Shakila Thangaratinam

Shakila Thangaratinam

Title: Prof
Professor in maternal and perinatal health

Shakila Thangaratinam is a professor in maternal and perinatal health at Queen Mary, University of London and a consultant at Barts Health NHS Foundation Trust. She has recently been appointed as the Research and development director for Women’s Health CAG (Clinical Academic Group) at Barts Health.

Her work has been in the fields of Health Technology Assessment in maternal medicine and Obstetrics, and Evidence based medicine.

Pre eclampsia, especially tests in pre eclampsia has been one of her main areas of interest and was the basis for her PhD.  Her work in this field over the past eight years has led to many publications.  It has had a direct impact on recommendations from International Guidelines including the recently published NICE guidelines on pre-eclampsia. 

She is on the Executive Committee of the Maternal Medicine Clinical Study Group and represents the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at the National Obesity Steering Group of the Academy Of Medical Royal Colleges.

She regularly peer reviews for journals (Lancet, BMJ, BJOG, European Journal of Obstet Gynecol, UOG) and funding bodies(Wellbeing of Women, CAIBER Spain, Heart Research UK, ZonMW Netherlands, BUPA).


The following figure outlines her core research themes and the relevant projects with a strong interest in clinical trials, diagnostic research, evidence synthesis and evidence based medicine. Her research work is largely collaborative with national and international partners.

She was awarded a PhD by the University of Birmingham for her work on Health Technology Assessment in Maternal and Perinatal Medicine. The output from the PhD directly led to 3 successful HTA grants (PREP, EMPIRE, and Pulse Ox) and NICE recommendations for tests in pre-eclampsia.

She is part of the core team at Women’s Health Research Network at Barts and the London and involved in the training of researchers, development of the department and establishing links with other units in North East London through the newly founded Katherine Twining Network.  It is a multidisciplinary collaborative Network of seven Trusts in North East London. The Network membership is composed of academics, R&D managers, professionals and consumers and has the potential to allow recruit large numbers needed into trials rapidly.

Evidence Synthesis research

She has established a strong portfolio of research activities in systematic review projects. The core methodology of her PhD was evidence synthesis, and it served the dual purpose of collating the best available evidence to inform practice and identifying the gaps for further research.  She has led NIHR funded evidence synthesis projects and has published in many high impact journals.

Recent and ongoing research projects Portfolio studies

She is the project lead for two multicentre NIHR clinical trials involving 50 centres in UK. PREP and EMPIRE.  PREP is a prospective cohort study to develop and internally and externally validate clinical prediction models (for 48 hours and discharge maternal outcomes) in women admitted with early onset pre-eclampsia. EMPIRE is a randomised controlled trial that evaluates the effectiveness of therapeutic drug monitoring vs clinical monitoring in pregnant women with epilepsy on anti epileptic drugs. Impact of research

Her work has been instrumental in changing existing national and international guidelines and clinical practice. The following are some of the examples - The systematic reviews on the role of uric acid and proteinuria in the prediction of complications in women with pre-eclampsia identified their limited role in clinical practice. The NICE ‘ Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy’ guideline directly referenced these papers in recommending not to test for proteinuria once established, and to avoid use of uric acid results alone in the management of women with pre-eclampsia. - The meta analysis on the accuracy of ultrasound in diagnosing miscarriage in early pregnancy, highlighted the possibility of falsely diagnosing miscarriage with existing guidelines. The work was presented to the journalists from over 15 media, through the Science Media Centre, London. It was widely taken up by the mainstream media. - The NIHR HTA work evaluating the effect of dietary and lifestyle interventions in reducing or preventing obesity in pregnancy. The findings of this project, published in the BMJ were widely taken up by the mainstream media including BBC, Sky, ITN, The Times, Telegraph, Independent and Metro. The figures from the QMUL communication office estimate that the findings reached an estimated audience of 12 million readers.


Pre-eclampsia, Weight management in pregnancy, Health Technology Assessment


- Thangaratinam S, Rogozinska E, Jolly K, Glinkowski S, Roseboom T, Tomlinson JW, Kunz R, Mol BW, Coomarasamy A, Khan KS Effects of interventions in pregnancy on maternal weight and obstetric outcomes: meta-analysis of randomised evidence. BMJ 344:e2088 2012

- Thangaratinam S, Brown K, Zamora J, Khan KS, Ewer AK Pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart defects in asymptomatic newborn babies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 379(9835):2459-2464 30 Jun 2012 DOI

- Thangaratinam S, Rogozinska E, Jolly K, Duda W et al. Interventions to reduce or prevent obesity in pregnant women: A systematic review Health Technology Assessment 16:1-192 2012

- Thangaratinam S, Tan A, Knox E, Kilby MD, Franklyn J, Coomarasamy A Association between thyroid autoantibodies and miscarriage and preterm birth: meta-analysis of evidence. BMJ 342:d2616 2011

View all Shakila Thangaratinam's Research Publications at:


Topics for PhD supervision 

- Prediction of pre-eclampsia
- Health Technology Assessment of Prediction and prevention of complications in high risk obstetrics

PhD students supervised

- Luxmi Velauthar (MD)
- Fiona Fong (MD)


Women's Health Research Unit
Centre for Primary Care and Public Health
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Yvonne Carter Building
58 Turner Street
London E1 2AB 

Unit Administrator, Tracy Holtham
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Tel: +44 20 7882 2525

07887 775891
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