Professor Louise Kenny
Louise Kenny is an honours medical graduate of Liverpool Medical School, UK (1993) and a Member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (2001). She received her PhD in vascular physiology and pharmacology from the University of Nottingham, UK in 2003. Louise undertook post-doctoral training whilst concurrently completing her clinical training as a Lecturer at the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK. She was awarded CCST by the Specialist Training Authority of the Medical Royal Colleges, UK in 2005 and was appointed as a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician at St Mary’s Hospital, The University of Manchester. Louise moved to University College Cork in 2006 and took up a post as a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the newly opened Cork University Maternity Hospital where she continued to pursue her long standing clinical and research interest inuteroplacental insufficiency, adverse pregnancy outcome and pregnancy loss. In 2007, Louise was appointed as a Health Research Board Ireland Clinician Scientist. This 4 year award (of €1.6 million) established the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) Study (www.scopestudy.net), a prospective longitudinal case cohort of pregnancy outcome which also forms part of one of the world’s most detailed global pregnancy biobanks. In July 2009, Louise was awarded a Principal Investigator Programme grant from Science Foundation Ireland to develop predictive biomarkers of poor pregnancy outcome, pioneering a new approach to biomarker development by focusing on metabolic changes in plasma. Using the SCOPE cohort, Louise’s team and her collaborators have discovered a consistent discriminatory metabolite signature in early pregnancy plasma preceding the onset of preeclampsia. This finding provides insight into disease pathogenesis, and offers the tantalizing promise of a robust pre-symptomatic screening test. Louise won a Translational Award from the Wellcome Trust to develop these biomarkers into a clinically useful predictive test and a €6 million, European-wide multicentre phase IIa clinical study of the prototype platform for this test has just been funded under the auspices of FP7 Health Innovation 2012 (http://www.fp7-improved.eu./). In addition, together with her co-PIs in the Department of Paediatrics and UCC, Louise has established BASELINE (Babies After SCOPE, Evaluating Longitudinal Indices of Neurological and Nutritional Endpoints, www.baselinestudy.net). Funded by the Children’s Research Centre, the BASELINE study is the first longitudinal birth cohort study in Ireland. Babies are monitored from before birth, and information regarding their mother’s health, lifestyle and environment is collected as part of the maternal SCOPE study. Follow up of the BASELINE children takes place in the Children’s Research Centre at Cork University Hospital. The establishment of this birth cohort will offer many opportunities for further research as the children grow older. It will form a unique bio-bank of information from Irish children collected from soon after their conception. Louise was promoted to Professor of Obstetrics at University College Cork in 2009.
Her work has resulted in three patent applications relating to pregnancy biomarkers and more than >100 peer reviewed original papers, reviews and book chapters. She is the Editor of the 19th Edition of ‘Obstetrics by Ten Teachers’- the world’s leading undergraduate textbook in obstetrics. In addition, Louise is a reviewer for a wide range of international journals including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the British Medical Journal, Clinical Chemistry, Reproductive Sciences and Hypertension and research funding bodies such as the Medical Research Council (UK), the Wellcome Trust, Action Research, the British Heart Foundation, Wellbeing, Sparks, the Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland.
At CUMH, she is part of the Perinatal Medicine team and has a particular interest in hypertensive disorders of medicine and other maternal complications.