Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death and sickness and so the prevention of preterm labour is one of the major goals in obstetrics.

Currently, there are still no known effective treatments for the prevention of preterm birth because the exact mechanisms that control the timing and process of human birth are still being elucidated. Estrogen plays a key role in the initiation of labour by promoting the transformation of the uterus and cervix to favour parturition. However, how this is achieved in humans is still unknown, making it a critical area of research. This project investigates the regulation of estrogen activation in the onset of human labour. Identifying the pathways leading to preterm birth will be a major contribution towards understanding the mechanisms controlling human parturition and provide the basis for more effective treatment for the prevention of preterm birth.


Dr Gemma Masden, Dr Sharyn Rayner

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