Centre for Reproductive Health

Professor James Boardman

Research interests and grants.

Professor James P Boardman (BSc (hons), MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRCPCH)

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

  • Director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory
  • Consultant neonatologist

Contact details



The Centre for Reproductive Health
Institute for Regeneration and Repair (IRR)
4-5 Little France Drive
Edinburgh BioQuarter

Post Code
EH16 4UU

Research Interests

Professor Boardman aims to develop and evaluate neuroprotective strategies for babies at risk of brain injury and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. He researches the role of neonatal quantitative MR imaging to investigate causal pathways to brain injury, the factors that confer risk or resilience to injury after perinatal adversity, and the relationship between quantitative MR features and long-term functional outcomes. He is the scientific director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Reproductive Health and holds a UKRI MRC programme grant.

Staff / group members

Dr Manuel Blesa Cábez

Dr Amy Corrigan

Mrs Jill Hall

Ms Kirsty Paterson

Dr Gemma Sullivan

Dr Kadi Vaher

Current PhD/MD students

Ms Selina Abel

Ms Justyna Binkowska

Dr Fraser Christie

Ms Lorena Jiménez Sánchez

Dr Katie McKinnon

Miss Rebekah Smikle

Miss Hannah Smith

Dr Helen Turner

Dr Evi Valavani

Current and recent grants

Boardman JP, Richardson H, Cox SR. The role of perinatal systemic inflammation in brain and cognitive development. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme 218493/Z/19/Z.

Marioni R, Cox S, Boardman JP, Moodie J. Identifying Omics biomarkers of brain health over the life course for early detection of risk of neurological disorders and cognitive decline. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme 218493/Z/19/Z.

Boardman JP, Reynolds RM, Richardson H, Modi N, Cox SR, Marioni R, Tsanas A, Whalley H, Batty D. Preterm birth as a determinant of neurodevelopment and cognition in children: mechanisms and causal evidence. MRC UKRI Programme Grant MR/X003434/1.

Reynolds, RM. Stirrat L, Muray S, Stock S, Boardman JP, Norrie J. Infant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses following antenatal corticosteroids and perinatal outcomes: a mechanism of action of health intervention study. NIHR EME NIHR133388. 

Boardman JP. Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort. Theirworld (PI). 

Richardson H, Bastin M, Thrippleton M, Fletcher-Watson S, Boardman JP. Investigating mechanisms of brain and cognitive development in children born preterm. Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. 

Boardman JP, Richardson H, Whalley H, Baston M, Galdi P. Early life determinants of neurodevelopmental and cognitive impairment through data science. Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. 

Clemens A, Fletcher-Watson S, Boardman JP. Neural mechanism of attachment in early life. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme. Wellcome Trust.

Stock SJ, Murray S, Deidda M, Boyd K, Norman JE, Norrie J, Reynolds RM, Boardman JP, Luyt K, Khalil A, Bick D, Reed K, Denton J. A Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Planned Birth of Twins: STOPPIT-3. 2021-25NIHR-HTA 

Marryat L, Wood R, Frank J, Boardman JP, Whittaker A. Utilising linked administrative datasets to explore the developmental pathways of children born to women who use opioids in pregnancy. Economic and Social Research Council.

Boardman JP, Bogaert D. The microbiota-gut-brain axis of preterm infants. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme. Wellcome Trust

Davidson D, Bogaert D, Schwarze J, McDougall C, Boardman JP, Cunningham S. Nasal cathelicidin expression in protection against respiratory syncytial virus. Chief Scientist Office.

Davidson D, Bogaert D, Schwarze J, McDougall C, Boardman JP, Cunningham S. The antiviral potential of cathelicidin against respiratory syncytial virus infections in infants. Action Medical Research Grant.

Boardman JP, Bastin ME, Cox S. Investigation of DNA methylation and brain connectomic bivariance, and the impact of early life environmental stressors. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme.

Selected recent publications

Publications (on Edinburgh Research Explorer)

Lab media

Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory celebrates 20 years of helping to save premature babies.

Current external activities

  • Newborn Brain Society, Guidelines and Publications Committee member, 2022 - current
  • Neonatal Society committee member, immediate past president
  • Action Medical Research Research Assessment Panel, 2023-current
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity Research Assessment Panel, 2021-2023
  • Editor, 8th ed. Avery and MacDonald’s Neonatology Pathophysiology and Management of the Newborn, Wolters Kluwer.
  • Editorial board member, Scientific Reports
  • Review editor, Frontiers in Neurology
  • Member of British Association of Perinatal Medicine Framework for Practice: Fetal & Neonatal Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Clinical Indications, Acquisitions and Reporting, revision
  • Member of British Association of Perinatal Medicine Framework for Practice: Identification and Management of Neonatal Hypoglycaemia in the Full Term Infant, revision (previous chair)
  • Member of Data Monitoring and Safety Committee for Safeguarding the brain of our smallest children – a phase III randomised clinical trial (SafeBoosC-III)
  • Member of Data and Safety Monitoring Committee of the Pregnancy Outcome Prediction Study 2 (POPS2)
  • Member of scientific advisory board for PREMSTEM (Brain injury in the premature born infant: stem cell regeneration research network)
  • Chair Data Monitoring Committee for the DOLFIN randomised controlled trial-Developmental Outcome of Long Term Feed Fortification in neonates