MRC Centre for Reproductive Health
MRC Logo JAN 2019

Edinburgh Tommys Centre

Technology-enabled and data-driven research to improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies

Our Vision

We are committed to deliver an internationally outstanding Centre of technology-enabled and data-driven research excellence to improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies. 

Our management team

Professor Fiona Denison is Centre Director.

Dr Sarah Stock and Professor Rebecca Reynolds are Senior Principal Investigators and together with Professor Denison, they form the senior management team for the Edinburgh Centre.

Dr Sarah Murray is a Junior Principal Investigator.

Our location

The Edinburgh Tommy's Centre sits within the MRC for Centre for Reproductive Health in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh. Our Centre has strong research collaborations in healthcare technology and data-science with other centres of excellence, in particular with the Usher Institute, Centre for Medical Informatics, and Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh and the Schools of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University

Research Overview

Our Centre focuses on using technology-enabled and data-driven research to solve the major clinical challenges of preterm birth, stillbirth, and the impacts of each of maternal obesity and maternal depression and stress. These are huge global issues - annually, preterm birth affects nearly 15 billion babies globally and 50,000 in the UK. Stillbirth rates in the UK are currently at around 1 per 200, rates which are commoner than most other European countries.  Maternal obesity rates are now around 20%.  The adverse impacts on pregnancy outcome include increased risk of caesarean section and stillbirth, together with an increase in minor pregnancy complications, all of which have a significant economic impact. Maternal stress and anxiety increase the risk of short-term adverse outcomes including preterm birth and low birthweight and adverse long-term outcomes for the offspring including abnormalities in glucose tolerance and cardiovascular response to stress.

We also collaborate with other Tommy’s Centres on data-driven and technology enabled research projects.

Edinburgh Tommy’s clinics

Our research centre in Edinburgh is also home to 2 flagship antenatal clinics - the preterm birth clinic and metabolic antenatal clinic. These clinics provide evidence-based care to women with high-risk pregnancies and improve the chances of mothers having a healthy baby.

Visit the Tommy's Lothian Preterm Birth Clinic website

Visit the Tommy's Metabolic Antenatal Clinic

Our research team

Our multidisciplinary research team includes clinicians, midwives, engineers, data-scientists, discovery scientists and physical scientists. Some of our team are directly supported by Tommy’s and others are supported by the infrastructure and research environment of the Edinburgh Research Centre.


Current team members include:

Lorraine Adamson, clinical trial administrator   

Sara van Boeckel, clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                   

Andrew Brown, NHS clinical research fellow, registered for MD                   

Jayne Brady, Tommy’s Biobank technician

Sarah Caughey, Tommy’s senior laboratory technician      

Ailsa Corbishley, research midwife

Morag Dalton, research midwife  

Kayleigh Doherty, non-clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                      

Kahyee Hor, clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                                               

Elaine Jack, research midwife         

Emma Johns, clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                   

Shona Low, Tommy’s biobank midwife                                

Niamh McLennan, clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                             

Hayley Melville, non-clinical research fellow, registered for PhD                    

Elizabeth Wastnedge, clinical research fellow   

Eleanor Whitaker, clinical research fellow, registered for PhD             

Sonia Whyte, senior clinical trial manager      


Support Staff:

Karen Witherspoon, MRC CRH administrator      

Francis Moran, Tommy’s administrator