Calder and Dr Ian Laing who were founder members of the JBRL.

Dr James Boardman, scientific director of the JBRL, gave a presentation about current and future work of the laboratory and the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort (TEBC), which is a new initiative designed to improve life course outcome after perinatal brain injury caused by preterm birth and / or sub-optimal growth in utero. The TEBC places patients at the centre of a research journey that encompasses medicine, imaging, biology, education and socio-economics, to deliver new understanding of, and accelerate the translation of treatment for, perinatal brain injury. 

We were honoured to listen to the parent perspective given by Catherine Smith, daughter of the late Labour leader John Smith. Catherine delivered her baby daughter at 28 weeks’ gestation and she gave powerful testimony to the importance of perinatal research for driving improvements in care. We were delighted to be joined by family participants in our research, and by senior members of the University’s academic community who represent a diverse field of expertise, thereby reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the work of the JBRL.