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Ground Breaking Research

Looking to the future today in Ground Breaking research in Neonatology

We believe that medical research is critical because it is only through new knowledge and improved evidence that we can improve the health of women and children in the future.

Vibration incubator equipment diagram for charity research in neonatology funding by Simpsons baby charity

Dr Rod Kelly

Vibration Project

Working with an Edinburgh-based engineering company, this project aims to reduce the vibration experienced by babies when being transported in ambulances between hospitals. Wire-rope isolators have been fitted between the neonatal transport trolley frame and incubator, reducing vibration from the ambulance and trolley frame being transmitted to the incubator and the baby.

Initial results are promising, with a reduction in peak vibration levels of over 80%. The next phase aims to reduce vibration further by incorporating an additional damper system. The ultimate aim to design a system that complies with European regulations, which may be incorporated into transport systems in the future.

Research of oxygen machine for premature babies supported by SSCB charity

Dr Rod Kelly

Medical Doctorate

We don't currently know what the optimum level of oxygen in premature babies is, or the best way of continuously measuring oxygen in preterm babies. This Medical Doctorate comprises a series of studies which aim to address these two questions, by looking at the oxygen levels in preterm babies targeted to different oxygen saturation ranges, how these different target oxygen levels affects babies, and comparisons between methods of measuring oxygen.

Charity funds medical research in children

Professor James Boardman

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

Professor James Boardman leads a team of researchers whose goal is to improve the lives of children who experience difficulties around the time of birth. Specifically, the team studies the causes and consequences of preterm birth and other pregnancy problems on the developing brain. This is because we know that what happens to the brain during critical weeks around the time of birth can affect a child’s development and learning potential across the whole life course. For further information about Prof Boardman’s research please visit


SSCB has contributed funds to University fees of some research students and training costs of scientists, enabling them to gain post-doctoral degrees including doctorates of medicine and philosophy (MD and PhD). By investing in people, we have helped to train the next generation of medical researchers.

Regional volumes associated with socioeconomic status measures

Dr Katie McKinnon

PhD Research

My research is exploring the complex interaction between preterm birth, socioeconomic status and neurodevelopmental outcome with the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort (TEBC), a longitudinal study funded by Theirworld.

Learn more about research in preterm birth, socioeconomic status and neurodevelopmental outcome.

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