Edinburgh Research Explorer

Jane Norman

(Former employee or visitor)

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Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Medicine, The University of Edinburgh
Menstrual Induction, methods and mechanisms of action
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, The University of Edinburgh

Professional Qualifications

Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, F Med Sci
Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, FRCP (Edin)
Fellowship of the Society of Biology, FSB
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, RCP, Certificate in GCP
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, FCRO
STA Royal College of Medical Colleges, CCT
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, MRCOG
2017Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, FRSE
2013Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, FRCPEd

Clinical Expertise and Specialisation

Preterm Birth

My research in a nutshell

Research Interests

Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health, Director of the Edinburgh Tommy's Centre

Research Interests

My research work focusses on the pregnancy “stressors” of maternal depression/stress, inflammation and hypoxia. These pregnancy stressors are largely responsible for the clinical conditions of gestational diabetes, preterm birth and stillbirth, all of which have devastating effects on pregnant women and their babies. My group aims to understand how these pregnancy stressors cause these clinical conditions and to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies. In all our research endeavours, we use a broad array of research strategies, from basic science, through animal models, to clinical trials and beyond to population based research to address these clinical problems.

Current research projects

  • OPPTIMUM: a multicentre      double blind placebo controlled trial to address the question: Does      progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm labour improve outcome?      (Funded by the Medical Research Council).
  • EMPOWaR: Efficacy of Metformin in      Pregnant Obese Women, a Randomised Controlled Trial. (Funded by MRC and managed      by EME / NIHR)
  • Understanding and treating the link between      obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation and adverse pregnancy outcome (funded      by Tommy’s)
  • AFFIRM: Does promoting increased awareness of      decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth, a stepped wedge cluster      randomised trial? (Funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish      Executive HSRC, Tommy’s and Sands).
  • Investigating the role of iNKT cells as      drivers for preterm labour. (Funded by the Medical Research Council)
  • GRACES - Glibenclamide and metfoRmin versus stAndard Care in gEstational diabeteS – a feasibility open label randomised trial. Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive
  • STOPPIT2 - An open randomised trial of the Arabin pessary to prevent preterm birth in twin pregnancy - STOPPIT- 2. National Institute of Health, Health Technology Assessment Board

  • AFFIRM - Does promoting increased awareness of decreased fetal movements reduce stillbirth, a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial? Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive, (HSRC) and Sands.


The Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre

Professor Jane Norman is Director of the Edinburgh Tommy’s Centre which is funded by the charity Tommy’s. Opened in May 2008 it is located within the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health. The Tommy’s Centre aims to conduct world class research that will have a direct impact on the health of pregnant women and their babies and to translate our research into improved health outcomes both locally and worldwide.

Research Groups

Staff/group members

  • Karen Witherspoon (PA)
  • Lenka Hrabalkova
  • Sonia Whyte
  • Lorraine Adamson
  • Elaine Jack
  • Eleanor Whitaker
  • Emma John
  • Sara van Boeckl
  • Jayne Brady
  • Morag Dalton
  • Gayle Beveridge
  • Angela Niven

Research students

  1. Andrew Thomson         (1995 – 1997)       MD with honours & Bellahouston Prize awarded 1999

  2. MarieAnne Ledingham   (1997 – 1999)       MD awarded 2001

  3. Antony Nicoll                (1998 – 1999)       MSc awarded 2001

  4. Lyndal Harborne          (2002 – 2003)       MD awarded 2005

  5. Inass Osman                (2001 – 2004)       PhD awarded 2005

  6. Shrikant Bollopragada   (2005 – 2007)       Registered for MD

  7. Refaat Youssef              (2005 – 2007)       MSc awarded 2010

  8. Laurie Anderson           (2007 – 2009)       MD awarded 2009

  9. Sarah Barr                   (2009 – 2011)       PhD awarded 2013

  10. Silvia Pedroni               (2009 – 2012)       PhD awarded 2013

  11. Ellie Golightly               (2009 – 2011)       MD awarded 2012

  12. Sara Rinaldi                 (2009 – 2013)       PhD awarded 2013

  13. Nor Shukri                    (2009 – 2011)       PhD awarded 2012

  14. Shalini Rajogopal           (2010 – 2013)       PhD awarded 2013

  15. Lorraine Frew               (2010 – 2013)       PhD thesis awarded 2014

  16. Gemma Sharp              (2010 – 2013)       PhD awarded 2013

  17. Carolyn Chiswick           (2011 -  2016        PhD awarded 2017

  18. Sofia Makieva               (2011 – 2014)       PhD awarded 2015

  19. Rekha Miraskar            (2012 – 2012)       MMedSci awarded 2013

  20. Jess Pennycard            (2013 - 2015       MMedSci awarded 2016

  21. Ashley Boyle                (2014 -  2017        PhD awarded 2018

  22. Caterina Fazzi              (2014 -                    Registered for PhD)

  23. Phoebe Kirkwood         (2015 -                    Registered for PhD)

  24. Sarah Murray              (2015 -                    Registered for PhD)

  25. Ioannis Pavlidis           (2015-                     Registered for PhD)

  26. Ellie Whittaker             (2017                      Registered for PhD


Collaborative Activity

Principal collaborators


Obstetric and midwifery including: Prof P Bennett (Imperial), A Shennan (KCl), S Robson (Newcastle), S Thornton (Penninsula), S Quenby (Warwick), Tina Lavender (Manchester), A Weeks (Liverpool), H Lashen (Sheffield), Dr Cath Calderwood (NHS England and Scottish Government), Mary Ross-Davie (NHS Education Scotland), Prof Fionnuala McAuliffe (Dublin), Dr Mike Geary (Dublin), Dr Alison Hunter (Belfast), Dr Alex Heazell (Manchester), Prof Frederick Froen (Norway) and many other collaborators on OPPTIMUMEMPOWaR and AFFIRM.

Neonatal: Prof N Marlow (UCL)

Statistics / trials: Prof J Norrie (Aberdeen), Dr Ed Juszczak (NPEU, Oxford)

Health economics: Prof Stavros Petrou, (Warwick)

Epidemiology: Prof Jim Chalmers and Dr Rachael Wood (NHS information Scotland)

Physiology: Prof Susan Wray, (Liverpool)

PPI: Janet Scott (Sands)


Philippa Saunders, Fiona Denison, Sarah Stock, Edile Murdoch, Nik Morton, Brian Walker, Gordon Murray, Adriano Rossi, Jonathan Seckl, Rebecca Reynolds, Mandy Drake, Shareen Forbes,  Neil Roberts, Scott Semple, Mark Bastin, Niki Gray, Chris Weir, Ben Stenson, Mark Strachan, Sarah Cunningham-Burley.

Administrative Roles

Current Responsibilities

Edinburgh Director of the Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health CRH lead for “Theme 3” of the Centre for Reproductive Health: Theme 3 “Developmental programming by steroid hormones and reproductive resilience” Vice Principal Equality and Diversity

National and international 1. Journal editorships Molecular Human Reproduction, Associate Editor (2012 onwards) Faculty Member F1000 (2011 onwards)

2. Grant awarding committees CSO Health Services Research 2012 onwards GAPPs Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative, 2012 onwards Finland National Academy of Sciences 2012 onwards (Chair 2014)

3. Membership of research consortia Deputy Lead, Reproductive Health and Childbirth Specialty Research Group (Scotland), 2012 onwards NIHR/ RCOG Preterm Birth Clinical Studies group, 2010 onwards, member since 2008 Global Obstetric Network {GONET) 2010 onwards, Vice Chair since 2013

4. Work for specialist societies Executive committee, British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society, 2010 onwards Member of Council, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 2011 onwards

5. Trial management committees Member of Data Monitoring Committee, INFANT study [Intelligent Fetal Monitoring and Assessment] HTA funded 2009 onwards Chair of Trial Steering Committee, MRC funded I2S2 study, 2008 onwards Chair of Trial Steering Committee, EME funded Tablet study, 2011 onwards

6. Other Member of the NETSCC, Health Technology Assessment programme – Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Panel, 2013 onwards Member, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit Clinical Trials Advisory Group, 2012 onwards Chair, NICE Guideline Development Group, Preterm labour and birth, 2012 onwards Member, Stillbirth Subgroup, Child and Maternal Health Division of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, 2011 onwards Chair, Technical Advisory Group for Reproductive and Sexual health section of the International Classification of Disease, World Health Organisation), 2010 onwards

Administrative Roles

Vice-Principal People and Culture.

  Areas of responsibility as Vice-Principal People and Culture

  • Oversight of the University strategy and performance in the area of equality and diversity
  • Provide academic leadership and perspective on people strategies and organizational culture

 Works closely with the Director of Human Resources and Director of the Institute of Academic Development.

 University level committees

  • People Committee
  • CJCNC (Combined Joint Consultation and Negotiation Committee) SCRAA Standing Consultative Committee for Redundancy Avoidance
  • Advancing Gender Equality Working Group
  • Race Equality Charter Mark Committee
  • Equality and Diversity Monitoring and Research Committee
  • Central Management Group
  • Equality and Diversity Committee
  • Equality Management Group
  • Ethical Fundraising Advisory Group
  • Post approval group


I teach MBChB undergraduates during their clinical attachments. I also currently teach on the Biomedical Sciences course (year 2) and the Reproductive Biology Honours course (year 4).



I teach postgraduate research students registered under my name for an MD / PhD. I teach postgraduate clinical trainees and act as educational supervisor for some of these students.

Visiting and Research Positions

Visiting Professorship, Loma Linda University, CA, USA, 2004)

Visiting Professorship awarded once or twice annually in which outstanding physiologists spend several days at Loma Linda. Previous incumbents include Prof John Challis and Prof David Barker


Sims Black Travelling Professorship, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist, 2005

The Sims Black Professorship enables overseas centres to receive a visitor who will contribute to postgraduate education by presenting lectures / seminars and group discussions and who will gather information about systems of postgraduate education and training. A limited number of awards are available in one year. Five were awarded in 2005.


Visiting Professorship to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, 2006


Visiting Professorship to New South Wales, Australia (Universities of Newcastle and Sydney) 2009


Henderson Lecturer, University of Toronto, Canada, 2010.


Arnaldo Bruno Prize, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italian Academy of Sciences) 2011

The Accademia (founded in 1603) is the oldest scientific academy in the world, and includes Galileo Galilei amongst its former fellows. Previous winners of this award include: Prof John Challis (Canada) 2003, Prof Linda Giudice (USA) 2006, and Prof Fred Naftolin (USA) 2002.



Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society of Malaysia Travelling Fellowship. April 2013. Risks and benefits of induction of labour at term. Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kuching, April 2013.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society of Malaysia Travelling Fellowship. April 2013. Preterm birth, an update on prevention. Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu April 2013.


Research activities & awards

  1. preventing preterm birth with the Arabin pessary

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. European

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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Research press coverage

  1. STOPPIT-2 Media Coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

  2. Clinical Trials in Pregnancy

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

View all (19) »

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