Professor Mark Kilby

Academic Work

Professor Kilby was promoted to a Personal Chair (Professorship in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the University of Birmingham in June 2003.  He was then subsequently appointed to the Dame Hilda Lloyd Chair of Fetal Medicine in 2006.

He was Deputy Head of School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine between 2008 and 2014 and is currently lead of the research theme of Reproduction and Development within this School.

In 2014, the University of Birmingham formed the Centre for Women’s and New-born Health which he leads within the Institute of Metabolism and Allied Health Systems Research in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham.

There is an on-going emphasis on the establishment of cross-theme, as well as cross-School research collaborations.  In particular, the School is a “major player” in several of the College’s cross-disciplinary research themes, including the Centres for Cardiovascular Science, Obesity Research, Rare Diseases and Personalized Medicine, Healthy Ageing and the newer centres of Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology, Musculoskeletal Ageing Research and Translational Inflammation Research and in 2014, the Centre for Women’s and New-born Health.

Professor Kilby additionally serves on the College of Medical and Dental Sciences Committees of:

  1. Strategic Research Committee.
  2. School Executive Committee.
  3. School Research Committee.
  4. School Promotion Committee.

Professor Kilby teaches and examines the medical student undergraduate curriculum at the University of Birmingham and is responsible for postgraduate training in non-clinical and clinical students both in terms of ascertaining their PhD degrees and in other aspects of higher education.

Distinguished Lectures and Visiting/International Professorships:

  1. Grand Rounds, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada; 1998.
  2. Grand Rounds, Hamilton University, Canada; 1999.
  3. Visiting Professor, University of Kuwait, Kuwait City; 2000.
  4. Grand Rounds, University of Erasmus, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 2003.
  5. RL Hutchinson Visiting Professorship, University of Perth, Western Australia; 2007.
  6. Aw Boon Distinguished Lecturer, University of Hong Kong; 2010.
  7. Visiting Professor, Baylor Medical Centre, Houston, Texas, USA; 2010.
  8. Visiting Professor, Columbia University, New York City, New York; 2011.
  9. Mead Johnson Lecturer and Medal, Perinatal Research Society, Roanoak, West Virginia, USA; 2011.
  10. Visiting Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical School, Hong Kong; 2014.
  11. Sims Black Visiting Professorship:
  12. Hospital Italiano, Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Visiting Professor; March 2015.
  13. University des Condos, University of Chile; 2015.

Past External Examination for Undergraduate Medical Training:

  1. University of Nottingham: MBChB:  1998 to 2000.
  2. University of Kuwait:  MBChB:  2000 to 2002.
  3. University of Leicester:  MBChB:  2002 to 2004.
  4. Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (Dublin): 2007 to 2010.
  5. University of Hong Kong:  2007.
  6. University College Dublin, Ireland:  2013 to 2015.
  7. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong:  2014 to 2016.
  8. University of Kuwait:  MBChB:  2016 to 2018.

Academic Research Portfolio:

Mark Kilby undertook his undergraduate training at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London.  His postgraduate academic educational/academic training was at the University of Nottingham (with Professors Fiona Broughton Pipkin and E Malcolm Symonds, where he obtained his Doctorate of Medicine Degree (1990).  He was then a Clinical Lecturer to Professor Shaughn O’Brien at the University of Keele, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Toronto with Professor J W K Ritchie and Dr Robert Morrow and then Clinical Lecturer and Subspecialty Trainee to Professor Martin Whittle at the University of Birmingham (1994 to 1996).

During an MRC Canadian Fellowship at the Samuel Lunefeld Institute, University of Toronto, he worked on an ovine model of fetal anaemia and documented the effects of in-utero intravascular transfusion on fetal cardiac function measured using both ultrasound and invasive conductor catheter methods. Since 1996 his research interests have included topics of prenatal diagnosis, intrauterine growth restriction, placental pathology, fetal therapy, multiple pregnancy and endocrine factors affecting fetal development.  It was for this latter area of research that he was awarded his Doctorate of Science Degree by the University of Birmingham in 2011.

Basic Science Research:

  1. Malplacentation and placental pathology.
  2. Endocrinology of the fetus and placenta.
  3. Intrauterine growth restriction.
  4. Trophoblast decidual interaction and human implantation: the role of immune tolerance in pregnancy.
  5. Pre-eclampsia.
  6. Pre-term labour.
  7. Multiple pregnancy including complications of monochorionic twins (ie, twin to twin transfusion syndrome).

He leads a Fetal Endocrinology Group at the Centre for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes (CEDAM) within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and, in the past, this work has focused upon the effects of thyroid hormone metabolism and placental delivery of this hormone to the developing fetus and the pre-receptor regulation of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoid steroids to the human placenta and fetus.

Most notably and recently he works closely with Professor Martin Hewison on the role of vitamin D on trophoblast decidual interaction on human implantation.  This work has, in the past, been funded by a BBSRC grant and is presently funded by Action Medical Research.

He also works closely with Professor Paul Moss in the Institute of Cancer Sciences investigating maternal and fetal immune (T-cell) adaptation in response to human pregnancy.  This is also in collaboration with Dr David Lissauer.

Clinical Research:

  1.  Maternal allo-immunization and fetal cardiovascular changes of in-utero transfusion.
  2. The epidemiological study of fetal anomalies (in collaboration with the West Midlands Congenital Anomaly Register; Ann Tonks) and UKOSS.
  3. Fetal pathology.
  4. Management of congenital heart disease in-utero.
  5. Fetal therapy: critical appraisal and evaluation.
  6. Complications of monochorionic twinning including pathogenesis and treatment of twin to twin transfusion syndrome and Twin Reverse Arterial Perfusion Sequence (TRAP).
  7. New technologies in prenatal diagnosis of chromosome anomalies.  Most recently this is in collaboration with the West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory and the Sanger Institute in Cambridge investigating the role of exome sequencing in the prenatal diagnosis of copy number variation in babies with identified structural anomalies.

Since 2000, Professor Kilby has chaired a research consortium within the University of Birmingham to review systematically and critically appraise evidence for the role of in-utero fetal therapy.  This has involved the production of a series of peer reviewed and published systematic reviews evaluating the evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic tests in Fetal Medicine.

In 2008, the Human Technology Assessment body (HTA) funded a follow-up study (The PLUTO Trial).  This was a randomized controlled trial to evaluate (both in terms of perinatal and childhood outcome), the effects of in-utero vesico-amniotic shunting in babies with the rare congenital anomaly of bladder neck obstruction.  Professor Kilby was the principal investigator of this study and the data was published in The Lancet in 2013.

In 2010, the MRC EME funded a randomized controlled trial and basic science work to evaluate mechanisms evaluating the effect of TPO antibodies on pregnancy outcome (with randomization to Thyroxine placement or placebo) (The TABLET study []).  This study commenced in 2011 and Professor Kilby is one of the collaborating principal investigators, along with Professor Jayne Franklyn and Professor Arri Coomarasamy.

In May 2013, Professor Kilby and colleagues from the University of Cambridge, Great Ormond Street and The Sanger Institute, Cambridge, were awarded an HICF Project Grant for 4.1 million pounds from the Wellcome Trust. This was to investigate the role of whole and exome sequencing both from fetal DNA obtained by invasive testing and by non-invasive testing in fetuses with identified congenital malformations.  This study is on-going.

In 2015, the STOPPIT 2 study was funded by the HTA.  This study is run out of the University of Edinburgh and the chief investigator is Professor Jane Norman.  Professor Kilby is a principal investigator and named investigator on the HTA grant.  This study is a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the role of the Arabin pessary in pregnancies in which a short cervix has been identified in the mid-trimester.  This trial is on-going.
Professor Kilby is also a principal investigator on the following clinical studies:

  1. The PROMISE study.  A randomized controlled trial to evaluate the role of Progesterone in preventing first trimester miscarriage (
  2. The MERIDIAN studyA diagnostic accuracy study to compare fetal ultrasound and in-utero MRI in the diagnosis of babies with congenital brain abnormalities. This is in collaboration with Professor Paul Griffiths at the University of Sheffield (         
  3. MCA PSV study.  A diagnostic accuracy study comparing Doppler ultrasound to measure peak systolic velocity in the fetal middle cerebral artery waveform to predict timing of in-utero transfusions as compared to classical determinants. This is a collaborative study by an international consortium from the University of Adelaide.

In 2014 the establishment of the new research centre in Women’s and Children’s Health was initiated and continues to be a focus prioritizing research in pregnant women and their newborn babies.