Greater Manchester

Women & Children Research Domain

Manchester aims to be a leading centre in the UK, and internationally, for the promotion of the health and well-being of women and children. We focus on reproductive medicine, gynaecology, pregnancy, child health and genetic medicine to transform the diagnosis and management of both common and rare diseases.

The Women and Children Domain collaborates closely with The University of Manchester’s Evolution, systems and genomics and Cellular and developmental systems strategic research domains to ensure that scientific discoveries can be channelled towards clinical practice. These collaborations focus on the understanding of gene and genome function and the processes that are fundamental to our understanding of life, such as basic cell and developmental biology processes.

Manchester’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC) is one of only three Tommy’s Pregnancy Research Centres in  the UK; with dedicated research laboratories and clinics embedded in the clinical setting of tertiary care obstetrics and  gynaecology.

Work on maternity services is integrated with the Midwifery research group (Lavender, UoA3), aimed at understanding experiences of women and health professionals and developing effective public health interventions.

We deliver world-class medical services for women, babies and children

  • UK’s largest NHS-funded IVF service and related research programme – 1 in 6 couples in the UK experience fertility problems and seek specialist reproductive medicine services. St Mary’s established the first NHS-funded IVF service in the UK in 1983. Manchester is a major UK centre for fertility preservation for cancer patients, including sperm, oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation. The reproductive medicine service hosts clinical trials in IVF treatments and research into early human embryo development, implantation and child growth. Our fertility preservation clinic stores tissue from men and women undergoing cancer treatments, including sperm (since 1977), ovarian tissue (since 1996) and oocytes (2010).
  • Gynaecology services. Our Gynaecology research portfolio is extensive and includes gynaecological cancer, fertility, early human development, pregnancy disorders and urogynaecology.
  • Full maternity care for women. Manchester is home to the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, the largest pregnancy research group in Europe. NHS and university clinical staff and researchers work together on our innovative and successful clinical research clinics that improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes and maternity care. The Manchester Antenatal Vascular Clinic helps women who have a high risk of hypertension in pregnancy by providing additional monitoring, scans & support. The Rainbow Clinic helps women and their families who have experienced the death of a baby in a previous pregnancy. These, and our other clinical research clinics, are unique to Manchester.
  • Comprehensive specialist paediatric services including paediatric ophthalmologyburns and plasticsdental and CAMHS services.Based on our specialist expertise in managing rare diseases, we have strong representation in the European Reference Networks.
  • We are the North West’s major centre for Genetic Medicine. Rare diseases are those that affect fewer than 1 in 2,000 people. In the UK, 1 in 17 people are affected by a rare disease. The majority of such diseases are inherited. The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine has a stellar research programme defining the causes of many rare diseases, using new genetic technologies including next generation sequencing and developing treatment strategies based on this new information.
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