GL Brown Prize Lecture: Rachel Tribe, King's College London, UK

30 April 2018

MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


To register interest in attending, please email The seminar will be followed by light refreshments and the opportunity to meet with staff and students.

How to Expect the Unexpected: Prediction and Prevention of Preterm Birth

Prediction and Prevention of Preterm Birth

Preterm birth is a global problem, responsible for over a million deaths each year. In addition, 15 million survivors of preterm birth are more likely to experience physical and cognitive difficulties, as well as increased risk of disease in later life. Some progress has been made over the last twenty years to reduce the number of preterm births (birth before 37 weeks of gestation), but this has been limited by poor understanding of the physiology of human parturition and a lack of investment into potential therapeutics.  

This lecture will briefly review current theories and discuss how a multidisciplinary approach may help unravel the complexity of the spontaneous preterm syndrome.  Dr Tribe will discuss her research which spans from ‘mouse to woman’ and ‘bench to bedside’ with a focus on understanding the contribution of inflammation, infection and the innate immune system to preterm birth, and the development of potential treatment strategies.  

The goal of this lecture is to engage physiologists with this important area of research and demonstrate how we can play a pivotal role in the translation research pathway and provide invaluable insight into medical problems.  


Rachel Tribe trained as a physiologist at the University of Sheffield and gained her PhD at UMDS, London. Currently, Rachel is a Reader in Women’s Health at King’s College London where she heads up an active and well-funded research team of scientists and clinicians. Rachel has been a Member of The Physiological Society since 1996. She became a Trustee in 2013 and is Chair of the Membership and Grants Committee and a co-Trustee lead for ‘Equality and Diversity’ within The Society. She is committed to the promotion of physiology through teaching and research, and the active engagement of schoolchildren and the wider public in The Society’s activities.

Rachel’s work focuses on translational research aimed at tackling preterm birth and other pregnancy-associated conditions. Her specific research interests include uterine smooth muscle physiology/pharmacology, the innate immune system in pregnancy, and the identification of biomarkers for prediction of preterm birth. 

About the GL Brown Prize Lecture

In 1975 The Physiological Society established the GL Brown Prize Lecture in his memory, this is an annual series of peripatetic lectures aimed to stimulate an interest in physiology. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, this lecture is published in Experimental Physiology.