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Pre-eclampsia affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks) or soon after their baby is delivered. Our research examines the abnormal maternal responses in the immune system and explores if we can predict and prevent Pre-eclampsia.

Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology


Our Pre-eclampsia research is led by Manu Vatish and Chris Redman. 

Our work focuses on how extracellular vesicles released from the placenta into the  maternal circulation cause the syndrome. The vesicles represent a novel form of feto maternal cell signaling and the characterization of these nano‐sized vesicles required new technologies to be adopted, in particular the pioneering use of Nanoparticle Tracking   Analysis, in partnership with Nanosight Ltd. To progress the science, Ian Sargent founded   the Oxford Extracellular Vesicle Interest Group.

We also examine clinical preeclampsia with particular reference to investigating placental biomarkers and their ability to predict preeclampsia. Two markers, Placental Like Growth Factor (PlGF) and soluble FMS-like Tyrosine Kinase 1 (sFlt-1) have been characterized in preeclampsia using platforms from Alere and Roche Diagnostics. Further studies using these markers in intervention studies are underway.

Manu Vatish also examines the role of these vesicles in gestational diabetes and other placentally derived diseases. He has initiated a new collaboration with Professor Buchan and Dr. Sutherland (Nuffield Department of Medicine) examining pericyte biology in the placenta.





Our team

Selected publications

Related research themes