Centre for Human Reproduction

Centre Overview

Established in 2007, the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital was recognised in 2015 by the Academic Council as one of the university's designated research centres. 

The Director is Professor Michael Turner and the Centre's Advisory Board includes: Dr Brendan Egan, Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, Dr Mairead Kennelly, Prof Richard Layte, Dr Dan McCartney, Dr Jan Miletin, Dr Ann Molloy, Prof Carel le Roux, Prof Michael Turner.

The main research focus of the Centre is on modifiable pregnancy risk factors including maternal obesity, gestational diabetes mellitus, aberrant fetal growth, inadequate maternal diet, folic acid supplementation, cigarette smoking, infection and exercise. Since 2010, Professor Turner has served as the National Lead for the HSE Clinical Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and, as a result, the Centre as also provided leadership on maternity services implementation science projects.

The Centre enables interdisciplinary research and has developed a strong collaborative relationship working on pregnancy and nutrition with Dr Dan McCartney and his colleagues at the School of Biological Sciences in the Dublin Institute of Technology.

In 2015, Professor Turner served on the

  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland's Advisory Group on Folic Acid Food Fortification
  • RCPI Policy Group on Obesity,
  • HIQA Advisory Ggroup on Standards in the Maternity Services
  • HIQA Technology Assessment Group
  • Department of Health's Advisory Group on Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act
  • National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) Development Group for the Irish Maternity Early Warning System (IMEWS) Guideline
  • HSE Implementation Groups for Maternity Services
  • First National Maternity Strategy Report Group.

Improving the Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Thu, 3 March 16 16:41

UCD Researchers have demonstrated the impact of strict pre-analytical sample handling procedures on the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in pregnant women.  The prospective observational study found that the prevalence of GDM was 2.7 times higher if standards for pre-analytic prevention of glycolysis in the maternal samples were strictly implemented compared with the customary hospital conditions.  These findings raise the possibility that suboptimal implementation of measures to prevent glycolysis is causing GDM to be under-diagnosed across the country, with potentially serious clinical consequences.