Prof Anna David

Dr Anna DavidTel: 020 3447 2697/020 3447 2519
Fax: 020 3447 6198

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing

Maternity services, Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU), Women's health

Professional background

Professor Anna David is consultant in Obstetrics and Maternal / Fetal Medicine at UCLH. Joining University College London (UCL) in 2000 from Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, Professor David was awarded a PhD for her work on fetal gene therapy for treatment of early onset genetic disease in 2005 and then trained in Maternal Fetal Medicine at UCLH under Professor Charles Rodeck. In 2008 she was awarded a prestigious UK HEFCE/Department of Health funded Senior Clinical Lectureship in women’s health at UCL and UCLH when she took up a consultant post.

Professor David offers a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services in the Fetal Medicine Unit at UCLH. She specialises in cases where the baby has a structural anomaly, a genetic condition or when the baby’s growth is poor (fetal growth restriction). She has close links with the talented UCLH neonatal team that are expert in caring for the smallest preterm infants. Professor David set up the Preterm Birth clinical service at UCLH in 2008, which is now one of the busiest in the UK, providing continuity of care in a nurturing environment. The comprehensive service offers pre-conceptual counselling, a wide range of cerclage and other treatments and predictive tests.

Professor David is Head of the Research Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Institute for Women's Health, UCL. With funding from the European Commission, her team is developing new treatments for fetal growth restriction using maternal gene therapy, and is pioneering the first clinical trial of in utero stem cell transplantation for brittle bone disease. She has won awards for her mentorship of academic trainees and colleagues, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Research interests

Clinical areas:

Prenatal diagnosis and fetal medicine
Fetal therapy
Management of pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction
Prevention of preterm birth
High risk obstetrics

Research areas:

Fetal medicine and fetal imaging
Fetal therapy including in utero stem cell transplantation and gene therapy
Prevention of preterm birth
Academic training in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Anna runs a clinic in the Fetal Medicine Unit, EGA wing, UCLH (Wednesday afternoon) where she offers diagnosis and treatment of complications which may arise in unborn babies. She specializes in cases where the baby has a structural anomaly, a genetic condition or when the baby’s growth is poor (severe fetal growth restriction).

Anna runs the Preterm Birth Clinic service at UCLH for women at increased risk of preterm birth.

Patients can be referred via their GP or by their midwife when they book at UCLH for antenatal care. Anna also offers preconceptual counselling via GP referrals.
The clinic service sees over 350 women per year. Together with an experienced obstetric and midwifery team, we provide infection screening, ultrasound assessment of cervical length and fetal fibronectin testing. We provide antenatal interventions such as cervical cerclage (Macdonald or low vaginal, Shirodkar or high vaginal and abdominal). We offer progesterone therapy and support women during the critical middle stage of pregnancy.  In the clinic we recruit to national research projects that aim to prevent preterm birth in women at risk of preterm labour. 


Latest Book Chapters, Reviews and Reports:
Olearo E, David AL, Sultan P. Abnormal Placentation in “Obstetric Anesthesiology: An Illustrated Case-Based Approach”, edited by Tauquer Husain, Roshan Fernando and Scott Segal. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Spencer R, Carr DJ, David AL. Gene therapy for fetal growth restriction in “Placental-Fetal Growth Restriction”, edited by Christoph Lees, Kurt Hecher and Gerry Visser, published by Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Antoniadou E, David AL. Placental Stem Cells. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology 2015 S1521-6934(15)00158-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.08.014.

David AL; EVERREST consortium. Does Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Gene Therapy Safely Improve Outcome in Severe Early-Onset Fetal Growth Restriction? (EVERREST) Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development 2015. DOI: 10.1089/humc.2015.2523

Spencer RN, Carr DJ, David AL. Gene therapy for obstetric conditions. Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review 2015 doi:10.1017/S0965539515000030.

Ramachandra DL, Shaw SWS, Shangaris P, Loukogeorgakis S, Guillot PV, De Coppi P, David AL. In utero therapy for congenital disorders using amniotic fluid stem cells. Frontiers in Pharmacology 2015 doi: 10.3389/fphar.2014.00270

David AL, Thornton S, Sutcliffe A, Williams P. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Scientific Impact Paper No. 50: Developing New Pharmaceutical Treatments for Obstetric Conditions.

Soe A, David ALM, Roberts AD, Costelloe K. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Scientific Impact Paper No. 41 “Issues in the Management of Extremely Preterm Infants Born at the Limit of Viability (The Obstetric Perspective)” February 2014

Spencer RN, Carr DJ and David AL. Treatment of poor placentation and the prevention of associated adverse outcomes - what does the future hold? Prenatal Diagnosis 2014 epub DOI: 10.1002/pd.4401

David AL. Anterior abdominal wall defects. Expert Adviser to Oxford Desk Reference Clinical Genetics. Editors Firth HV, Hurst JA 2nd edition 2013, Oxford University Press.

Latest Published Peer Reviewed Research Articles

Sheppard M, Spencer RN, Ashcroft R, EVERREST consortium, David AL. Ethics and social acceptability of a proposed clinical trial using maternal gene therapy to treat severe early onset fetal growth restriction. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 2015 in press.

Hunter PJ, Sheikh S, David AL, Peebles DM, Klein N. Cervical leukocytes and spontaneous preterm birth. J Reprod Immunol. 2015 Nov 21;113:42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2015.11.002.

Xia W, Mari JM, West SJ, Ginsberg Y, David AL, Ourselin S, Desjardins AE. In-plane ultrasonic needle tracking using a fiber-optic hydrophone. Medical Physics 2015 Oct;42(10):5983.

Xia W, Nikitichev D, Mari JM, West S, Pratt R, David AL, Ourselin S, Beard P, Desjardins A. Performance characteristics of an interventional multispectral photoacoustic imaging system for guiding minimally invasive procedures. Journal of Biomedical Optics 20 (8), 086005 (August 11, 2015); PMID: 26263417

Pratt R, Deprest J, Vercauteren T, Ourselin S, David AL. Computer-assisted surgical planning and intraoperative guidance in fetal surgery: a systematic review. Prenatal Diagnosis 2015 Jul 31. doi: 10.1002/pd.4660. PMID: 26235960.

Hezelgrave NL, Shennan AH, David AL. Rational testing: Tests to predict delivery in threatened preterm labour. British Medical Journal 2015 May 21;350:h2183. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h2183.

Abbott DS, Hezelgrave NL, Seed PT, Norman J, David AL et al. Diagnostic Accuracy of Quantitative Fetal Fibronectin to Predict Spontaneous Preterm Birth in Asymptomatic Women at High-risk. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2015;125:1168-1176.

MacKenzie TC, David AL, Flake AW, Almeida-Porada G. Consensus statement from the first international conference for in utero stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. Frontiers in Pharmacology 6:15. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00015.

Shaw SW, Blundell MP, Pipino C, Shangaris P….David AL*, De Coppi P*. Sheep CD34+ amniotic fluid cells have haematopoietic potential and engraft after autologous in utero transplantation. Stem Cells. 2015 Jan;33(1):122-32

Resca E, Zavatti M, Maraldi T, Bertoni L….David AL. et al. Enrichment in c-Kit improved differentiation potential of amniotic membrane progenitor/stem cells. Placenta 2015 Jan;36(1):18-26.
Duley L, Uhm S, Oliver S on behalf of Preterm Birth Priority Setting Partnership Steering Group. Top 15 UK research priorities for preterm birth. Lancet 2014;383:2041-2042. PMID: 24931684

David AL, Holloway A, Thomasson T, Syngelaki A et al.  A case-control study of maternal periconceptual and pregnancy recreational drug use and fetal malformation using hair analysis. PLoS One 2014 Oct 31;9(10):e111038.

Chowdhury B, David AL, Thrasivoulou C, Becker D, Bader DL, Chowdhury TT. Tensile strain increased COX-2 expression and PGE2 release leading to weakening of the human amniotic membrane. Placenta 2014; 35(12):1057-64.

Mukherjee S, Pipino C, David AL, De Coppi P, Thrasher A. Neuronal precursors from amniotic fluid-derived Down Syndrome iPSCs. Human Gene Therapy 2014;25(4);682-3.

Mehta V, Abi Nader K, Shangaris S, Shaw SWS, Filippi E, ….David AL. Local over-expression of VEGF-DΔNΔC in the uterine arteries of pregnant sheep results in long-term changes in uterine artery contractility and angiogenesis. PloS One 2014 Jun 30;9(6):e100021

Carr D, Wallace JM, Aitken RP, Milne JS, Mehta V,….. David AL. Uteroplacental adenovirus VEGF gene therapy increases fetal growth velocity in growth-restricted sheep pregnancies. Hum Gene Ther. 2014; 25(4):375-84

H Carnaghan, S Pereira, CP James, PB Charlesworth, … AL David et al. Is Early Delivery Beneficial In Gastroschisis? Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2014;49:928–933.




GMC/GDC number: 3685796 

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