Quality Information + Quality Innovation = Quality Outcomes.

APEC once again bring together some of the world’s leading researchers in the field of pre-eclampsia and hypertension in pregnancy. We will have a packed schedule with RISING STARS leading a new discussion programme in the morning session and Large Research project analysis in the afternoon.

RISING STAR presentations may be viewed by clicking the speaker’s names. These will used as basis for conversation in the morning discussions with Chairs Prof David Williams, Dr Lisa Hinton and Prof Jenny Myers.

Event information

This year’s Expert Day once again takes place online – via Zoom – where delegates will be welcomed by APEC CEO Marcus Green, and APEC Chair of Trustees Prof Andrew Shennan OBE. Keynote speakers include Prof Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser DHSC Professor of Obstetrics at King’s College London, Prof Marian Knight MBE, Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit

  • Date: 16th November 2023
  • Time: 09:00 – 17:00 GMT
  • Venue: Live on Zoom

This event is free to Clinicians (suggested donation £25) and £100 for NON clinicians. Register online →

Rising Stars – what’s changed for 2023?

2023 is a little different to how we have done things in the past and different from how many other scientific meetings are run. To enable many new voices to be heard in an interactive environment, the new research Rising Star Presentations will be ONLY available to view in advance on this page.

At the meeting, each Rising Star will join one of three discussion panels to talk about their research  project and share findings. This new format will provide ample opportunities to engage with new research and help decide which presentation is your favourite when the voting comes around before lunch!

Keynote speakers

Prof Lucy Chappell

Chief Scientific Adviser DHSC Professor of Obstetrics at King’s College London

Prof Marian Knight MBE

Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit

Speakers and presenters

We’re delighted to confirm a varied and interesting line-up of guest speakers and presenters. You can learn more about each speaker below – or download our 2023 Speaker Guide.

SESSION 1: Group Discussion with Rising Stars

Chair: Prof Jenny Myers (09:15 – 09:50)

King’s College London

National scale up of Cradle in Sierra Leone

Dr Alex Ridout is a Senior Registrar in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at St Thomas’ Hospital and Research Fellow at King’s College London. She completed her thesis on “Personalising Prediction of Preterm Birth” this year, supervised by Professor Shennan (King’s Outstanding Thesis Award). Her interest in high-risk pregnancy spans high and low-income settings; she is currently co-ordinating the NIHR Global Health Research Group CRIBS. CRIBS is made up of a team of >90 researchers, implementors and healthcare workers working together to develop simple, scalable innovations and research capacity to improve maternal health in Sierra Leone. Within CRIBS, Alex has been leading CRADLE-5, a trial evaluating the effectiveness and national implementation of the CRADLE Vital Signs Alert device and training package into routine maternity care in Sierra Leone.

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Angiogenic markers and maternal echocardiographic indices in women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

I am a clinical academic radiographer/sonographer working in Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals FT, practice fellow for National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC), Newcastle University PhD candidate. My research interests focus on prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Currently I work on co-production of a behaviour intervention to support women in adherence to aspirin prophylactic treatment in pregnancies at risk of pre-eclampsia.

King’s College London

Blood Pressure Variability in Pregnancy

PhD candidate at King’s College London.

Milly is a third year PhD student in the Department of Women and Children’s Health at King’s College London, She has a research interest in blood pressure variability and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

University of Manchester

Cardiovascular morbidity following preterm preeclampsia

Laura is currently an ST5 in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Her main research interests include hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and interpregnancy cardiovascular health. Under the supervision of Professor Jenny Myers, she has experience in setting up and running feasibility RCTs and CTIMPs in pregnancy and the postnatal period, including CHronic hypERtension and L-citRulline studY (CHERRY), Beetroot in Pregnancy (BiP) and Postnatal enalapril to Improve Cardiovascular fUnction following preterm Pre-eclampsia (PICk-UP). Laura’s MRC-funded PhD set out to explore the relationship between pre-eclampsia and postnatal cardiovascular dysfunction and its potential reversibility through a feasibility RCT (PICk-UP) and exploratory animal models.

King’s College London

Timing of Delivery in pre-eclampsia

I am a specialist trainee in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. My research interest is global maternal health and my PhD is focused on timing of delivery in preeclampsia in India and Zambia. I am passionate abut finding evidence to improve maternal health, in settings where it matters the most.

SESSION 2: Group Discussion with Rising Stars

Chair: Dr Lisa Hinton (09:55 – 10:25)

King’s College London

Policy Labs and Impact in LMIC settings

I am a Clinical Research Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I am currently undertaking my PhD at King’s College London which focuses on evaluation of novel point of care tests in pregnant women to improve triage and referral in Sierra Leone, which has one of the worse maternal mortality rates in the world. The work will include an assessment of a point of care creatinine test in pregnant women with acute kidney injury, a test to predict pre-eclampsia and an evaluation of shock index as a triage tool and predictor of poor outcome in pregnant women who are bleeding. The Policy Lab I will be discussing today is part of work designed to better understand the context for successful translation of new research evidence generated by these studies, and others by our group, into improved pregnancy outcomes in Sierra Leone.

Bristol University

Barriers to low-dose aspirin adherence in pregnant women across sociodemographic groups: need for better communication and information

I am a Health Psychology Research Fellow at Bristol University and co-lead of the Health Psychology Interventions Group. My research investigates women’s and professionals’ behaviour relating to medicines adherence in women with pregnancy-and chronic-disease related indications. I am currently exploring barriers to achieving low-dose aspirin adherence in underserved women and professionals, to ensure appropriately-targeted interventions. My other research explores acceptability a digital behaviour-change intervention for women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) across four countries, and I am the behavioural research lead for RECOGNISE, evaluating acceptability and patient behaviour in a feasibility study of continuous glucose monitoring for women with GDM.

Newcastle Hospitals

A co-produced systematic review and metaethnography of barriers and facilitators of adherence to aspirin prophylaxis in pregnancy

I am a clinical academic radiographer/sonographer working in Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals FT, practice fellow for National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC), Newcastle University PhD candidate. My research interests focus on prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Currently I work on co-production of a behaviour intervention to support women in adherence to aspirin prophylactic treatment in pregnancies at risk of pre-eclampsia.

University of Oxford

Hypertensive Disease in Pregnancy: An Overlooked Strategy for Reducing Associated Cardiovascular Risks

With a background in nursing and midwifery, my interest in pre-eclampsia research stems from my time as a research midwife where I supported studies involving hypertension in pregnancy, namely the BUMP 1 & 2 trials. I went on to complete a master’s in public health and more recently worked as a trial manager on PANORAMIC (a Covid treatment trial) before starting doctoral studies in April of this year. My research , which builds upon my master’s thesis, explores the postnatal experiences of under-served women affected by hypertensive disease in pregnancy with a view to informing the development of a complex intervention aimed at reducing future cardiovascular disease risks for women and babies affected by the disorder. I’m particularly interested in addressing health inequalities, and the complex web of factors that drive them, with an emphasis on understanding the relationship between trauma and cardiovascular disease risk and how the healthcare system itself can perpetuate inequalities or cause harm.

SESSION 3: Group Discussion with Rising Stars

Chair: Prof David Williams (10:35 – 11:10)

University of Manchester

Immune dysregulation of the mid-secretory endometrium in women with a history of severe early onset pre-eclampsia

I am a final year PhD student and Clinical Research Fellow working at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. My focus is studying the mid-secretory endometrium in women who have had early onset pre-eclampsia, to determine if there are any factors that could predispose to recurrence.

North West London NHS Trust

S-Nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) for the treatment of severe preeclampsia

I am an ST5 specialist trainee in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with an interest in preeclampsia. I have worked with Professor Christoph Lees on a number of publications and hope to work as a research fellow on a project trialling the use of GSNO for the treatment of severe preeclampsia.

University of Oxford

Developing a lifestyle intervention with pregnant women and healthcare professionals: a summary of findings so far

Lucy is a fourth year DPhil student at The University of Oxford working in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, supervised by Professor Richard McManus, Dr Katherine Tucker, Dr Nerys Astbury and Dr Jennifer MacLellan. Lucy is a qualified midwife and worked as a rotational midwife in Manchester and Milton Keynes hospitals. She completed a Masters at Oxford Brookes University in Applied Human Nutrition to develop more of an understanding around the influence of diet on health outcomes.

King’s College London

Eclampsia in Teenagers

Dr Laura van der Krogt is a Clinical Research Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King’s College. She did her medical training at Barts and the London, School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as an Intercalated Bachelor of Science in Women’s Health at King’s College. She is currently doing research into the prediction and prevention of preterm birth. She also has a keen interest in global and maternal health including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The work she will be presenting today focuses on the incidence of eclampsia in adolescents in low- and middle- income settings.

University of Birmingham

Understanding human decidual immune cell function in pre-eclampsia

I am a Research Fellow at the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on the role of macrophages in health and disease. She is currently leading research to understand the function of decidual macrophages in healthy placentas, and how their function might change in preeclampsia. Macrophages are vital to maintain tolerance at the materno-fetal interface and control the local inflammatory environment. Understanding macrophage function within the placenta, will help us understand how preeclampsia develops, and may highlight novel treatment targets

Theme 1 Presentations: Information

(12:45 – 14:00) Chair: Dr Kate Harding

Cambridge University

POPPY – Preconception to pOst-partum study of cardiometabolic health in Primigravid PregnancY

I am a dual trainee in Clinical Pharmacology and General Medicine, and has a diploma in Obstetric Medicine. Her clinical interests are Obstetric Medicine and management of hypertension. She is currently undertaking a PhD studying women’s cardiovascular health in relation to pregnancy and the influence of preconception factors. She is the Physician Trainee representative for the McDonald Obstetric Medicine Society.

Oxford University

Self-monitoring of blood pressure during and self-management following pregnancy A discussion with the BUMP team University

My research expertise is in hypertension during and following pregnancy. The research aims to better understand hypertension and cardiovascular risk, particularly during pregnancy, and to develop methods of improving care.

Oxford University and OUH NHS Foundation Trust

Self-monitoring of blood pressure during and self-management following pregnancy A discussion with the BUMP team University

I am a consultant cardiologist and general internal medicine physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust with speciality interests in Cardiac CT, advanced echo and obstetric cardiology. I also hold a post-doctoral research fellow role at the University of Oxford within the Leeson group of RDM CV Medicine, having completed my D Phil and a BHF CRT-F in 2022 on the postpartum management of hypertensive pregnancy.

Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet

Consultant obstetrician, PhD and MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care. Working in Denmark at Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet.


Self-monitoring of blood pressure during and self-management following pregnancy A discussion with the BUMP team University

University of Cambridge

Association between antenatal diagnosis of late fetal growth restriction and educational outcomes in mid-childhood: A UK prospective cohort study with long-term data linkage study

Dr. Catherine Aiken is an Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the University of Cambridge. She leads a research team that investigates the long-term outcomes for children who are born following complicated pregnancies. A key focus of this work is identifying children at risk of not attaining expected educational milestones, with a view to early support and intervention.

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Angiogenic biomarker testing – recent developments

Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Verlohren, MD, PhD, is Professor of Obstetrics and a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Department of Obstetrics, Charité University Medicine, Berlin. He is specialized in Maternal-Fetal Medicine with a clinical interest in high risk pregnancy care as well as prenatal diagnosis of fetal malformations. After studying Medicine in Marburg, Berlin and Lausanne, he was trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Charité Berlin. He performed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin and a Clinical Fellowship at the Fetal Medicine Unit, St. Georges Hospital, London. His main research interest is preeclampsia, has published extensively basic and clinical research on that topic. He is member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Perinatal Medicine (EAPM), Treasurer of the German Society of Prenatal Medicine and Obstetrics (DGPGM), member of the Editorial Board of Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy as well as Associate Editor of Archives of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Theme 2 Presentations: Innovation

(14:20 – 15:20) Chair: Dr Kate Harding

University of Manchester

STARshiP: Screen and Treat with Aspirin to Reduce Pre-eclampsia

Jenny is Professor of Obstetrics & Maternal Medicine within the Maternal & Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester and Consultant Obstetrician, St Mary’s Hospital. As an obstetrician, Jenny works on the labour ward of this busy tertiary unit (>9000 births), co-leads the Maternal Medicine team and leads two translational research clinics for women with hypertension and diabetes. She is also the Hospital Chief Clinical Informatics Officer for St Mary’s Managed Clinical Service (18000 births). She currently runs a portfolio of clinical and laboratory science studies which span vascular and placental biology research, preclinical models, observational cohort studies and intervention trials before, during and after pregnancy. Jenny is the chief/principal investigator for several multicenter studies related to hypertension and diabetes in pregnancy. Jenny is a Consulting Editor for Plos Medicine, President of the RCOG Blair Bell Research Society, lead Obstetrician for the National Diabetes in Pregnancy Audit and has served on several NICE committees.

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Basky Thilaganathan is Director of Fetal Medicine at St George’s Hospital, London. He has authored over 450 publications with a major interest is placental dysfunction leading to pre-eclampsia, growth restriction and stillbirth (TED talk). He led on the algorithm-based screening at St Georges which has led to an 80% reduction in preterm pre-eclampsia and a 30% reduction in perinatal death. He is the Clinical Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement located at the RCOG and is Editor Emeritus of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He represents the RCOG on the UK National Screening Committee and the DH Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle oversight committee. The unit he leads was recently covered in a TV series and the Times magazine.

Morgan Innovation and Technology


As CEO of manufacturing firm Morgan Innovation and Technology, Nigel leads a dedicated team of experts in developing new products that have a significant positive impact on society. His company works with highly talented inventors to develop their products, supporting them with expertise in electronic engineering and providing services from R&D through to bringing products to market. Over the years they have launched a range of products from pain relief machines to anti-snoring devices and sophisticated diagnostic technologies. Morgan IAT have won a range of awards for innovation in manufacturing over the years including two highly prestigious Queen’s Awards.

King’s College London, St. Thomas’ Hospital

Global Health Perspectives

Maple Grove Hospital/Bethel University

Global Health Perspectives

Sue’s has done research in the area of perinatal bereavement and works as a Perinatal Nurse Navigator at Maple Grove Hospital, with families who have suffered the loss of a baby. She is also an adjunct nursing professor at Bethel University. Sue along with her colleague Lynn Zdechlik have started a high risk perinatal program in Uganda to save the lives of mothers and babies in childbirth. Sue is currently serving on the board with the International Stillbirth Alliance.

University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Global Health Perspectives

I am a graduate from the Saratov State Medical University, Russia, Currently a Senior Registrar in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. I am a member of the West African College of Surgeons and national Post graduate medical college of Obstetrics and gynecology in Nigeria. I have interest in Fetomaternal medicine. I serve as the Assistant General Secretary of The Society of Gynaeoncology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Cross River State Chapter- the organisation that Pioneered the Preeclampsia Awareness Week in Nigeria. I am married with three Children.

Action on Preeclampsia (APEC) Ghana

Global Health Perspectives

Newborn Health Activist and Community Engagement and involvement Specialist with a background in medical law and ethics. She is a four-time survivor of PE . In 2017, she founded Action on Preeclampsia Ghana (APEC Ghana), the sole national Preeclampsia patient advocacy organization in Ghana with the aim of creating awareness to reduce Infant and maternal mortality associated with Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy.

Theme 3 Presentations: Outcomes

(15:45 – 16.55) Chair: Prof Andrew Shennan OBE

King’s College London


I am a specialist trainee in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, based in London and currently working at St Thomas’ Hospital. She is the trial co-ordinator for the PARROT-2 trial, a multi-centre randomised controlled trial investigating repeat placental growth factor testing for the reduction in adverse perinatal and maternal outcomes. She has always been fascinated by pre-eclampsia and is passionate about improving outcomes for women and their babies through clinical research.

University of Manchester

Giant Panda

Lexington Communications

PlGF implementation in England, campaigning lessons for the rest of the UK

Bea Cadwallader is a Senior Account Director at Lexington, a strategic communications agency.
She specialises in healthcare campaigns, media relations and issues management for charity, MedTech and pharmaceutical clients.
She’s passionate about tackling health inequalities, and worked with Action on Pre-eclampsia and Roche Diagnostics to increase access to pre-eclampsia testing. Previously, she’s campaigned to drive awareness of ethnic disparities in Group B Strep infection, diversify the ethnicity of potential stem cell donors, and improve maternal health outcomes in low- and lower-middle income countries.
She’s delivered multiple award-winning campaigns and was listed in PR Week UK’s 30 under 30.

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