Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health
UoE/ MRC Centre for Reproductive Health,
Queen’s Medical Research Institute,
47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ
Telephone: 0131 242 6623
PA: Karen Witherspoon
Telephone: 0131 242 2694
MB ChB 1986, MRCOG 1992, MD 1992, CCT (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) 1995, FRCOG 2004, FSB 2009, F Med Sci 2012, FRCPE 2012.
My translational research programme focuses on understanding the biology of normal pregnancy and improving outcomes in pregnancy disorders. Obese pregnant women have significantly increased risks of pre-eclampsia, diabetes, caesarean section and maternal and fetal death. I aim to understand how this happens and to develop preventive strategies. Our parturition research aims to understand the mechanisms by which labour starts – with a current focus on the interaction between endocrine and inflammatory events. I seek to understand both the inflammatory processes occurring during parturition, and how clinically promising therapies for the prevention of preterm (such as progesterone) might exert their effects.
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).
- EMPOWaR: Efficacy of Metformin in Pregnant Obese Women, a Randomised Controlled Trial. (Funded by MRC and managed by EME / NIHR)
- Understanding and treating the link between obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation and adverse pregnancy outcome (funded by Tommy’s).
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.
2009 – 2013
Norman JE, Denison F, Drake M, Forbes S, Reynolds R, Walker B, Newby D, Murray G, Wray S, Quenby S.
Does Metformin reduce excess birthweight in offspring of obese pregnant women. A randomised controlled trial of efficacy, exploration
if mechanisms and evaluation of other pregnancy complications?
NIHR. Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme. £996,000
2008 – 2015
Norman JE et al.
Does progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm labour improve outcome- a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial?
2008 – 2013
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. £1,840,000
2011 – 2014
Denison FC, Norman JE, Semple SK, van Beek E, Walker J.
Can 1H MRS and MRI at 3 tesla detect intrauterine hypoxia in pregnancies with uteroplacental insufficiency?
Action Medical Research £97,450
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
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
2012 – 2013
Norman JE, Chalmers J, Marlow N, Wood R, Norrie J, MacLennan G, McPherson G.
STOPPIT baby follow up study: what effect does prophylactic progesterone in twin pregnancy have on childhood outcome?
Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive. £43,491
2012 – 2013
Norman JE, Reynolds R, Semple S, Bastin M, Roberts N, Denison F, Boardman J, Walker J, Willshaw D, Studholme C, O’Hare A, Fletcher Watson S, Murray I. In utero MR biomarkers of abnormal brain development – a proof of concept study. Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. £187,514
Recent key publications
Norman JE, Shennan AS. Preterm birth – why can’t we do any better. Invited commentary. Lancet 2012 (in press)
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. Epub 2012 Aug 10.
Norman JE, Shennan A, Bennett P, Thornton S, Robson S, Marlow N, Norrie J, Petrou S, Sebire N, Lavender T, Whyte S. Trial protocol OPPTIMUM- Does progesterone prophylaxis for the prevention of preterm labour improve outcome? BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012 Aug 6;12(1):79.
Stock SJ, Norman JE. Elective delivery of twins at 37 weeks gestation decreases infant complications. Evid Based Med. 2012 (in press)
Mohd-Shukri NA, Bolton JL, Norman JE, Walker BR, Reynolds RM. Evaluation of an FFQ to assess total energy and nutrient intakes in severely obese pregnant women. Public Health Nutr. 2012 10:1-9
Stock SJ, Bricker L, Norman JE. Immediate versus deferred delivery of the preterm baby with suspected fetal compromise for improving outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012 , Issue 2 . Art. No.: CD008968. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008968
Stock SJ, Ferguson E, Duffy A, Ford I, Chalmers J, Norman JE. Outcomes of Elective Induction of Labour compared to expectant management: a population based study. BMJ (2012) 344:e2838 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e2838
Stock SJ, Norman JE. Treatments for precursors of cervical cancer and preterm labour (Editorial). BJOG (2012) 119: 647 – 649
Voltolini C, Battersby S, Etherington S, Petraglia F, Norman JE, Jabbour HN. A Novel Anti-Inflammatory Role for the Short Chain Fatty Acids in Human Labour. Endocrinology (2012) 153: 395-403
Norman JE, Stock SJ. Intracervical Foley catheter for labour induction. Invited commentary. Lancet (2011) 378: 2054-5.
Maldonado-Perez, D, Golightly, E, Denison, FC, Jabbour, HN, Norman JE. A role for lipoxin A4 as anti-inflammatory and proresolution mediator in human parturition. Faseb J (2011 25:569-575 )
Norman JE, Reynolds RM (2011) The consequences of obesity and excess weight gain in pregnancy . Proceedings of the nutrition society 70: 450 – 456
Aslanidi O, Atia J, Benson AP, van den Berg HA, Blanks AM, Choi C, Gilbert SH, Goryanin I, Hayes-Gill BR, Holden AV, Li P, Norman JE, Shmygol A, Simpson NA, Taggart MJ, Tong WC, Zhang H. Towards a computational reconstruction of the electrondynamics of premature and fullterm human labour. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2011 107: 183-92
Cantwell R, Clutton-Brock T, Cooper G, Dawson A, Drife J, Garrod D, Harper A, Hulbert D, Lucas S, McClure J, Millward-Sadler H, Neilson J, Nelson-Piercy C, Norman J et al. Saving Mothers’ Lives: Reviewing maternal deaths to make motherhood safer: 2006-2008. The Eighth Report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. BJOG. 2011 Mar;118 Suppl 1:1-203. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02847.x.
Roberts CL, Ford, JB, Algert CS, Antonsen S, Chalmers J, Cnattingius S, Gokhale M,5 Kotelchuck M, Melve KK, Langridge A, Morris C, Morris JM, Nassar N, Norman JE, NChallis JR , Lockwood CJ, Myatt L, Norman JE, Strauss JF, Petraglia F (2009). Inflammation and Pregnancy. Reprod Sci 16 206 – 215orrie J, Sørensen HT, Walker R, Weir CJ. Population-based trends in pregnancy hypertension and pre-eclampsia: an international comparative study. BMJ Open (2011). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000101
Gorowiec MR, Catalano RD, Norman JE, Denison FC, Jabbour HN. Prokineticin 1 (PROK1) induces inflammatory response in human myometrium: a potential role in initiating term and preterm parturition. American Journal of Pathology 2011 179(6):2709-19
Rinaldi SF, Hutchison JL, Rossi A, Norman JE. Antiinflammatory mediators as physiological and pharmacological regulators of parturition. Expert Rev Clin Immunol (2011) 7: 675 – 696
Denison FC, Roberts K, Barr SM, Norman JE. Obesity, pregnancy, inflammation and vascular function. Reproduction (2010) 140: 373 – 385.
Dowswell T, Kelly AJ, Livio S, Norman JE, Alfirevic Z. Different methods for the induction of labour in outpatient settings. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2010) CD007701
Catalano RD, Lannagan T, Gorowiec M, Denison FC, Norman JE, Jabbour HN. Prokineticins: Novel mediators of inflammatory and contractile pathways at parturition? Mol Hum Reprod (2010) 311-319
Eddama O, Petrou S, Regier D, Norrie J, MacLennan G, Mackenzie F, Norman JE. Study of progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth in twins (STOPPIT): Findings from a trial-based cost-effectiveness analysis. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care (2010), 26: 141–148.
Bhattacharya S, Raja EA, Mirazo ER, Campbell DM, Lee AJ, Norman JE, Bhattacharya S. Inherited Predisposition to Spontaneous Preterm Delivery. Obstetrics and Gynecology (2010) 1125-33.
Yuan M, Jordan F, McInnes I, Harnett MM, Norman JE. Leukocytes are primed in peripheral blood in preparation for activation during term and preterm labour (2009). Molecular Human Reproduction 15: 713-24.
Norman JE, Mackenzie F, Owen P, Mactier H, Hanretty K, Cooper S, Calder A, Mires G, Danielian P, Sturgiss S, MacLennan G, Tydeman G, Thornton S, Martin B, Thornton JG, Neilson JP, Norrie J. Progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth in twin pregnancy (STOPPIT): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and meta-analysis. Lancet 373: 2034–40 (2009).
Norman JE, Morris C, Chalmers J. The effect of changing patterns of obstetric care in Scotland (1980 – 2004) on rates of preterm birth and its neonatal consequences. Perinatal Database Study. PLoS Med (2009) 6: e1000153. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000153.
Challis JR , Lockwood CJ, Myatt L, Norman JE, Strauss JF, Petraglia F (2009). Inflammation and Pregnancy. Reprod Sci 16 206 – 215
- Lorraine Adamson
- Marian Aldhous
- Devasuda Anblagan
- Sharon Battersby
- Yvonne Grieg
- Graham Harold, Lab Manager
- Nanette Hibbert
- Lawrence Hutchinson
- Simon Riley
- Jennifer Rowan
- Sarah Stock
- Sonia Whyte
- Karen Witherspoon (PA)
Sarah Barr, Caroline Chiswick, Sara Rinaldi, Shalini Rajagopal, Silvia Pedroni, Gemma Sharp, Sofia Makieva, Lorraine Frew
Obstetric and midwifery including: Prof P Bennett (Imperial), A Shennan (KCl), S Robson (Newcastle), S Thornton (Penninsula), S Quenby (Warwick),
Tina Lavender (Manchester), A Weeks (Liverpool), and Drs H Lashen (Sheffield), and many other collaborators on OPPTIMUM and EMPOWaR
Neonatal: Prof N Marlow (UCL)
Statistics / trials: Prof J Norrie (Aberdeen)
Health economics: Prof Stavros Petrou, (Warwick)
Epidemiology: Prof Jim Chalmers, (NHS information Scotland)
Physiology: Prof Susan Wray, (Liverpool)
Philippa Saunders, Nik Morton, Brian Walker, Gordon Murray, Adriano Rossi, Jonathan Seckl, Rebecca Reynolds, Mandy Drake, Shareen Forbes, Neil Roberts, Scott Semple, Mark Bastin, Niki Gray
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
NIHR Journals, Editor (2013 onwards)
Reproductive Sciences, Associate Editor (2010 onwards)
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2011 onwards)
Faculty Member F1000 (2011 onwards)
Molecular Human Reproduction, Associate Editor (2012 onwards)
2. Grant awarding committees
Efficacy and mechanisms evaluation board (NIHR), 2008 – 2012,
CSO Health Services Research 2012 onwards, GAPPs Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative, 2012 onwards
3. Membership of research consortia
Chair NIHR/ RCOG Preterm Birth Clinical Studies group (2010 onwards, member since 2008)
The Maternal and Perinatal Health Research and Epidemiology advisory group (MAPREG) at the World Health Organisation, 2009 onwards
GONET (2010 onwards, Secretary since 2011)
4. Work for specialist societies
Executive committee, British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society, 2010 onwards
Member of Council, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 2011 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, MRC funded I2S2 study, 2008 onwards
Chair of Trial Steering Committee, EME funded Tablet study, 2011 onwards
Member of the Writing Panel, UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Health, 2009 onwards
Chair, Steering Group, Women and Children’s Health Information Programme, NHS Scotland, 2008 onwards-
Press spokesperson for the RCOG, 2008 onwards
Chair, Maternal Medicine Symposium Committee, Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh 2010 – 2011
Chair, the Technical Advisory Group for Reproductive and Sexual health section of the International Classification of Disease,
World Health Organisation), 2010
Chair, NICE Guideline Development Group, Intrapartum Care for Women with Medical or Obstetric Disorders, 2012 onwards