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National award for Manchester BRC researcher

The Blair Bell Lectureship 2009 has been awarded to Dr Jenny Myers, in recognition of her research work on pre-eclampsia, a serious condition affecting pregnant women and their babies.

Based at the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Jenny is the lead clinical investigator for a project which is trying to identify indicators, known as biomarkers, in blood which may show that a woman is at risk of pre-eclampsia. She is part of a team at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, working on the Make Pregnancy Safer (MAPS) research project, supported by the baby charity Tommy's.

MAPS is part of an international study which is investigating how to predict and prevent the major diseases of late pregnancy. With 10,000 women taking part worldwide, the UK MAPS study aims to develop tests that will predict the likelihood of pregnant women developing major pregnancy diseases including pre-eclampsia.

The prestigious national Blair Bell Lectureship award is presented by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to a young researcher within two years of passing their College membership exam. It is named after William Blair Bell, the first President of RCOG. Applicants for the annual lectureship are invited to submit an outline of their research project, which is assessed by a panel of RCOG experts. The award means that Jenny will be asked to give a keynote lecture on her work to fellow members at the Royal College's London headquarters in 2009. She also receives a £500 honorarium.

"I was thrilled to be awarded the lectureship, and look forward to sharing the results of five years of hard work with some of the country's leading experts in maternal health," said Jenny.

Added Prof Phil Baker, Director of the BRC: "This is a fantastic achievement, and I'm sure Jenny was up against some tough competition. It's great to see one of our young researchers winning such a prestigious award."