James P Boardman (BSc MSc MBBS PhD FRCPCH FMedSci)

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
  • Centre for Reproductive Health

Contact details



Centre for Reproductive Health
Institute for Regeneration and Repair
University of Edinburgh
4-5 Little France Drive
Edinburgh BioQuarter

Post code
EH16 4UU


Professor Boardman is a professor of neonatal medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He studied medicine at University College London from 1990-96 and was awarded a PhD from Imperial College London in 2006. Professor Boardman is the scientific director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh and a UKRI MRC programme grant holder. 


BSc (hons), MSc, MBBS(Lond), PhD, FRCPCH, FMedSci

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Newborn Brain Society, Guidelines and Publications Committee member, 2022 - current
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Pregnancy and Early Life theme lead, Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh.
  • Past president of the Neonatal Society

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current research interests

Professor Boardman's laboratory contributes to tackling the most significant problem facing 21st-century perinatal medicine: how to reduce brain injury and restore learning potential after preterm birth. He uses neuroinformatic approaches to discover the impact of preterm birth on the developing brain and the biological axes that embed early life adversity in cerebral development. He has built unique infant cohorts phenotyped by structure (brain MRI), biology (immune function, DNA methylation, stress axis activation, gut microbiome), medicine, the social graph, and behaviour, and he has developed tools for integrating multi-scale early life data.

Current project grants

Boardman JP and Bogaert D. The gut microbiome in preterm infants: Influencing factors and the association with brain structure and function. Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme.

Boardman JP, Reynolds RM, Richardson H, Battersby C, 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. UKRI MRC Programme Grant.

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

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.

Robertson NJ, Hakim-Moulay D, Marlow N, Mitra S, Molloy E, Boardman JP, Standing J, Tranter P, Martinello K, Malhotra A, Allegaert K, Becher JC, Golay X, Boylan G, Jones GR, Walsh B, Hunt R, Kendall G, Miller S, Murray D, Mahaveer AK, Smits A, Pang R. Acute High Dose Melatonin for Encephalopathy of the Newborn (ACUMEN): Phase I Study. MRC Development Pathway Funding Scheme.

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.

Boardman JP. Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort. Theirworld.

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. NIHR-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.

Galdi P, Cabez MB, Farrugia C, Vaher K, Williams LZJ, Sullivan G, Stoye DQ, Quigley AJ, Makropoulos A, Thrippleton MJ, Bastin ME, Richardson H, Whalley H, Edwards AD, Bajada CJ, Robinson EC, Boardman JP. Feature similarity gradients detect alterations in the neonatal cortex associated with preterm birth. Hum Brain Mapp. 2024 Mar;45(4):e26660. doi: 10.1002/hbm.26660. PMID: 38488444; PMCID: PMC10941526.

Blesa Cábez M, Vaher K, York EN, Galdi P, Sullivan S, Stoye DQ, Hall J, Corrigan AE, Quigley AJ, Waldman AD, Bastin ME, Thrippleton MJ, Boardman JP. Characterisation of the neonatal brain using myelin-sensitive magnetisation transfer imaging. Imaging Neuroscience 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/imag_a_00017

Mckinnon K, Galdi P, Blesa-Cábez M, Sullivan G, Vaher K, Corrigan A, Hall J, Jiménez-Sánchez L, Thrippleton M, Bastin ME, Quigley AJ, Valavani E, Tsanas A, Richardson H, Boardman JP. Association of Preterm Birth and Socioeconomic Status With Neonatal Brain Structure. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 May 1;6(5):e2316067. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.16067. PMID: 37256618; PMCID: PMC10233421.

Sullivan G, Vaher K, Blesa M, Galdi P, Stoye DQ, Quigley AJ, Thrippleton MJ, Norrie J, Bastin ME, Boardman JP. Breast Milk Exposure is Associated With Cortical Maturation in Preterm Infants. Ann Neurol. 2023 Mar;93(3):591-603. doi: 10.1002/ana.26559. Epub 2022 Dec 9. PMID: 36412221.

Wheater ENW, Galdi P, McCartney DL, Blesa M, Sullivan G, Stoye DQ, Lamb G, Sparrow S, Murphy L, Wrobel N, Quigley AJ, Semple S, Thrippleton MJ, Wardlaw JM, Bastin ME, Marioni RE, Cox SR, Boardman JP. DNA methylation in relation to gestational age and brain dysmaturation in preterm infants. Brain Commun. 2022 Mar 8;4(2):fcac056. doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcac056. PMID: 35402911; PMCID: PMC8984700.

Vaher K, Galdi P, Blesa Cabez M, Sullivan G, Stoye DQ, Quigley AJ, Thrippleton MJ, Bogaert D, Bastin ME, Cox SR, Boardman JP. General factors of white matter microstructure from DTI and NODDI in the developing brain. Neuroimage. 2022 Apr 1;254:119169. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119169. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35367650.

Blesa M, Galdi P, Cox SR, Sullivan G, Stoye DQ, Lamb GJ, Quigley AJ, Thrippleton MJ, Escudero J, Bastin ME, Smith KM, Boardman JP. Hierarchical Complexity of the Macro-Scale Neonatal Brain. Cereb Cortex. 2020 Dec 7:bhaa345. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa345. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33280008.

Stoye DQ, Blesa M, Sullivan G, Galdi P, Lamb GJ, Black GS, Quigley AJ, Thrippleton MJ, Bastin ME, Reynolds RM, Boardman JP. Maternal cortisol is associated with neonatal amygdala microstructure and connectivity in a sexually dimorphic manner. Elife. 2020 Nov 24;9:e60729. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60729. PMID: 33228850; PMCID: PMC7685701.

Dean B, Ginnell L, Ledsham V, Tsanas A, Telford E, Sparrow S, Fletcher-Watson S, Boardman JP. Eye-tracking for longitudinal assessment of social cognition in children born preterm. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 29. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13304. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32729133.

Sullivan G, Galdi P, Cabez MB, Borbye-Lorenzen N, Stoye DQ, Lamb GJ, Evans MJ, Quigley AJ, Thrippleton MJ, Skogstrand K, Chandran S, Bastin ME, Boardman JP. Interleukin-8 dysregulation is implicated in brain dysmaturation following preterm birth. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Nov;90:311-318. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.09.007. Epub 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32920182.

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