Maternal fatty acids and the 2,000 Women Study
A large scale, diverse biobank of samples is necessary for the generation of reliable, replicable results. This ambitious longditudinal study aims to recruit 2,000 women to provide samples to be used in discovery science.
Over 600 women have now been recruited to this study, which monitors and collects samples from women from week 12 of their first pregnancy and follows their development through to birth.
At each point, the maternal fatty acid, metabolomic and lipidomic profiles will be investigated, harnessing discovery science to accurately phenotype different profiles of women.
The study will help us identify potential diagnostic markers of risk and develop predictive algorithms with which to screen all women in early pregnancy and, potentially, before conception.
Maternal fatty acids
Our work has shown that changes in the maternal fatty acid profile (for example, levels of fish oils in the mother’s blood) can affect the length of pregnancy – and thus the risk of preterm birth. The biobank created from the 2,000 women study has already enabled two PhD students to study this link further.
PhD graduate AnnieBelle Sassine has studied the mechanisms involved in the transfer of maternal fatty acids to the fetus, understanding the roles of the key placental transporters.
PhD student Noushin Masoudi is continuing AnnieBelle’s work, studying the best way to correct a fatty acid imbalance and the impact of changing the fatty acid profile on the maternal immune system.