fbpx Vladimira Foteva | HMRI

Vladimira Foteva

Vladimira Foteva | Pregnancy and Reproduction Researcher

Research Interests

  • Predictive Diagnostics
  • Placental Physiology
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • Women's Health

Why did you get into research?

I became fascinated with reproductive and gestational medicine when I understood how the tiniest alterations in the environment during gestation can have lifelong consequences for women’s health, their children, and even grandchildren. However, although half the global population consists of women, there are still gaps in the data and few tools to help them throughout difficult pregnancies, particularly in low-resource settings. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of science, politics, feminism and ethics, and I believe ensuring that people have a comfortable and safe setting during pregnancy and labour should be a right, not a privilege.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Pregnancy is globally one of the most dangerous processes a person can undergo. My aim is to aid in the improvement of pregnancy outcomes through in-depth understanding of placental function, by studying its element composition, and in the creation of point-of-care diagnostic tools that can predict the development of obstetric complications such as preterm birth or fetal growth restriction.


Prior to her current post as a PhD Researcher studying placental ageing and physiology at the Mothers and Babies Research Centre at HMRI, Mira completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Her Bachelors was in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology, with a minor in Bio-Business (Awarded First Class Honours, 2019), where her research focused on the effects of plastic constituent Bisphenol A upon fetal metabolism and development. Her interest in epidemiology also led her to become a member of the Aberdeen Maternal and Neonatal Databank team, where she spent time investigating the links between socioeconomic status, maternal smoking and perinatal outcomes.

Enthusiastic about peer and community engagement, she also spent time as an interviewer for her local Chamber of Commerce, and as a fundraiser for the University of Aberdeen Development Trust. A year-long Intercalated Masters at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Rome, Italy, turned her focus to stem cell research and haematopoiesis. Finally, combining clinical research with education, ethics and global health, the multi-disciplinary hallmark of the MBRC, is what led her to start a PhD at HMRI in early 2020.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • RNA, DNA and protein extraction
  • RT-qPCR and other nucleic acid amplification techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry and Western Blot
  • Cell culture techniques
  • Synchrotron-based X-Ray Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Good Research Practice; General Data Protection Regulation and Confidentiality; Research and Human Tissue Legislation (British Medical Research Council Courses)
  • Familiarity with medical, research and university databases.


  • School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle
  • Mothers and Babies Research Centre, Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • Australia and New Zealand Placental Research Association
  • Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank
  • Women in STEMM Australia