Centre for Reproductive Health

Professor Fiona Denison

Research interests, current research projects and grants.

Professor Fiona Denison

Professor of Translational Obstetrics, Director of the Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre

Contact details



The Queen’s Medical Research Institute
Edinburgh BioQuarter
47 Little France Crescent

Post Code
EH16 4TJ


  • Clinical matters:
    Please note that, due to NHS Lothian IT Security Policy, I am afraid that I am unable to respond to emails about clinical matters. If you would like me to contact you about a clinical matter, please email Dorothy Grooby (my NHS secretary on +44 (0)131 242 2523), and include your phone number (and/or address), so that I can get back to you.

Research Interests

My current research interests are in the area of maternal and fetal health.    

  • Healthcare technologies to improve maternal and fetal health

Visit the Edinburgh Tommy's Centre website

Learn more about the Edinburgh Tommy's Centre 

  • Global health

The overarching aim of my global health research programme is to reduce maternal and offspring outcomes for morbidity and mortality in low and middle income countries. At present, most of my research activities are focused in Uganda where I have several research studies focused on capacity building research and translational expertise in technologies and healthcare to improve maternal and offspring outcomes. I am also leading a study to explore the feasibility of delivering developmental care to preterm neonates with partners in Uganda and Malawi.


  • Tommy’s, the baby charity. £400,000 p.a. ongoing Total income (since 2008) £4.8M. Tommy’s Edinburgh Research Centre. Denison FC, Reynolds RM and Stock SJ.
  • MRC, £1,199,794, 2020 – 2022. Development of a serocorrelate of protection against invasive Group B Streptococcus disease (iGBS). Heath P, Walker KF, Khalil A, Daniels J, Denison FC, Chalker V, Plumb J, Andrews N, Le Doare K.
  • MRC, £99,991, 2020 – 2021. Capacity building for a Centre of Design, Innovation and Translational Excellence (CITE) for clinical trials of healthcare. Ssekitoleko R, Denison FC, Kiwanuka N, Ononge S, Norrie J, Lewis S.
  • TENOVUS HRH The Princes Royal Tenovus PhD studentship to Hayley Melville. £90,000. Developing a fetal biosensor for intrapartum fetal monitoring. 2019 – 2022. Denison FC, Desmulliez MPY.
  • Barbour Watson Trust £2487. 2020-2021. Time lag of lactate from intravascular to interstitial compartments. Brown AP, Denison FC, Clutton E, Crichton M, Desmulliez MPY.
  • MRC Confidence in Concept £108,598. 2019 – 2020. Development of a novel wearable device to secure peripheral intravenous cannulas. Barnett-Vanes A, Denison FC, Crichton M, Reed M.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering £19,220, 2019 – 2020. Denison FC, Boardman J, Ssekitoleko R, Dube Q, Hill Z, Nakibuuka V. Developmental care packages to improve neonatal outcomes in LMIC – a multidisciplinary approach;
  • Royal Academy of Engineering, £19,935, 2019 – 2020. iSEP-SEQ: Neonatal sepsis monitoring in Sub-Saharan Africa with a microbial cell-free DNA sequencing approach. Kershaudy-Kerhoas M, Akinwumi AI, Luke R, Nakibuuka V, Pholo M, Dube Q, Loman N, Denison FC.
  • Heriot-Watt Global Challenges Research Fund, £26,000, 2019 -2020. Child and Maternal care in Uganda: post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) device as an exemplar for product and manufacturing process roadmaps, Desmulliez MPY, Denison FC, Norrie J, Smith S.
  • NIHR, £768,063, 2019 – 2022. Cervical Ripening at Home or In-Hospital – prospective cohort study and process evaluation (CHOICE Study). Stock SJ, Denison FC, Bhide A, Modi N, Cheyne H, Boyd K, Sanders J, Heera N, Huddleston J, Norrie J, Smith G, Pasupathy D, McCourt C, Black M.
  • NIHR EME. 2018 – 2022, £1,518,890 Evaluation of the biomedical and psychosocial impact of automated Closed-Loop (Artificial Pancreas) insulin delivery in women with type 1 diabetes during pregnancy. Murphy HR, Denison FC, Scott E, Lindsay R, Cains S, Swart AM, McCance D, Denison FC, Lawton J, Barnard K, Shepstone L, Poston L, Hovorka R.
  • Obstetric Anaesthetic Association, £50,662, 2019 – 2021. Maternal critical care: identifying at-risk women and understanding the short and long term consequences of critical illness in pregnant or recently pregnant women. Lone N, Denison FC, Weir C, Walsh T, Wise A, Johnston P, Litchfield K, Beatty M, Joss J, Lawrence H.
  • Global Challenges Theme Development Fund (University of Edinburgh), £23,112, 2020 – 2021. LUGANDA: Long-Term Field Site Network for Health Service and Technology Innovation in Uganda; Wolters M, Denison FC, Stewart R, Pickersgill M, Kyanda S, Ssekitoleko R, Nakubulwa S, Ononge S, Nakibuuka V, Afchom L, Bidwell N, Whittaker K.
  • Global Challenges Theme Development Fund (University of Edinburgh), £19,220, 2019 – 2020. Healthcare technologies for Global Health. Denison FC, Norrie J, Reynolds RM, Harrison E, Young I, Grant E, Underwood I, Hands P, Sanguinetti G, Banda G, Mutapi F, Street A, Ganguli-Mitra A.
  • William Longsworth Memorial Travel Grant for network development in Uganda. £1000, 2019. Denison FC
  • EPSRC. Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network. £24,529, 2018 – 2019. Conformable and wireless-interrogated pressure sensors for medical compression garments. Hands P, Denison FC, Desmulliez MPY, Macintyre L.
  • NIHR Health Technology Assessment. £1,421,175. 2013 – 2017. A pragmatic adaptive sequential placebo controlled randomised trial to determine the effectiveness of Glycerin trinitrate for retained placenta (Got-it trial). Denison FC, Norrie J, Norman JE, Lawton J, Scotland G, Brewin J, Clarkson C, Peace M, Brook-Smith S.
  • EPSRC Platform Grant to develop epidural needle for obstetric indications – SAFE-TARGET. £80,000, 2018 – 2019. Desmulliez MPY, Denison FC.
  • MRC Confidence in Concept. £122,630, 2017 – 2018. Novel bariatric stockings. Denison FC, Macintyre L.
  • MRC Confidence in Concept. 2015 – 2016. £119,962, 2015 – 2016. Ultrasound in a needle for guidance in regional anaesthesia. Desmulliez MPY, Denison FC.
  • Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation. £35,000. 2014 – 2015. Integrated ultrasound needle to facilitate placement of regional anaesthesia in obese pregnant women. Milne A, Denison FC, Desmulliez MPY.

Staff/group members

  • Sarah Caughey, Lab Manager
  • Rebecca Gentek, Chancellor's Fellow & Kennedy Trust Senior Research Fellow
  • Elizabeth Wastnedge, Clinical Research Fellow
  • Emma Johns, Clinical Research Fellow, PhD student
  • Eleanor Whitaker, Clinical Research Fellow, PhD student
  • Niamh McLennan, Clinical Research Fellow, PhD student
  • Andrew Brown, Clinical Research Fellow, MD student
  • Sonia Whyte, Clinical Trials Project Manager
  • Kahyee Hor, clinical research fellow, (registered for PhD)  
  • Alex Viner, clinical research fellow, (registered for a PhD)
  • Emily Frier, clinical research fellow in NHS Lothian
  • Hayley Melville, PhD student
  • Kayleigh Doherty, PhD student
  • Liu Yang, PhD student
  • Carlos Sanchez Soriano, PhD Student
  • Elaine Jack, Research Midwife
  • Morag Dalton, Research Midwife 
  • Ailsa Corbishley, Research Midwife
  • Shona Low, Biobank Midwife
  • Jayne Brady, Biobank technician
  • Lorraine Adamson, Clinical Trials Administrator


Principal collaborators

University of Edinburgh


  • Michael Crichton (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Marc Desmulliez (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Duncan Hand (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Robert Ssekitoleko (Makerere University)
  • Sam Ononge (Makerere University)


  • Director of Edinburgh Tommy’s Research Centre
  • Vice-Chair of Blair Bell Research Society, RCOG
  • Chair of External Advisory Board for EPSRC Platform Grant for Medical Device Manufacture
  • Vice-Chair of NICE Medical Technology Advisory Committee
  • Member of NICE SIGN Guideline development group for diabetes and pregnancy
  • Member of NIHR i4i product development award grant panel
  • Member of CSO grant award panel
  • Member of RCOG Intrapartum Clinical Studies Group
  • Member of RCOG Maternal Medicine Clinical Studies Group
  • Member of medical student exclusion panel
  • Organising committee for Edinburgh Clinical Research Methodology Course