Professor Jane Norman

Jane NormanJob Title:
Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health
Director of the Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre
Vice Principal, People and Culture

Contact details:
UoE/ MRC Centre for Reproductive Health,
The Queen’s Medical Research Institute,
47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ
Telephone: 0131 242 6623   Email:   Room: W1.19

PA: Karen Witherspoon
Telephone: 0131 242 2694   Email:   Room: W1.19


MB ChB 1986, MRCOG 1992, MD 1992, CCT (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) 1995, FRCOG 2004, FSB 2009, F Med Sci 2012, FRCPE 2012.

Research in a nutshell


Research Interests

My research work focusses on the pregnancy “stressors” of maternal depression/stress, inflammation and hypoxia. These pregnancy stressors are largely responsible for the clinical conditions of gestational diabetes, preterm birth and stillbirth, all of which have devastating effects on pregnant women and their babies. My group aims to understand how these pregnancy stressors cause these clinical conditions and to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies. In all our research endeavours, we use a broad array of research strategies, from basic science, through animal models, to clinical trials and beyond to population based research to address these clinical problems.

Current research projects

  • OPPTIMUM: a multicentre double blind placebo controlled trial to address the question: Does progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm labour improve outcome? (Funded by the Medical Research Council).
  • STOPPIT 2: An open randomised trial of the Arabin pessary to prevent preterm birth in twin pregnancy (Funded by the National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board)
  • GRACES: Glibenclamide and metfoRmin versus stAndard Care in gEstational diabeteS (GRACES) – a feasibility open label randomised trial. (Funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive)
  • AFFIRM: Does promoting increased awareness of decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth, a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial? (Funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive HSRC, Tommy’s and Sands).
  • Studies to understand the pathophysiology of parturition and to develop therapies for preterm birth prevention (Funded by Tommy’s)

Jane Norman Page Logos

The Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre

Professor Jane Norman is Director of the Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre which is funded by the charity Tommy’s. Opened in May 2008 it is located within the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health. The Tommy’s Centre aims to conduct world class research that will have a direct impact on the health of pregnant women and their babies and to translate our research into improved health outcomes both locally and worldwide.

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Current Grants

Current Grants

2008 – 2015

Norman JE et al.  Does progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm labour improve outcome- a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial? (OPPTIMUM). £2,700,000

2008 – 2016

Norman JE, Calder AA, Denison F, Reynolds R, Forbes S.  Core funding for Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health. Tommy’s the baby charity. £3,040,000

2011 – 2016

Saunders P, Anderson R, Critchley H, Norman JE, Iredale J, Forbes S, Seckl J. Core support for the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.  £1,100,000

2012  -2017

Gray N, Norman JE, Girardi G, Granneman S. Poly(A)-binding proteins highlight the importance of regulated mRNA translation and stability in determining a functional materno-fetal interface. MRC Programme Grant. £1,494,491

2013 – 2016

Norman JE, Calderwood C, Cunningham Burley S, Scott J, Weir C, Chalmers J, Murdoch E, Stock SJ, Ross-Davie M, McAuliffe F, Geary M, Hunter AJ, Heazell A, Froen F.  Does promoting increased awareness of decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth, a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial?  Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive, (HSRC), Tommy’s and Sands. £330,000.

2014 – 2016

Norman JE, Denison FC, Reynolds R, Alexander C, Love C, Pennycard J, Strachan M, Linsday R, Mackenzie F, Juszczak E, Stenson B. Glibenclamide and metfoRmin versus stAndard Care in gEstational diabeteS (GRACES) – a feasibility open label randomised trial. Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive. £217,384

2014 – 2018

Norman JE, Shennan A, Robson S, Norrie J, Thornton S, Kilby M, Marlow N, Stock S, Smith J, Denton J, Bennett P, Cunningham Burley S. An open randomised trial of the Arabin pessary to prevent preterm birth in twin pregnancy – STOPPIT- 2. National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board. £1,327,029.

Ismail K, Toozs-Hobson P, Slack M, Ewer A, Gray J, Scott J, Israfil-Bayli F, Fleming L, Shennan A, Norman JE, Daniels J, Lees C, Middleton L, Simpson N. Suture Type for Incompetent Cervix and effect on Health outcomes. National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board. £1,090,069

Tarnow-Mordi W, Dibley M, Norman JE, Reynolds R, Callander E. Should we treat iron deficiency anaemia of pregnancy with lactoferrin? A randomised controlled trial. NHMRC (Australia). $ (AUD) 2,050,000

Coomarasamy A, Bourne T, Horne A, Norman JE, Jurkovic D, Farquharson R, Lumsden MA, Overton C, Roberts T, Harb H, Bender Atik R, Daniels J, Raine-Fening N, Quenby S, Middleton L, Gupta P Hinshaw K. Effectiveness of progesterone to prevent miscarriage in women with early pregnancy bleeding: A randomised placebo-controlled trial (PRISM Trial: PRogesterone In Spontaneous Miscarriage Trial). National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board.£1,756,618.

Denison FC, Norman JE, Norrie J, Scotland G, McPherson G, Lawton J, Brook-Smith S, Peace M, Clinton J, Clarkson C. A pragmatic adaptive sequential placebo controlled randomised trial to determine the effectiveness of Glycerin trinitrate for retained placenta (Got-it trial). National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board. £1,712,125

Flenady V, Gardener G, Middleton P, Coory M, Ellwood D, Crowther C, East C, Callander E, Norman JE, Boyle F. My baby’s movements. NHMRC (Australia) $ (AUD) 1,364,274

Publications 2015 onwards

Schuit E, Stock S, Rode L, Rouse D, Lim A, Norman JE, Nassar A, Serra V, Combs C, Vayssiere C, Aboulghar M, Wood S, Cetingöz E, Briery C, Fonseca E, Worda K, Tabor A, Thom E, Caritis S, Awwad J, Usta I, Perales A, Meseguer J, Maurel K, Garite T, Aboulghar M, Amin Y, Ross S, Cam C, Karateke A, Morrison J, Magann E, Nicolaides K, Zuithoff N, Groenwold R, Moons K, Kwee A, Mol B; a Global Obstetrics Network (GONet) collaboration. Effectiveness of progestogens to improve perinatal outcome in twin pregnancies: an individual participant data meta-analysis. BJOG. 2015 Jan;122(1):27-37. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13032.

Voltolini C, Battersby S, Novembri R, Torricelli M, Severi FM, Petraglia F, Norman JE. Urocortin 2 role in placental and myometrial inflammatory mechanisms at parturition. Endocrinology. 2015 Feb;156(2):670-9. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1432.

Rinaldi SF, Rossi AG, Saunders PT, Norman JE. Immune cells and preterm labour: do invariant NKT cells hold the key? Mol Hum Reprod. 2015 21(4):309-12

Chiswick CA, Reynolds RM, Denison FC, Whyte SA, Drake AJ, Newby DE, Walker BR, Forbes S, Murray GD, Quenby S, Wray S, Norman JE. Efficacy of metformin in pregnant obese women: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2015 14;5(1):e006854. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006854.

Rinaldi SF, Catalano RD, Wade J, Rossi AG, Norman JE.15-epi-lipoxin A4 reduces the mortality of prematurely born pups in a mouse model of infection-induced preterm birth. Mol Hum Reprod. 2015 21(4):359-68

Rinaldi SF, Makieva S, Frew L, Wade J, Thomson AJ, Moran CM, Norman JE, Stock SJ. Ultrasound-Guided Intrauterine Injection of Lipopolysaccharide as a Novel Model of Preterm Birth in the Mouse. Am J Pathol. 2015 185(5):1201-6

McNamara HC, Wood R, Chalmers J, Marlow N, Norrie J, MacLennan G, McPherson G, Boachie C, Norman JE. STOPPIT Baby Follow-Up Study: The Effect of Prophylactic Progesterone in Twin Pregnancy on Childhood Outcome. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 16;10(4):e0122341. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122341. eCollection 2015

Abbott DS, Hezelgrave NL, Seed PT, Norman JE, David AL, Bennett PR, Girling JC, Chandirimani M, Stock SJ, Carter J, Cate R, Kurtzman J, Tribe RM, Shennan AH Quantitative fetal fibronectin to predict preterm birth in asymptomatic women at high risk. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 May;125(5):1168-76. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000754.

Rajagopal SP, Hutchinson JL, Dorward DA, Rossi AG, Norman JE. Crosstalk between monocytes and myometrial smooth muscle in culture generates synergistic pro-inflammatory cytokine production and enhances myocyte contraction, with effects opposed by progesterone 
Molecular Human Reproduction 2015 Aug;21(8):672-86

Forbes S, Barr SM, Reynolds RM, Semple S, Gray C, Andrew R, Denison FC, Walker BR, Norman JE. Convergence In Insulin Resistance Between Very Severely Obese and Lean Women At The End Of Pregnancy. Diabetologica. 2015 Nov;58(11):2615-26

Chiswick C, Reynolds RM, Denison F, Drake AJ, Forbes SJ, Newby DE, Walker BR, Quenby S, Wray S, Weeks A, Lashen H, Rodriguez A, Murray G, Whyte S, Norman JE (2015). Metformin and maternal and fetal outcomes in obese pregnant women (EMPOWaR): a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology 2015 Oct;3(10):778-86

Mina TH, Denison FC, Forbes S, Stirrat LI, Norman JE, Reynolds RM Associations of mood symptoms with ante- and postnatal weight change in obese pregnancy are not mediated by cortisol. Psychol Med. 2015 Jun 15:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]

Mina TH, Räikkönen K, Riley SC, Norman JE, Reynolds RM. Maternal distress associates with placental genes regulating fetal glucocorticoid exposure and IGF2: Role of obesity and sex. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Sep;59:112-22..

Aldhous MC, Reynolds RM, Campbell A, Linksted P, Lindsay RS, Smith BH, Seckl JR, Porteous DJ, Norman JE Generation Scotland. (2015) Sex-Differences in the Metabolic Health of Offspring of Parents with Diabetes: A Record-Linkage Study. PLoS One. 2015 Aug 26;10(8):e0134883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134883. eCollection 201 19.

Gillespie Smith K, Boardman JP, Murray IC, Norman JE, O’Hare A, Fletcher-Watson S (2015). Multiple Measures of Fixation on Social Content in Infancy: Evidence for a Single Social Cognitive Construct? Infancy

Denison FC, Weir Z, Carver H, Norman JE, Reynolds RM (2015) Physical activity in pregnant women with Class III obesity: A qualitative exploration of attitudes and behaviours. Midwifery. 2015 Aug 21. pii: S0266-6138(15)00213-2. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2015.08.006

Mohd-Shukri NA, Duncan A, Denison FC, Forbes S, Walker BR, Norman JE, Reynolds RM. Health Behaviours during Pregnancy in Women with Very Severe Obesity. Nutrients. 2015 Oct 7;7(10):8431-8443.

Stirrat LI, O’Reilly JR, Barr SM, Andrew R, Riley SC, Howie AF, Bowman M, Smith R, Lewis JG, Denison FC, Forbes S, Seckl JR, Walker BR, Norman JE, Reynolds RM. Decreased maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in very severely obese pregnancy: Associations with birthweight and gestation at delivery. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 63:135-143. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.09.019.

Mina TH, Riley SC, Norman JE, Reynolds RM. Placental mRNA levels of genes regulating fetal glucocorticoid and neurotransmitter exposure correlate with birth size, but not in very severely obese pregnancy. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 61:15. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.07.428.

Lee KK, Raja EA, Lee AJ, Bhattacharya S, Bhattacharya S, Norman JE, Reynolds RM. Maternal Obesity During Pregnancy Associates With Premature Mortality and Major Cardiovascular Events in Later Life. Hypertension. 2015 Nov;66(5):938-44. doi: 10.1161

Black M, Bhattacharya S, Philip S, Norman JE, McLernon DJ. Planned caesarean delivery at term and adverse outcomes in childhood health. JAMA. In press.

Link to publications on Research Explorer

Link to publications on Google Scholar

Staff/group members

  • Marian Aldhous
  • Sara Rinaldi
  • Sofia Makieva
  • Hayley Moir
  • Jo Bullough
  • Elaine Jack
  • Sarah Stock
  • Sonia Whyte
  • Lorraine Adamson
  • Tariq Derdeb
  • Karen Witherspoon (PA)

PhD /MD Students

  • Ashley Boyle
  • Caroline Chiswick
  • Sarah Murray
  • Phoebe Kirkwood
  • Caterina Fazzi

Current Responsibilities



Vice-Principal People and Culture

  • Oversight of the University strategy and performance in the area of equality and diversity
  • Provide academic leadership and perspective on people strategies and organizational culture


Director of the Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health
CRH lead for “Theme 3” of the Centre for Reproductive Health: Theme 3 “Developmental programming by steroid hormones and reproductive resilience”

National and International
1. Journal editorships
Molecular Human Reproduction, Associate Editor (2012 -2015)

2. Grant awarding committees
CSO Health Services Research 2012 onwards
GAPPs Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative, 2012 onwards

3. Membership of research consortia
Deputy Lead, Reproductive Health and Childbirth Specialty Research Group (Scotland), 2012 onwards
Global Obstetric Network (GONET) 2010 onwards, Vice Chair since 2013

4. Work for specialist societies
Executive committee, British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society, 2010 onwards
Member of Council, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 2011 onwards
Member of Council, Academy of Medical Sciences, 2015 onwards

5. Trial management committees
Member of Data Monitoring Committee, INFANT study [Intelligent Fetal Monitoring and Assessment] HTA funded 2009 onwards
Chair of Trial Steering Committee, EME funded Tablet study, 2011 onwards
Chair of Trial Steering Committee for Phoenix study (HTA funded) 2014 onwards

6. Other
Member of the NETSCC, Health Technology Assessment programme – Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Panel, 2013 onwards
Member, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit Clinical Trials Advisory Group, 2012 onwards
Chair, NICE Guideline Development Group, Preterm labour and birth, 2012 onwards
Member, Stillbirth Subgroup, Child and Maternal Health Division of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, 2011 onwards
Chair, Technical Advisory Group for Reproductive and Sexual health section of the International Classification of Disease, World Health Organisation), 2010 onwards
Board Member, Equality Challenge Unit, 2015 onwards

Public engagement in science (lecture)

University of Edinburgh Medical detectives series: The mysteries of birth, far from elementary my dear Watson.

Page last updated 16th Nov 2015