Women's Health Research Unit Team

Women’s Health Research Unit undertakes multidisciplinary research to understand why woman and her unborn child can become ill and how they can stay healthy.

Clinical trials and systematic reviews conducted collaboratively with patient and the public involvement and with input from a range of disciplines such as clinical epidemiology, biostatistics and health technology assessment are the cornerstones of research that improves policy and practice embedded within communities and health systems locally, nationally and globally.

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Research

Current Research:

  • Cervical Cancer (PET CT) - Clinical effectiveness of PET-CT imaging in restaging recurrent cervical cancer: Systematic review of evidence and economic modelling
  • GIFTS - Genomic and lifestyle predictors of foetal outcome relevant to diabetes and obesity and their relevance to prevention strategies in South Asian peoples
  • Obesity in Pregnancy - Interventions to reduce or prevent obesity in pregnant women: A systematic review of evidence synthesis (Obesity  in pregnancy)
  • DAPPA - How accurate is spot urinary protein: creatinine ratio (SPCr) and spot albumin:creatinine ratio (SACr) compared to 24-hour protein estimation to assess women with hypertensive disease in pregnancy (HDP) after 24 weeks gestation
  • SALVO - A randomised controlled trial of intra-operative cell salvage during caesarean section in women at risk of haemorrhage
  • Vulval Cancer (Sentinel Node) - Sentinel lymph node (SLN) status in vulval cancer: Systematic quantitative reviews and decision analytic model based economic evaluation
  • ESTEEM: Effect of simple, targeted diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors on pregnancy outcomes. A randomised trial. 
  • PrePro: Preventing Preterm Birth with Probiotics
  • GBS2: Accuracy of a rapid intrapartum test for maternal Group B Streptococcal (GBS) colonisation and its potential to reduce antibiotic usage in mothers with risk factors 
  • MEMPHIS: A smartphone app using psychological approaches for women with chronic pelvic pain: a randomised feasibility trial

Ongoing research with other institutions (Subcontracted to QM)

  • BUS (Birmingham) - Accuracy of Bladder Ultrasound (BUS) in the diagnosis of Detrusor Overactivity: a study to evaluate if ultrasound can reduce the need for urodynamics
  • HABselect (Leeds) - Selection of sperm for Assisted Reproductive Treatment by prior hyaluronic acid binding: increasing live birth outcomes and reducing miscarriage rates (Hyaluronic Acid Binding Sperm Selection; HABSelect).
  • PLUTO (Birmingham) - Percutaneous Shunting in Bladder Outlet Obstruction Trial
  • STAMP (Edinburgh) - (A Proof of Principle, Double-Blind, Randomised Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Trial of pravaStatin to Ameliorate Early Onset Pre-eclampsia)
  • TABLET (Birmingham) - Efficacy and mechanism of thyroxine treatment on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in women with thyroid antibodies: A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-centre trial [The TABLET (Thyroid AntiBodies and LEvoThyroxine) Trial]

Studies currently recruiting:

SALVO
(A Randomised Controlled Trial of Intra-operative Cell Salvage during Caesarean Section in Women at Risk of Haemorrhage)
SALVO aims
To assess if intra-operative cell salvage (IOCS) during Caesarean section, in women at risk of haemorrhage, reduces the need for blood transfusion in comparison to current practice.  It will evaluate the use of donor blood transfusion and the associated health economics.
Method
SALVO is a national multi-centred RCT, aiming to recruit 3050 patients over 36 months. This NIHR HTA funded study will start in October 2012.
Participating London sites:
The Royal London, (Mr Matthew Hogg), Whipps Cross, Newham, Homerton, Queens Romford, Guys and St Thomas’
Chief Investigator: Professor Khalid Khan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Trial Coordinator: Doris Lanz (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
ESTEEM
(Effect of simple, targeted diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors on pregnancy outcomes. A randomised trial)
We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of simple, targeted dietary intervention in reducing the risk of maternal and fetal complications in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors such as obesity, raised lipids and high blood pressure. 
Chief Investigator: Professor Shakila Thangaratinam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Trial Coordinator: Miss Anna Placzek (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
TABLET
(Efficacy and mechanism of thyroxine treatment on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in women with thyroid antibodies: A randomised, placebo controlled, double-blind, multi-centre trial)
The TABLET study funded by EME will determine if treatment with levothyroxine can reduce miscarriage and premature births in euthyroid women with thyroid auto-antibodies.  The study includes patients with miscarriage and those with history of infertility..
Participating sites:
The Royal London (Professor Shakila Thangaratinam), Barts (Talha Al-Shawaf)
PI: Professor Shakila Thangaratinam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
BUS
(Accuracy of Bladder Ultrasound in the diagnosis of Detrusor Overactivity)
BUS will evaluate the accuracy of bladder ultrasound in making a diagnosis of Detrusor Overactivity using laboratory multichannel urodynamics (UDS) as the reference standard compared to bladder wall thickness from transvaginal ultrasound scans. The study is led by University of Birmingham. It will be recruiting from Royal London Hospital within the Katherine Twining Network.
PI: Charlotte Chaliha (The Royal London) (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
GIFTS
(Genomic and lifestyle predictors of fetal outcome relevant to diabetes and obesity and their relevance to prevention strategies in South Asian people).
GIFTS is an EU-funded project combining clinical, scientific and population-based research on the early life determinants of Type 2 diabetes and obesity in people of South Asian origin. The Women’s Health Research Unit leads the workpackage on evaluation of interventions to prevent or reduce obesity led by Shakila Thangaratinam.
CI: Professor Graham Hitman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
DAPPA
DAPPA is an NIHR HTA funded study evaluating the accuracy of spot proteinuria in comparison to twenty four hour proteinuria in women with suspected pre-eclampsia. QMUL is a collaborating partner.
Participating sites:
The Royal London (Dr Ramesan Navaratnarajah), Whipps Cross (Dr Gupta Manish), Newham (Dr Vincent Oon)
PI: Dr Ramesan Navaratnarajah (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
STAMP
(A Proof of Principle, Double-Blind, Randomised Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Trial of pravaStatin to Ameliorate Early Onset Pre-eclampsia)
This trial aims to establish whether pravastatin causes a significant reduction of these placental factors in women with early-onset pre-eclampsia.
Participating sites:
The Royal London (Prof Shakila Thangaratinam)
PI: The Royal London (Prof Shakila Thangaratinam) (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
VizAblate
This is a multicentre international study to demonstrate the effectiveness of the VizAblate® procedure for the treatment of uterine fibroids associated with heavy menstrual bleeding. The VizAblate® System is the only CE marked system that combines ultrasound image guidance with radiofrequency ablation to treat fibroids transcervically in an outpatient setting.
PI: Elizabeth Ball (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Joseph Aquilina (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
(The Royal London)
 
PrePro
Probiotics in the prevention of preterm birth - pilot randomised trial
This is a Barts Charity funded feasibility trial to determine the biological effects of probiotics on the vaginal flora and examine the components that will be essential to the success of a double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomised trail (RCT) on the effects of oral probiotics administered daily from early pregnancy on the risk of pre-term birth. 
Chief Investigator: Professor Khalid Khan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Trial Coordinator: Ms Zoe Drymoussi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
GBS2
GBS2 is a cluster randomised trial designed to investigate the real time accuracy of a rapid PCR test to detect GBS colonisation among women in labour with risk factors. GBS2 will also evaluate if using this rapid intrapartum test for GBS colonisation reduces maternal and neonatal antibiotic usage compared with the usual care of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis (IAP) based on maternal risk factors alone. We aim to recruit a minimum of 8 clusters per arm (total 16 hospitals), from which we estimate 84 women with risk factors will be recruited.
Chief Investigator: Professor Khalid Khan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Trial Coordinator: Mr William McKinnon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
MEMPHIS
The RfPB funded randomised, feasibility trial  aims to identify if a smart phone app that delivers psychological approaches can help women with chronic pelvic pain.
Participating sites: The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross hospital
Chief Investigator: Miss Elizabeth Ball (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Trial Coordinator: Sian Newton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
Previous studies:
  • EMPiRE Antiepileptic drug (AED) management in Pregnancy: An evaluation of effectiveness, cost effectiveness and acceptability of dose adjustment strategies
  • MEDAL - Can magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) scan replace or triage the use of laparoscopy in establishing a diagnosis among women presenting in secondary care with chronic pelvic pain (CPP)?
  • PREP - Development and validation of a prediction model for risk of complications in early onset pre-eclampsia  
  • iWIP IPD M-A - Effects of weight management interventions on maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnancy: Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomised trials and model based economic evaluation
  • EBM Connect - Evidence-based Medicine Collaboration Network for guideline development, teaChing and disseminaTion

Staff

Professors

Professor Khalid Khan - Professor of Women's Health and Clinical Epidemiology
0207 882 2621 / 07977 559 415 
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Professor Shakila Thangaratinam - Professor of maternal and perinatal healthThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
0207 882 5635 07887 775 891
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Senior Lecturers

Dr Rashna Chenoy (clinical)
0207 880 2235 / 07961 198 131
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Dr Sarah Finer (clinical)
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Dr Javier Zamora (non-clinical) 
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Academic Clinical Lecturer

0207 882 3446
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Senior Trials Manager

0207 882 7211
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Senior Project Coordinator 

Mr John Allotey 
0207 882 6048 
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Trial Co-Ordinators

Ms Doris Lanz - SALVO
020 7882 5636
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Miss Ewelina Rogozińska - CROWN
0207 882 5881
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Miss Sian Newton - MEMPHIS
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Miss Anna Placzek - ESTEEM 
0207 882 6049
a.placzekThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Miss Zoe Drymoussi - PrePro 
0207 882 6692
z.drymoussiThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
Data / Research Assistants
Miss Malika Barakat - SALVO
0207 882 2499
m.barakatThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   
 
Miss Maria D'Amico - GBS2
0207 882 6695
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Dr Bassel Wattar - ESTEEM
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Administrators 

Ms Tracy Holtham - Unit Administrator 
0207 828 2525
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Research Midwives  

Ms Sal Higgins - ESTEEM 
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PhD and MD Students
 
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Mr John Allotey 
0207 882 6048 
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Honorary Staff

Professor Ovrang Djahanbakhch - Consultant Gynaecologist and Professor of Reproductive Medicine 
020 7363 9015
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Miss Elizabeth Ball - Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist/Hon Senior Lecturer 
020 7882 2525 (Unit Administrator Tracy Holtham)
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Dr Rehan Khan - Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and RCOG Tutor,O&G  
07929 005 240
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KT Network

 

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Katherine Twining Research Network

The Katherine Twining Network aims to facilitate multidisciplinary research in reproductive health and childbirth, providing leadership in development and delivery of women’s health studies. It is named after the first Matron and founder of the Plaistow Maternity Hospital (established in 1889 as St Mary's District Nurses' Home). Its services are currently delivered through the maternity provision at Newham General Hospital.

This initiative aims to bring together doctors, nurses, midwives and scientists working towards improvement in women's health in East London and beyond.

Katherine Twining Network supports and actively encourages the involvement in trainees in research. This includes the provision of academic training, supervision of MD and PhD students, and involvement of clinical trainees in ongoing research activities. We support the establishment of a trainee-led network that improves research literacy and trainee participation in research. This will be provided through our online website where trainees can complete EBM e-learning packages, access databases with research opportunities and learn about how to organise out of programme placements. Along with online resources, it will provide a network for those trainees already involved in research or interested in exploring the world of academic medicine.

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See more information about Katherine Twining:

 

Contact

The Senior Clinical Academics in the research unit are Professors Khalid Khan and Shakila Thangaratinam, and Senior Lecturer, Dr Rashna Chenoy.

Women's Health Research Unit
Centre for Primary Care and Public Health
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Yvonne Carter Building
58 Turner Street
London E1 2AB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2525
Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 2552