Translational Biomedical Research Award

The Trust made an additional, one-off award in 2021 to support translational research which had been disrupted by the pandemic. The Trustees made up to £1m available to support a single, outstanding research project, in any discipline or disease area, which was at an advanced stage of translation and able to demonstrate a clear pathway to translate research findings into benefit for patients.

First trimester placental ultrasound to predict fetal growth restriction: The OxPLUS Study

Professor Sally Collins, University of Oxford

Grant award: £974,226


Funding was awarded to support research which aims to develop a screening test for Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR), which is the most common cause of stillbirth in the UK. FGR babies usually have abnormally small placentas at the time of the dating scan. Professor Collins’ team have developed a computer algorithm, the OxNNet Toolkit, that can provide fully automated measurements of placental size from a simple 3D-ultrasound scan early in pregnancy and estimate blood flow within it. Building on data collected before the pandemic, the study will conduct a trial involving 3500 women to assess the effectiveness of the Toolkit in identifying women at higher risk of FGR early in pregnancy. If successful, the trial would enable women at higher risk to be offered additional ultrasound scans later in pregnancy, and babies with FGR to be delivered earlier. The trial will also enable the team to assess potential therapies which could prevent FGR from developing.