Institute for Women's Health (IfWH)
- Assisted Conception
- Chronic Diseases
- Family Planning and Sexual Health
- Intersex and Adolescent Gynaecology
- Oocyte and Embryo Research
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Preimplantation Genetics
Director of the Institute for Women’s Health at UCL and Co-Director of
the Department of Health Policy Research Unit in Maternal Health and
Care, University of Oxford. I spent 100% of my time on academic
Lead: Professor Judith Stephenson
The Reproductive Health research theme encompasses a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists with expertise in a wide range of disorders affecting womens’ reproductive health. The research perspective is broad, including population-based studies of public health issues, such as teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, alongside studies of reproductive health in chronic disease and rare disorders of sexual development.
Clinical research strength lies in adolescent gynaecology, investigation of long-term morbidity associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), reproductive health in chronic disease and ovarian function. UCLH houses some of the largest clinical cohorts worldwide of patients with Turner’s syndrome, early ovarian failure and PCOS.
Population based research includes collaborative trials of the long term impact of sex education on young people, and evaluation of the teenage pregnancy strategy in England.
- Assisted Conception (Dr Paul Serhal)
- Chronic Diseases (Dr Ratna Chatterjee)
- Family Planning & Sexual Health (Professor Judith Stephenson)
- Intersex and Adolescent Gynaecology (Dr Sarah Creighton)
- Oocyte and Embryo Research
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (Dr Paul Hardiman)
Research highlights in Reproductive Health include:
- Long-term cluster randomised trial of sex education in schools in England showing delayed first sexual intercourse and fewer conceptions in girls receiving peer-led sex education (Stephenson et al Lancet 2004) leading to promotion of the peer-led programme as part of the national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy
- First independent academic publication describing teenage conception, abortion and birth rates in England before and after introduction of the National Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, with contextual interpretation of falling rates (Wilkinson et al Lancet 2006)
- Systematic review for NICE of the effectiveness of different approaches to screening for Chlamydia infection (Low et al. 2006), showing mismatch between the evidence base and current policy and practice in the National Chlamydia Screening Programme
- Assessment of the outcome of conception in patients treated by stem cell transplantation (SCT) in 229 European centres, showing that pregnancy after SCT has a successful outcome, although allograft recipients should be treated as high risk for maternal and fetal complications (Salooja et al. Lancet 2001)
- First description of altered arterial visco-elastic properties in polycystic ovary syndrome, providing important new evidence for vascular dysfunction in women with this syndrome. (Lakhani et al Circulation 2002)
- First published study of the prevalence and prognosis of endometrial cancer in women with polycystic ovaries. (Pillay et al. Human Reproduction 2005)
- Demonstration that cytoskeletal components and cytoplasmic dynein are required for reorganising the cytoplasm of the mammalian oocyte in readiness for fertilisation (FitzHarris et al., 2007. Dev. Biol.)
- Demonstration of the detrimental adult outcomes of childhood feminising surgery for ambiguous genitalia (Creighton et al Lancet 2001). This work has had a major impact on clinical practice world wide and has led to a complete re-evaluation of the role of feminising surgery.
- A systematic review of commonly used medical treatments for hirsutism in women. (Koulouri O, Conway GS. Clin Endocrinol 2008; [Epub ahead of print].
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