About Us

About Borne

Borne is a medical research charity working to prevent premature birth. We aim to save lives, prevent disability and create lifelong health for mothers and babies.

Our mission

Funding and delivering research

We bring scientists and clinicians together to advance our knowledge of pregnancy and childbirth, and translate research into better care for women and babies.

Collaborating to speed up progress

We foster clinical engagement and scientific collaboration by supporting an open source scientific database and forum to share analysis, findings and techniques.

Attracting and developing talent

We encourage talented clinicians and scientists through financial support to establish their careers and specialise in this area of scientific need.

The largest barrier to the development of diagnostic treatment and prevention strategies for preterm birth and stillbirth is our inability to comprehend the biological processes of pregnancy and childbirth.

World Health Organisation, 2010

Our research strategy

What we research

Borne focuses on pregnancy and the factors and conditions that may lead to preterm birth. 
We examine the biological processes of pregnancy and childbirth to understand changes in the maternal environment and their significance, and the mechanisms involved in normal and abnormal labour.

What we fund

Borne funds translational research into the causes of preterm birth. This spans discovery science through to the clinical trial of new medicines.

By supporting early stage research, we enable scientists to apply for funding for further and larger studies, maximising the contribution of Borne supporters.

Our Founder: Professor Mark Johnson

As a physician and obstetrician, Mark saw the devastating effects of prematurity first hand. He felt frustrated by his inability to do more for his patients.

With his expertise in obstetrics and research, Mark was in a unique position to tackle the problem of premature birth. He set up Borne as a research appeal with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the charity became independent in 2016.

As Borne’s Chief Scientific Officer, Mark is responsible for framing and delivering the strategy for research funded by Borne. A Scientific Advisory Board reviews all research proposals and oversees the measurement and reporting of Borne’s progress and impact.

What we do

Fund research on preterm birth

We fund two significant research programmes of research at Imperial College’s laboratories at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital:

  • Identifying what triggers premature labour to develop new treatments that can delay its onset.
  • Understanding the maternal immune system during pregnancy and its impact on premature birth. 

Support the best scientific ideas

We are committed to supporting the best scientific ideas and new projects from the field.

We offer joint project grants for scientists in partnership with Action Medical Research. We have awarded more than £1 million to new projects to date, and have announced a call to award another £500,000 in 2020.

Support the development of clinical and scientific talent 

Borne is committed to supporting clinicians who are looking to develop their academic careers in the area of obstetrics, and helping promising post doctoral scientists in this field with their transition to independence. 

Borne has joined forces with the Medical Research Council to offer two jointly funded fellowship awards:

Our memberships and partnerships

Association of Medical Research Charities
National Institute for Health Research
Pregnancy and Baby Network
Pregnancy & Baby Charities Network

Borne in Australia : our collaboration with HMRI

Borne Ambassadors Dean and Sarah Mumm have started a collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) in Australia.

The collaboration supports the work of Laureate Professor Roger Smith, who leads the Institute’s pregnancy and reproduction research there.

Through funds raised locally, Borne supports the development of a novel drug delivery system direct to the cells in the uterus. There is an ongoing effort to fund a scientist at HMRI who will work on joint projects with Borne.

Our governance

Executive Leadership

Our day-to-day activities are managed by Borne’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees ensures Borne takes a well-rounded approach to everything we do and the decisions we make as an organisation.

Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board reviews all research studies proposed and funded by Borne to assess their scientific merit.
  • Tom Macdonald
  • Kate Costeloe
  • Hilary Critchley
  • Salim Khakoo
  • Scott Nelson

Be part of the solution.
Help improve our understanding of prematurity.