News & Events


Today, organisations around the world join forces to raise awareness on preeclampsia. On May 22, 2017, the World Preeclampsia Day took place for the very first time and today, the world shall again pay particular attention to preeclampsia, a disorder that claims the lives of more that 76,000 women and over 500,000 infants worldwide every year. Ending Eclampsia published a great infographic that that can be downloaded from their website.


The EU-funded project IMPROvED established a unique collaborative framework between innovative SMEs and a network of European clinicians and Researchers to enable the development of a clinically robust predictive blood test for pre-eclampsia in first time pregnant women. Download our latest press release here.


We congratulate Metabolomic Diagnostics for securing €2 million in EU funding under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Their project "Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Globally - IPOG" has been selected from almost 1300 applicants and the Cork-based biotech company will use the award to commercialise its breakthrough product, PrePsia™. Find out more about these exciting news and product here.


For our last recruiting period until April 2018, five centres have been recruiting and we have reached a fantastic total of more than 4000 participants throughout the IMPROvED project. We are thankful fo this immense contribution and women participating in the study have expressed their gratitude in the extra attention and a great sense of pride in being able to help make pregnancies safer for future moms to be. An icredible 3901 live born babies have been born to IMPROvED mothers and end of pregnancy outcome data is now collected and entered into our database.


We congratulate Professor Louise Kenny, coordinator of the IMPROvED project, on winning the WMB Woman in Technology Award 2017. She is Professor of Obstetrics and Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), founding director of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) and founding director of Metabolomic Diagnostics. Read her interview for the WMB Magazine here.


The International Stillbirth Alliance Conference 2017 (ISA) was for the first time held in Ireland at the University College Cork (UCC) from 22nd to 24th September 2017. Over 380 delegates from all over the world participated in this conference aiming at challenging healthcare professionals to constantly strive for excellence in stillbirth awareness, research and bereavement care.


Our last IMPROvED appointment at the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translation Centre - Infant, was with the lovely Fionnuala. Thank you so much to every single family (over 1500!) that participated and to everyone who spread the word along the way. Together we have hopefully made a great strides towards predicting preeclampsia and make pregnancies safer worldwide.


The first-ever World Preeclampsia Day on May 22 will help raising awareness about preeclampsia as a life-threatening complication of pregnancy that concerns women around the world. Almost 10% of pregnancies worldwide are affected by preeclampsia, and the disorder claims the lives of over 70,000 mothers and more than 500,000 babies every year. The IMPROvED consortium is eager to make a change and impact the lives of future mothers and families.


IMPROvED at the University College Cork (UCC) has recruited over 1350 participants. Thank you so much to all the mums, dads, babies and the staff of CUMH who have helped along the way.

They are still recruiting, so if you are under 17 weeks pregnant with your first baby and would like to contribute to this study, call +353 21 420 5026 or email to

Last visit Erasmus MC

On December 21st, the recruitment at Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam has come to an end. In total, 818 patients have been recruited at Erasmus MC and the last visit (see picture) was still as exciting as the first one. We are grateful to all of them for contributing to the IMPROvED study.

Cork's 96 fm logo

Hear Professor Louise Kenny speaking to PJ Coogan on the "Opinion Line" talkshow of Cork's 96fm radio station about pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy complications, the importance of screening tests, the IMPROvED study and how to get involved in it.

Maria-Angeles Guzmán Martínez, who is the 1,000th mother to be recruited to the INFANT research project, with midwives Grainne Meehan and Colleen Curran

We are delighted to announce that we have recruited our 1000th participant in Cork!!! Thank you Maria, and thank you to all the other mums-to-be that have made this research possible!


The Irish Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, announced Professor Geraldine Boylan and Professor Louise Kenny (Cooordinator IMPROvED ) as the Science Foundation Ireland Joint Researchers of the Year 2015 at the SFI Science Summit in recognition of their global leadership in reducing the burden of disease and disability associated with the period just before and after birth.


IMPROvED Coordinator Prof Louise Kenny has been short listed for the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards 2015. Congratulation!

The  Awards are designed to recognise women whose successes have gained public praise together with those women who have tirelessly worked to improve the lives of others. Lifetime achievement is also recognised in the Hall of Fame Awards, previously won by Myrtle Allen, Maureen O’Hara, Joan Bergin, and Catherine McGuinness. The event will take place 7 November in Dublin.


We are happy to announce that  the 500th Dutch IMPROvED participant has been recruited @ Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). Many thanks to all participating first time mothers & midwifery practices!

Cover Psychoneuroendocrinology

Based on the findings of the SCOPE study (Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints), predecessor of IMPROvED, researchers were able to make the link between antenatal depression and preeclampsia and SGA in obese women.  Stress and mental disorders during pregnancy have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes; however little is known about how psychological factors interact with other maternal exposures, such as obesity.


Thanks to the dedicated work of our wonderful research midwives, the recruitment in the clinical trial of IMPROvED is almost half way through! We have recruited over 2000 wonderful and willing participants across Europe.

Royal Stoke University Hospital

On 30 April, our Royal Stoke University Hospital center recruited their 250th participant in IMPROvED. We are all very excited to have reached this important milestone and want to thank all the participants and staff involved!

On the photo:  IMPROvED Study Midwife Louise Wood (left) presenting Claire, the 250th recruit at Stoke (right), with a toiletries gift set.



Karolinska Institutes hosted this year's annual consortium meeting 11-12 May 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. Over the two days, top-class obstetric clinicians, midwives, scientists and industry partners from 8 European countries met to discuss the progress and the challenges in IMPROvED.


IMPROvED is featured in a full-page article as part of an extensive pre-eclampsia special in the spring issue of Ireland's favourite maternity magazine, Mums & Tots! Check it out:


Today we have recruited the 250th participant at our Rotterdam site! The Erasmus staff surprised her with a small present and took this picture during the ultrasound.


Christine O’ Brien (middle), the 500th woman to join IMPROvED at our Irish recruiting site UCC, was presented with pretty bouquet of flowers by midwifes Aimee (left) and Colleen (right). Thank you Christine, and thanks to all the other new mums-to-be who volunteered!

Thank You!

Read this lovely testimonial from one of our new mums with a beautiful baby girl born on 19th January who completed IMPROvED at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS (Keele Research Centre):

Kathriona Devereux interviewing Prof Louise Kenny

Science Squad, an innovative popular science and technology TV series on Irish national television channel RTE One, meets Professor Louse Kenny to explain pre-eclampsia and to take a look at the potentially groundbreaking research currently under way within the framework of the IMPROvED Study.
Watch the video:


Erasmus MC, our IMPROvED recruitment coordinating center in the Netherlands, issued their December 2014 updates aimed at participants and midwives.


Elise Lavelle, our first IMPROVED baby in Liverpool! This wonderful baby girl was born at 34+3 weeks on 27 July at Liverpool Women's Hospital. Both mum and baby are doing very well. The entire IMPROvED team wishes them a great future ahead!


September brought the Liverpool center their 100th participant in IMPROvED. We are all very excited to have reached this milestone and want to thank all the participants and staff involed!


The IMPROvED study commenced at Cork University Maternity Hospital on 29th November 2013. Since then, UCC have increased their staff numbers with a view to helping us increase our recruitment numbers.

Finn, the first Dutch IMPROvED-baby

On the 10th of August, the first Dutch IMPROvED-baby was born at the Albert Schweitzer ziekenhuis in Dordrecht.

This wonderful boy named Finn came a little early (~35 weeks) and weighed 2568 gr. Congratulations to the happy parents!!


The first week of August we welcomed the 100th participant in IMPROvED in the Netherlands. Big thank you to all participants, midwives and laboratory staff who have made this possible. On to the next 900 ...


A new national awareness day for preeclampsia was launched in Ireland today.

Aisling with Staff Midwife Muireann and mum Catriona Hennessy

IMPROvED Ireland is happy to announce the arrival of little Aisling Hennessy, 2.8 kg, born in CUMH to parents Catriona and Damien Hennessy. Aisling - Irish for "dream" - arrived on 22nd May as the first one of 5,000 babies to first-time mums who will take part in this vital research study in Europe and of 1,000 mums in Ireland.

The first IMPROvED participant has been recruited in Sweden at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge.


The first patient has been recruited in Sweden at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge. IMPROvED recruitment of low-risk first-time mums has now started in Sweden.

Nu har vi börjat att rekrytera friska förstagångsmammor till IMPROvED. Vi kan nås på nedanstående nummer. Please contact us by phone: 073 712 13 83 or 08-585 897 19 e-mail:

IMPROvED recruitment has began  at EMC, Rotterdam

Congratulations! The first participant enrolled in the IMPROvED clinical study at the Dutch recruitment center, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. IMPROvED recruitment of low-risk first-time mums has now began in the Netherlands.

Please contact us by
phone: +31640160455


IMPROvED is now recruiting low risk first time mums in Keele, UK!

Please contact us by
phone: 07548190954 or 01782672123
e-mail: Louise Wood or Tracey Harrison

Metabolomic Diagnostics Logo

We are pleased to announce that IMPROvED Partner Metabolomic Diagnostics has secured €750,000 in venture funding through a syndicate of investors including SOSventures Ireland Fund, AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland.   
Metabolomic Diagnostic’s innovative solution has the potential to revolutionise pre-natal care with its breakthrough blood test “PrePsia” for early detection of women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy.

Amanda McCarthy, (the first participant enrolled in the IMPROvED study) with her husband Ken and Maeve O’Connell, Research Midwife Improved.

Congratulations! The first participant enrolled in the IMPROvED clinical study at the Irish recruitment center, University College Cork.


Project Coordinator Prof. Kenny has won the Enterprise Ireland Life Sciences & Food Commercialisation Award for developing and commercialising the first predictive diagnosis for pre-eclampsia in early pregnancy.

Professor Kenny received the award at the Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas Technology Showcase which took place in Dublin on 25 September 2013.


IMPROvED has attained membership of the European Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB). The ESBB is a society for people involved in the collection and storage of biological materials from all species.


The study is publically available at as of June 27, 2013 (identifier NCT 01891240). Go to the study record details is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. ClinicalTrials is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the EC has issued a publication focussing on a group of diseases that are called ‘rare’ but actually affect over 30 million Europeans. IMPROvED is featured as one of the projects under "Cardiovascular, pulmonological and haematological disorders" on page 35 of this interesting and informative booklet.


IMPROvED project coordinator Prof. Louise Kenny (University College Cork), is to hold a presentation at the the next European ISSHP Congress in Tromsø, Norway, June 2013. The congress will provide a great opportunity to introduce the study the worldwide scientific community.


IMPROvED outlook for pre-eclampsia due to €6M EU award.

A consortium led by University College Cork (UCC) has secured €6 million euro in FP7-health framework research funding to combat pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy complication.


Workshops and training events will be organised for research nurses and laboratory personnel of the clinical research centers as of Spring 2013.


The first meeting of the Consortium took place in Cork, 4-7 Nov 2012

The IMPROvED kick-off meeting was organized and hosted by projest coordinator UCC. The meeting took place at the Silver Birch House, Glengarriff/Cork. (see map).