MRC Centre for Reproductive Health

Professor James Boardman

Research interests and grants.

Professor James P Boardman

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

  • BSc (hons), MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRCPCH
  • Director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

Contact details



The Queen’s Medical Research Institute
47 Little France Crescent

Post Code
EH16 4TJ

Research Interests

Professor Boardman researches the role of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain development of fetuses and neonates, factors that confer risk or resilience to perinatal brain injury, and the relationship between quantitative MR features and long-term functional outcome. 

He is scientific director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, situated in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, and principal investigator of the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort, a world-leading research study aiming to improve the lives of babies born early and their families.

Visit the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort website

Visit the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory website

Publications (on Edinburgh Research Explorer)

Current grants

  • 2017-21. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience Programme (PhD studentship: E Wheater). Boardman JP, Bastin ME, Cox SJ. £119,290.
  • 2017-20. Stress Response Systems in Mothers and Infants with Preterm Birth. Boardman JP and Reynolds RM. Theirworld, £252,610.
  • 2016-2021. Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort. Boardman JP (PI), Fletcher-Watson S, Bastin ME, Chandran S, Drake AJ, Evans M, Stock S, Denison F, Reynolds RM, Semple S, Schwarze J, Cameron J, Chin R, Quigley A, Mulvihill A, Skogstrand K., £1.5m.
  • 2016-20. Understanding Epigenetic Mechanisms Linking Preterm Birth and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Drake AJ, Boardman JP (Co-I) and Aquila Biomedical Ltd.  Medical Research Scotland, £111,708.
  • 2012-17. The causes and consequences of perinatal brain injury associated with preterm birth and low birth weight. Boardman JP (PI), Denison F, Girardi G., £523,600.
  • 2015. Multi-user equipment grant: a neuro-optimised 3T magnetic resonance image scanner in an intensive care environment. Boardman JP(Co-I) and Wardlaw JM. £30,000.
  • 2014-2017. Simpson’s Special Care Babies, £19,800.

Group members

  • Mr Manuel Blesa Cabez
  • Dr Bethan Dean
  • Mr Eamon Fitzgerald
  • Ms Lorna Ginnell
  • Ms Gillian Lamb
  • Dr Vix Monnelly
  • Dr Sarah Sparrow
  • Dr David Stoye
  • Dr Gemma Sullivan
  • Dr Emma Telford

Theiworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort Coordinator:

  • Jill Hall



  • Dr Mark Bastin
  • Professor Debby Bogaert
  • Prof Siddharthan Chandran
  • Dr Richard Chin
  • Dr Donald Davidson
  • Dr Fiona Denison
  • Dr Mandy Drake
  • Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson
  • Professor Peter Ghazal
  • Dr Veronique Miron
  • Professor Jane Norman
  • Dr Alan Quigley
  • Professor Rebecca Reynolds
  • Professor Jürgen Schwarze
  • Dr Scott Semple
  • Dr Michael Thrippleton
  • Professor Joanna Wardlaw


  • Professor Caroline Crowther (New Zealand)
  • Dr Kristin Skogstrand (Denmark)
  • Professor Pierre Gressens (King's College London)



  • Scientific director, Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory (2012 – current)
  • Paediatric training committee, South East Scotland (2011 – current)


  • General Secretary of the Neonatal Society (2016 – current)
  • Chair of NHS England / British Association of Perinatal Medicine Neonatal Hypoglycaemia Framework for Practice working group (2016 – current)
  • Member of British Association of Perinatal Medicine working group: Fetal and Neonatal MRI – a Framework for Practice (2015-16)
  • Member of Trial Steering Committee for Iodine Supplementation Study (I2S2): A UK Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial in Preterm Infants
  • Scientific advisor for Tommy’s ‘Having a Premature Baby’ guide (2013 – current)
  • Associate editor BMC Pediatrics (2008- current)