Dr Sarah Stock

Sarah StockJob title:
Clinical Lecturer and Subspecialty Trainee in Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Contact details:
MRC Centre for Reproductive Health,
The Queen’s Medical Research Institute,
47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ
Telephone: 0131 242 2694  Email: sarah.stock@ed.ac.uk    Room: W1.17

Research Interests

My research relates to the onset of labour and its management. There is still limited understanding regarding the mechanisms controlling the length of pregnancy in humans. Preterm labour and prolonged pregnancy are both common pregnancy problems, which are associated with increased death and disability in babies and mothers. Increasing our knowledge of how the process of birth starts may help us find better ways to manage these situations.

I have an interest in Cationic Host Defence Peptides (CHDPs), which include the defensins and human cathelicidin (LL-37). These are small proteins produced by inflammatory and epithelial cells, which have broad-spectrum antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. We believe they have a role in the inflammatory events that occur around parturition. We are studying their production and function in pregnancy to identify if they could be used as potential treatments to prevent preterm birth.

Current research projects

  • The Role of Cathelicidin in Preterm Labour
  • Production and Function of Cervical Cationic Host Defence Peptides
  • Hormonal profiles in multiple pregnancies
  • Establishing a resource for the study of genetic associations with preterm labour- a pilot study
  • Does promoting increased awareness of decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth – a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial?


Chief Scientist Office, Scotland (£225,000) – Does promoting increased awareness of decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth – a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial? (Co-Investigator)

Women and Infant’s Research Foundation, Western Australia ($14,605 AUD) – Production and Function of Amniotic Fluid Cationic Host Defence Peptides (Principal Investigator)

Jennifer Brown Research Fund (£17,504) – The Effects of Vitamin D on Antimicrobial Protein Production in Pregnancy (Principal Investigator)

Albert McKern Bequest (£29,850) – Hormonal Profiles in twin pregnancy (Principal Investigator)


Frew L, Sugiarto NU, Rajagopal SP, He J, Leask R, Norman JE, Riley SC, Stock SJ. The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the inflammatory response of the amnion. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jul 23.

Einarsdóttir K, Stock S, Haggar F, Hammond G, Langridge AT, Preen DB, De Klerk N, Leonard H, Stanley FJ. Neonatal complications in public and private patients: a retrospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2013 May 28;3(5).

Einarsdóttir K, Haggar F, Pereira G, Leonard H, de Klerk N, Stanley FJ, Stock S. Role of public and private funding in the rising caesarean section rate: a cohort study. BMJ Open. 2013 May 2;3(5).

Stock SJ, Josephs K, Farquharson S, Love C, Cooper SE, Kissack C, Akolekar R, Norman JE, Denison FC. Maternal and neonatal outcomes of successful Kielland’s rotational forceps delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2013 May;121(5):1032-9.

Einarsdóttir K, Haggar FA, Stock S, Gunnell AS, Stanley FJ. Assisted vaginal deliveries in mothers admitted as public or private patients in Western Australia. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 16;8(4):e61699.

Stock SJ, Ferguson E, Duffy A, Ford I, Chalmers J, Norman JE. Outcomes of induction of labour in women with previous caesarean delivery: a retrospective cohort study using a population database. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60404.

Stock SJ, Norman JE. Elective delivery of twins at 37 weeks gestation decreases infant complications. Evid Based Med. 2013 Jun;18(3):e21.
Skorupskaite K, Walker J, Stock S. Modeling chorionic villus sampling technique: influence of number of needle ‘passes’ on quantity of chorionic villi obtained. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2013 May;41(5):592-3.

Denison FC, Semple SI, Stock SJ, Walker J, Marshall I, Norman JE. Novel use of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1HMRS) to non-invasively assess placental metabolism. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42926.

Stock SJ, Bricker L, Norman JE. Immediate versus deferred delivery of the preterm baby with suspected fetal compromise for improving outcomes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jul 11;7:CD008968.

Stock SJ, Ferguson E, Duffy A, Ford I, Chalmers J, Norman JE.Outcomes of elective induction of labour compared with expectant management: population based study. BMJ. 2012 May 10;344:e2838. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e2838.

Stock SJ, Norman JE. Treatments for precursors of cervical cancer and preterm labour. BJOG. 2012 May;119(6):647-9.

Schuit E, Stock S, Groenwold RH, Maurel K, Combs CA, Garite T, Spong CY, Thom EA, Rouse DJ, Caritis SN, Saade GR, Zachary JM, Norman JE, Rode L, Klein K, Tabor A, Cetingöz E, Morrison JC, Magann EF, Briery CM, Serra V, Perales A, Meseguer J, Nassar AH, Lim AC, Moons KG, Kwee A, Mol BW. Progestogens to prevent preterm birth in twin pregnancies: an individual participant data meta-analysis of randomized trials. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012 Mar 15;12:13.

Norman JE, Stock S. Intracervical Foley catheter for induction of labour. Lancet. 2011 Dec 17;378(9809):2054-5.

Boyd KA, Briggs AH, Fenwick E, Norrie J, Stock S. Power and sample size for cost-effectiveness analysis: fFN neonatal screening. Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Nov;32(6):893-901.

Stock SJ, Walker MC, Edelshain BT, Horn L, Norman JE, Denison FC. Fixed dosing regimes of enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis do not reliably achieve target anti-Xa levels in women of normal weight during pregnancy. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Sep;158(1):112-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2011.03.010.

Frew L, Stock SJ. Antimicrobial peptides and pregnancy. Reproduction. 2011 Jun;141(6):725-35.

Stock SJ, Goldsmith L, Evans MJ, Laing IA. Interventions to improve rates of post-mortem examination after stillbirth. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2010 Dec;153(2):148-50.

Stock S, Norman J. Preterm and term labour in multiple pregnancies. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 Dec;15(6):336-41.

Stock SJ, Duthie L, Tremaine T, Calder AA, Kelly RW, Riley SC. Elafin (SKALP/Trappin-2/proteinase inhibitor-3) is produced by the cervix in pregnancy and cervicovaginal levels are diminished in bacterial vaginosis. Reprod Sci. 2009 Dec;16(12):1125-34.

Horne AW, Stock SJ, King AE. Innate immunity and disorders of the female reproductive tract. Reproduction. 2008 Jun;135(6):739-49

Principal collaborators

  • Donald Davidson
(MRC Centre for Inflammation Research)
  • Jim Chalmers (NHS ISD Scotland)
  • Matt Kemp (School of Women and Infants Health, University of Western Australia)
  • John Newnham (School of Women and Infants Health, University of Western Australia)
  • Kristjana Einarsdottir (Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia)
  • Roger Smith (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Updated 19 April, 2014