Worldwide pregnancy expertise to collaborate on health opportunities in China

Posted by pt91 at Oct 11, 2016 04:46 PM |
University of Leicester leads new international research network with Chongqing Medical University

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 October 2016

Photograph of Professor Philip Baker available from:

A new project that will twin the expertise of pregnancy and obstetrics researchers across the world with their counterparts in China has been announced with funding from the Chinese government.

Professor Philip Baker, Dean of Medicine and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester, will lead a group of ten pregnancy researchers from around the world (Europe, North America, Asia, South America and Africa) as part of a 111 programme project with Chongqing Medical University. Funding is for six million RMB (approximately equivalent to £600,000) over five years.

The network offers the opportunity to work on a range of projects that will benefit from resources unique to China, such as building the largest cohort of twins to determine the true extent of genes compared with environmental factors.

Professor Baker is the Lead Overseas Applicant of the team which includes Professors David Olson (Roberta, Canada), Richard Saffery (Melbourne, Australia) and Mark Kilby (Birmingham, UK), as well as Tommy Mousa, also from the University of Leicester.  Professor Baker will be coordinating each of the various projects with a partner in Chongqing.

Professor Baker said: “This award will support an international network of pregnancy researchers who will tackle a range of important pregnancy problems that have implications, not just for mothers and babies, but for long-term adult health.”

This network of pregnancy researchers is supported by the 111 programme offered by the Chinese government to facilitate collaboration between Chinese universities and the global research community. The Chinese government have funded 15 programmes, this programme being one of only two in medicine (the other in ophthalmology) and the only one in Western China.

The University of Leicester-led network builds on a pregnancy research centre that Professor Baker established about five years ago in Chongqing – covering all facets of pregnancy research from molecular and cellular laboratory studies through to clinical trials.

Professor Baker added: “We are developing the most comprehensive pregnancy research centre in China.  Collaboration with specialist centres from around the world will enable us investigate new treatment strategies – for China and for the rest of the world.”


Notes to editors:

For more information, contact Professor Philip Baker at

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