Professor Robert Freeman

Professor Freeman has been a Consultant Gynaecologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust since 1988.  He trained in Dundee and qualified in 1977.
Professor Freeman set up a multidisciplinary Urogynaecology Clinical and Research Unit in the early nineties which resulted in excellent clinical service for patients with bladder problems such as urinary incontinence and prolapse and bowel dysfunction.  
He has received several grants for research projects, the most recent being in collaboration with the Aberdeen Health Services Research Unit for a trial of prolapse surgery.  This has been granted by the Health Technology Assessment for £2.6million. He has published many research papers and supervised a number of research fellow for higher research degrees. 
Professor Freeman has been the Chairman of the British Society of Urogynaecology which he helped establish. Internationally, Professor Freeman has been the President of International Urogynaecology Association, served as Chairman of the Terminology Committee and as a member of the Standardisation Committee of the International Continence Society.   He has served as an editor for International Urogynaecology Journal and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 

  Professor Jose Villar

Jose joined University of Oxford in 2006 and is a Professor of Perinatal Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Co-director of the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.

Jose qualified in medicine and specialised in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology. He obtained a Master of Sciences degree in Nutrition at WHO’s research unit in Guatemala, and a Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard University. He completed my Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University. Subsequently, he was Assistant and Associate Professor of Public Health and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Johns Hopkins University, Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Division of Nutrition and Health at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), and of WHO in Guatemala in 1985 and 1986. In 1987 I was appointed “Expert” in Obstetrics at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Bethesda, and visiting Lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Until 2006, he was the WHO Co-ordinator of Maternal and Perinatal Health at WHO’s HQ in Geneva. 

He was also the Director of the International Postgraduate Course on Reproductive Biology and Sexual Health at the University of Geneva between 2002 and 2006. 
I have published over 230 original scientific publications and book chapters. He is the Principal Investigator of "INTERGROWTH-21”, a large, multinational, prospective project exploring several aspects of normal and impaired fetal growth from conception to 2 years of age, plus the phenotypes of the preterm birth and impaired fetal growth syndromes, including their aetiology and long-term consequences. The Project has produced international standards for fetal growth, newborn size at birth, and postnatal growth of preterm infants.

His group were the first to identify and documented the effectiveness of calcium supplementation to prevent hypertensive diseases of pregnancy and preterm birth. In June 2013, The Lancet identified calcium supplementation to mothers as one of “ten proven nutrition-specific interventions” and recommended scaling it up to cover 90% of the pregnant population at risk.

           Professor Dame Tina Lavender  

Professor Dame Tina Lavender is Professor of Midwifery and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Health at the University of Manchester, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. Her DBE was awarded in 2012 for her commitment to developing midwifery capacity, globally. She holds an honorary contract at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Nairobi and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Malawi. Dame Tina has a number of editorial roles. She is Co-editor in Chief of the British Journal of Midwifery and Associate Editor (and founder) of the African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. Dame Tina is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives and European Academy of Nurse Science. She is an active member of the Global Women’s Health Society (GLOW) and a regular advisor to the World Health Organization. 

Dame Tina leads a programme of research, Midwifery and Women's Health; a multi-disciplinary programme whose members conduct research in low and high income settings, related to the whole continuum of maternity care. Dame Tina’s main research area is intrapartum care, with a particular focus on the prevention and management of prolonged labour. She is currently leading a large programme grant on the prevention and management of stillbirth, in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2014 Dame Tina was awarded Faculty Researcher of the Year, which she received at the Universities Distinguished service award event. In 2016, she was declared as one of BBC’s most inspirational women, for her global work. 

   Professor Khalid Hussain  

Professor Khalid Hussain qualified in Medicine from Glasgow University in Scotland and then trained in Neonatology, Metabolic medicine and Paediatric Endocrinology in London and Australia. He completed his MD thesis at the Institute of Child Health in 2003.  He joined as a lecturer at University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health and currently a honorary professor in Paediatric Endocrinology at UCL.

Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) has recently appointed Professor Khalid Hussain as Program Director for Research in Children’s Services. He is also the Division Chief of Paediatric Endocrinology.

Professor Hussain’s research interests include:

    a)Molecular mechanisms of hypoglycaemia 

    b)Mechanisms of hypoglycaemic brain injury  

    c)Molecular basis of rare syndromic forms of diabetes mellitus and pancreatic    development 

His research is funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, Diabetes UK, The Children’s Hyperinsulinism Fund and the GOSH Children's Charity and more recently by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and Sidra Internal Research Fund (SIRF).  

He has published extensively in the field of glucose physiology with more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts in journals including NEJM, Science, Nature Genetics, Cell Metabolism.

    Professor Jan Deprest

Jan Deprest is a leading international fetal surgeon who works two days a week at UCLH as a Consultant and at UCL as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. At UCL he works in the Institute for Women's Health and the Translational Imaging Group. His home institution is at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and its University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium). Prof Deprest is currently the academic chair of the Department of Development and Regeneration and director of the Centre for Surgical Technologies.
Clinically he is the director of the fetal surgery programme in Leuven. He trained in fetal medicine in Leuven (Belgium), St George’s Hospital London (UK), Leiden (Holland) and attended the programme at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia (PA, USA). He established the Eurofoetus consortium, which is dedicated to the development of instruments and techniques for minimally invasive fetal and placental surgery. The Leuven Fetal Medicine Team focuses on antenatal modulation of lung development, e.g. for pulmonary hypoplasia due to congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) as well as for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. He has headed several clinical studies dedicated to the prenatal prediction of survival of fetuses with isolated CDH using genetic testing, ultrasound and fetal MRI imaging. He developed a percutaneous method for fetoscopic placement of a balloon into the fetal trachea (“FETO”). In a European task force together with the University of Barcelona (Hospital Clinic) and London (King’s College Hospital) the team performed over 200 such procedures by 2009.
This group and other centres, including UCLH, are now conducting a world-wide randomized control clinical trial for left sided CDH. In Leuven a program on fetal surgery to surgically close spina bifida was started in 2012. This program will now also be extended to UCLH to set up the first open fetal surgery centre in the UK. His translational research also investigates the application of amniotic fluid derived stem cells for treating fetuses or neonates with CDH or other lung disorders, fetal membrane wound healing and brain development in fetuses exposed to steroids or anesthesia.

   Dr. Michael Robson

Trained and qualified St Thomas’s Hospital, London England, Dr. Michael Robson is currently a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin. Prior to this he worked in Wycombe General Hospital England 1995-2004 an was the Clinical Director between 1995-2001.

His main interest is the management of labour and the safe delivery of mother and baby. This includes the organisational aspects of the labour ward as well as teaching, audit and research. His publications mostly relate to audit of labour and delivery and classification of clinical outcome information related to labour and delivery. A specific research interest in labour is the aetiology of dystocic labour.  He has been involved in developing information collection including the designing of software programmes since 1990.

Dr Robson developed a system which classifies all women admitted for delivery into one of 10 groups based on characteristics that are easily identifiable, such as number of previous pregnancies, previous caesarian sections, number of weeks of pregnancy, number of babies and how labour started. The WHO adopted the Robson Classification system as a global standard for assessing, monitoring and comparing caesarian section rates among specific groups of women within hospitals over time, and between hospitals in different regions and jurisdictions.

     Mrs. Andrea Duckworth  

Andrea Duckworth, founder of Enabling Ability, has first-hand experience of overcoming adversity through determination and resilience. In 1996, her first child had a brain haemorrhage and was not expected to survive. He was subsequently diagnosed with hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy. Three years after the birth of her second child, at the age of 34, she was diagnosed with Pompe disease, a progressive neuromuscular condition.

Andrea has not let disability hold her family back. She firmly believes that life is there for the taking. She has fought hard in the fields of health, education, leisure and employment to ensure that all members of her family have had and continue to have equal opportunities.   

Andrea Duckworth has over 20 years personal experience in the field of disability and has worked for a charity that supports people with muscular dystrophy. Andrea created, produced and edited an internal newsletter, was an advocate and counsellor, supporting clients and colleagues through some very difficult periods in their lives. 

Andrea started Enabling Ability because she is passionate about helping others overcome challenges, particularly those who have a disability or long-term medical condition. She firmly believes that everyone has potential.

   Professor Rebecca Reynolds 

Rebecca Reynolds studied medicine at Pembroke College, Oxford and graduated from the University of Oxford Medical School in 1992. She worked in Southampton before undertaking research in the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit as a Wellcome Trust Entry Level Training Fellow and then moving to Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow in 1999. She was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh in 2002 for work on the early life programming of disease.  She was appointed Senior Lecturer in Endocrinology and Diabetes and Consultant Physician in 2014 and awarded a Personal Chair as Professor of Metabolic Medicine in 2013.

Rebecca’s main research interest is in the early life origins of health and she was awarded the Nick Hales Award in 2011 by the International Society for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and the Curt Richter Award in 2012 by the International Society of Psychoneuronendocrinology in recognition of this work. Rebecca’s clinical work includes general diabetes and endocrinology and specialist clinics in reproductive endocrinology and pregnancy. She set up the antenatal metabolic clinic in 2008 with obstetric colleagues. This clinic manages women with metabolic problems in pregnancy including obesity and gestational diabetes and many women participate in clinical research studies supported by Tommys, the baby charity. Rebecca is Clinical Director of the University of Edinburgh Undergraduate Endocrinology and Diabetes Module and Personal Tutor for Undergraduate Medical Students.

  Professor Frances Cowan

Frances Cowan is Visiting Professor of Perinatal Neurology in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of Bristol and Clinical Senior Lecturer in Perinatal Neurology, Imperial College London. She holds honorary consultant contracts at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Oslo where she continues to have strong links.

Frances’s research has led to important new understanding in the antecedents, diagnosis, and treatment of perinatal brain injury. Her outstanding contributions are evidenced in over 200 original research peer-reviewed papers. She has been involved in the training of an innumerable number of clinicians, clinical psychologists, and other students in the UK and around the world. Her work brings immediate and direct benefit to patient care.

In work spanning three decades, Frances has been at the forefront of elucidating patterns of brain injury in preterm and full term newborn babies. In the 1980s she meticulously examined very preterm babies using ultrasound imaging of the brain. When brain magnetic resonance imaging came into wide use in the 90s it was France’s painstaking work that correlated magnetic resonance, ultrasound, and clinical examination. Frances developed the Hammersmith Neurological Examination scheme, now used around the world. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Edinburgh Birth Cohort.

   Dr. Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth

Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth, Doctor of Psychology, is a researcher and university teacher within the department of psychology and language pathology at the University of Turku, Finland. She has also completed academic clinical specialization program in psychotherapy and is practicing parent-infant psychotherapy. Her research interests include the influences of the environmental and the psychosocial factors on parent-infant relationship and attachment during pregnancy, perinatal period and in early childhood. Sari’s clinical interest is in the implementation of the interventions that are based on attachment and early parent-infant relationship theories. She is one of the developers of the Close Collaboration with Parents training program.