In the UK, 40,000 babies are born preterm each year and these account for 70% of infant deaths posing a serious clinical problem. Preterm babies suffer a high rate of mortality and morbidity, and babies that manage to survive have an increased incidence of severe long-term disability. We need to be able to predict who is at risk of preterm delivery in order optimize patient care around delivery. We also need new agents to prevent the premature onset of labour.
We have identified PLC-L1 as a key protein in preventing premature uterine muscle contraction and labour. However we do not know exactly how PLC-L1 prevents the uterus responding to factors that can stimulate labour. This PhD student will investigate the role of PLC-L1 in keeping the uterus quiescent.
The information gained will have significant implications to women suffering preterm labour as it will aid the development of a new clinical test to predict who is likely to go in labour early. The project will also give information essential to the development of new drugs to prevent premature uterine contractions and premature delivery.
Our Grace PhD student started in April 2015 - sign up to our newsletter using the link above to receive updates about this study.