What we do

Our research strategy

Borne’s mission is to improve the lives of babies and mothers through pioneering research into the treatment and prevention of premature birth.



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 Bulletin, 2010

Funding research

Borne funds translational research into the causes of preterm birth in order to develop diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies to reduce the rate of prematurity.

Conducting research

Borne’s research is focused on the pregnancy period and the factors and conditions in pregnancy that may lead to preterm birth.

Key areas of research

Our researchers have been investigating processes and mechanisms at the cellular level that inhibit the expression of pro-labour factors.  Our ongoing work will advance our understanding of the processes that control the activation and deactivation of uterine contractions and the responsible tissue-specific molecular expression patterns. Read more

Healthy pregnancy involves multiple tolerance mechanisms that prevent maternal and fetal immune systems from recognising and rejecting each other.  Laboratory research is ongoing to advance the understanding of the factors and mechanisms that trigger a breakdown in maternal-fetal tolerance, leading to the onset of preterm labour.  Read more

Women with pre-existing heart disease, obesity and HIV infection have an increased risk of preterm labour and of poor fetal growth.  By studying these abnormal pregnancies and the development of tolerance as pregnancy progresses in women with and without these complications, we can understand how derangements in maternal health impact pregnancy.

From these studies, we will establish strategies to optimise fetal growth, neurodevelopment and metabolic health, particularly in association with conditions that trigger preterm birth.

Recent discoveries

Progress is being made. Our recent work includes discoveries on Inflammation, Progesterone and Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).

Grant funding for scientists

Borne has teamed up with Action Medical Research (AMR) to fund project grants from across the UK for translational research to prevent death and disability in babies and children as a result of pregnancy complications.

In 2018, we are co-funding two new research projects in our area of interest.

Borne abroad

Preterm birth is a global predicament and in many low and medium income countries, the incidence of preterm birth and mortality rates are much higher. The causes may be different in these countries, and the need for intervention is far greater.

The research that we are exploring in Sub-Saharan Africa will break new ground in the monitoring and study of pregnant women from early pregnancy. It will enable us to study the outcomes of pregnancy with known gestation age base on early ultrasound scanning. 

We will establish a bio resource to investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for adverse pregnancy outcomes and invest in clinical and laboratory infrastructure to support later interventional studies.

Power pioneering research and innovation.
Find new treatments to prevent preterm birth.