Creating a rationale for personalised spontaneous-preterm-birth risk management -an in vitro model of bacteria-hostinnateimmune interactions in the re

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Women's Health


Thecervicovaginalenvironment (microbiome, innate immunesystem,andmetabolome)is an importantcontributor toahealthy pregnancy1.Risk of prematurebirthisassociated withchanges in resident microbial community,altered immune responsesand inflammation.Wehypothesisethat the resultantinflammationaffectsvaginal epitheliaand cervixintegrity and increases risk ofascending infection.In clinical studies, wehave identifiedapanel of metabolites and bacteria thatcan predictspontaneous preterm birth in UK women; wearevalidating this in a separatesub-Saharan Africa cohort.Thesestudiesgive insight intothepregnantcervicovaginalenvironmentas well as providingbiological samples for mechanistic studies.

Aim of the investigation: This laboratory-based PhDwill investigate theimpactof an altered cervicovaginal environment on epithelial cell function and immune response in the presence and absence ofbacteria/bacterialproducts of metabolism.Theoverarching goal is to informthefutureuse oftargetedprobioticsand/orantibioticstrategiesto prevent preterm birth.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013700/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2025
2604615 Studentship MR/N013700/1 30/09/2021 29/06/2025 Rebecca Posner