Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory celebrates 15 years of helping to save premature babies

Children with disabilities, Early childhood development, Gordon Brown, Sarah Brown, Theirworld

The work at the Edinburgh lab - named after the daughter of Sarah and Gordon Brown - is discovering more about the causes of babies being born early and better ways to care for them.

The lives of premature babies and their mothers are being changed by groundbreaking work being done at the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory.

The Edinburgh lab is discovering more about why babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy and finding better ways to care for them.

It was set up by Theirworld President Sarah Brown and husband Gordon – the former British Prime Minister – in memory of their first child Jennifer. She was born at 33 weeks and died after just 10 days in 2002.

An event to mark 15 years of Theirworld’s support for the lab is being held in Edinburgh today. Speakers include Sarah, JBRL Scientific Director Dr James Boardman and Catherine Smith, a mother who credits the laboratory’s research for saving her baby daughter’s life.

You can support the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory and Theirworld’s work to give every child the best start in life.

The JBRL was set up at the University of Edinburgh by Theirworld (then known as PiggyBankKids) in 2002. It is hosted by the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.

It has created a team of world-class scientists and clinicians whose work is having an impact on the lives of premature babies.

Edinburgh Birth Cohort Baby Goes Into Scanner For Taking Brain Images At Jbrl

An Edinburgh Birth Cohort baby goes into the new scanner for taking brain images at the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

Researchers are trying to minimise some of the life-threatening complications that can arise for mothers and babies.

Part of JBRL’s work is the Edinburgh Birth Cohort – in which babies are being tracked from birth to adulthood in a bid to find new ways of preventing and treating brain injuries in newborns.

It involves 400 children in a £1.5m study that will follow their lifelong health and development.

“This is a unique project which will help give babies the chance of the best start in life and Theirworld is proud to fund it,” said Sarah.

“Since the formation of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, we have been strong supporters of the groundbreaking work of the brilliant young scientists there.”

The Edinburgh Birth Cohort is now using a £1 million scanner to study brain images.

NHS Lothian’s Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, where 7000 babies are born every year, is a key partner of the JBRL. 

It is the regional centre for women with high-risk pregnancies and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the regional centre for tertiary level care of preterm infants.

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