Professional background

Professor Donald Peebles is a graduate of Cambridge University and then Guys and St Thomas’s Medical School. He completed his obstetric training with Professor Charles Rodeck at University College London and was appointed to UCLH as a consultant with sub-specialty accreditation in maternal fetal medicine in 1990.

He co-leads a multidisciplinary clinical team including specialist midwives, haematologists, obstetric medicine, cardiologists and anaesthetists providing a tertiary level referral service for complex pregnancies in NCl London. In addition, he provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services on the Fetal Medicine unit with particular interests in the management of fetal growth restriction as well as the management of fetal rhesus disease. He is a faculty member of the infection, inflammation and immunity theme of the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre

He has been head of the research department of maternal fetal medicine at UCL since 2008. He has a number of research interests that focus on improving the outcomes for women and their babies following complicated pregnancies.

Particular research areas include:

  • Maternal innate immunity, infection, inflammation and preterm labour
  • The role of hypoxia and inflammation in causation of perinatal brain injury 3
  • Fetal physiology (especially fetal responses to acute and chronic substrate deprivation
  • The development of novel molecular and cellular methods for treatment of fetal disease

He is the president of the Blair Bell Research Society, the showcase for British research in obstetrics and gynaecology as well as a member of the academic committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In 2013 he was appointed as co-clinical lead for the NHS England London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network.


Lloyd J, Allen M, Azizia M, Klein N, Peebles D. (2007) Monocyte MHC Class II Expression in Term and Preterm Labor.  Obstet Gynecol; 110: 1335-1342
Weisz B, David AL, Chitty L, Peebles D, Pandya P, Patel P, Rodeck CH. (2008) Association of isolated short femur in the mid-trimester fetus with perinatal outcome.
Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol; 31:512-6.

Lambert JR, Austin JK, Peebles d, Cohen H. (2008) Audit of the peri-delivery use of unfractionated heparin in women on therapeutic low-molecular weight heparin. Br J Haematol;142: 453-6
David AL, Torondel B, Zachary A, Ramirez MJ, Buckley SM, Cook T, Boyd M, Rodeck CH, Martin J, Peebles D (2008). Local delivery of adenovirus VEGF to the uterine arteries increases vessel relaxation and uterine artery blood flow in the pregnant sheep. Gene Therapy; 15:1344-1350

Hristova M, Cuthill D, Zbarsky V, Acosta-Saltos A, Wallace A, Blight K, Peebles D, Heuer H, Waddington SN, Raivich G. (2010) Activation and deactivation of periventricular white matter phagocytes during postnatal mouse development. Glia;58:11-28

John Quinn, Kate Von Klemperer, Ruth Brooks, Donald Peebles, Fiona Walker, and Hannah Cohen (2009) Use of high intensity adjusted-dose low molecular weight heparin in women with mechanical heart valves during pregnancy: a single-center experience. Haematologica; 94:1608-12

Abi-Nader KN, Mehta V, Wigley V, Filippi E, Tezcan B, Peebles DM, David AL (2010) Doppler ultrasonography for the non invasive measurement of uterine artery volume blood flow through gestation in the pregnant sheep. Repro Sci ;17:13-9.

Jones HE, Harris KA, Azizia M, Bank L, Carpenter B, Hartley JC, Klein N, Peebles D. (2009) Differing prevalence and diversity of bacterial species in fetal membranes from very preterm and term labor. PloS One; 4:e8205

Greutman M   (2010) Pregnancy outcome in women with congenital heart disease and residual haemodynamic lesions of the right ventricular outflow tract. Eur Heart J; 31:1764-70

Peebles D, Marlow N, Brocklehurst P (2010) Magnesium sulphate – the next antenatal steroid? BMJ (editorial):341:c6001

David A, McIntosh J, Peebles D,  Cook T, Waddington S, Weisz B, Wigley V,  Abi-Nader K, Boyd M, Davidoff D, Nathwani AC (2011)  rAAV mediated in utero gene transfer gives therapeutic transgene expression in the sheep. Hum Gene Therapy; 22:419-426 

Abi-Nader KN, Mehta V, Shaw SW, Bellamy T, Smith N, Millross L, Laverick B,

Filippi E, Boyd M, Peebles DM, David AL.(2011)  Telemetric monitoring of fetal bloodpressure and heart rate in the freely moving pregnant sheep: a feasibility study.Lab Anim;45:50-4.

Kendall G, Hristova M, Horn S, Dafou D, Acosta-Saltos A, Almolda B, Zbarsky V, Rumajogee P, Heuer H, Castellano B, Pfeffer K, Nedospasov S, Peebles D, Raivich G. (2011) TNF Gene Cluster Deletion Abolishes Lipopolysaccharide-Mediated Sensitization of the Neonatal Brain to Hypoxic Ischemic Insult. Lab Invest; 91: 328-341

Filippi E, Staughton J, Peregrine E, Jones P, Huttly W, Peebles D, Pandya P,David A.(2011) Uterine artery Doppler and adverse pregnancy outcome in women with extreme levels of feto-placental proteins used for Down's syndrome screening.
Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol; 37:520-527

Mattar CNZ, Nathwani AC, Waddington SN, Dighe NM, Kaeppel C, Nowrouzi A, McIntosh J, Nuryanti J, Ogden B, Fisk NM, Davidoff AM, David A, Peebles D, Appelt J-U, von Kalle C, Schmidt M, Biswas A, Choolani M, Chan JKY. (2011) Stable human FIX expression after Intrauterine Gene Transfer of Self-complementary Adeno-Associated Viral Vector 5 and 8 in Macaques. Mol Ther; 19:1950-60.

Mehta V, Abi-Nader KN, Peebles DM, Benjamin E, Wigley V, Torondel B, Filippi

E, Shaw SW, Boyd M, Martin J, Zachary I, David AL . Long-term increase in uterineblood flow is achieved by local overexpression of VEGF-A(165) in the uterine arteries of pregnant sheep. Gene Ther. 2012; 19:925-935

Kendall GS, Hristova M, Zbarsky V, Clements A, Peebles DM, Robertson NJ,Raivich G. (2011) Distribution of pH Changes in Mouse Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischaemic Insult. Dev Neurosci; 33:508-513.

Azizia M, Lloyd J, Allen M, Klein N, Peebles D.(2012)  Immune status in very preterm neonates. Pediatrics;129(4): e967-74

Schuler PK, Herrey A, Wade A, Brooks R, Peebles D, Lambiase P, Walker F.(2012)Pregnancy outcome and management of women with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator: a single centre experience. Europace. ;14: 1740-1745 print] 

Addison S, Sebire NJ, Taylor AM, Abrams D, Peebles D, Mein C, Munroe PB,Thayyil S. (2012) High quality genomic DNA extraction from postmortem fetal tissue. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med; 25: 2467-9

Castanon A, Brocklehurst P, Evans H, Peebles D, Singh N, Walker P, Patnick J,Sasieni P; for the PaCT Study Group. (2012) Risk of preterm birth after treatment forcervical intraepithelial neoplasia among women attending colposcopy in England:retrospective-prospective cohort study. BMJ;345:e5174.

Hillman S, Peebles DM, Williams DJ. Paternal Metabolic and Cardiovascular RiskFactors for Fetal Growth Restriction: A case-control study. Diabetes Care. 2013; 36: 1675-1680
Demetriou C, Abu-Amero S, Thomas AC, Ishida M, Aggarwal R, Al-Olabi L, LeonLJ, Stafford J L, Syngelaki A, Peebles D, Nicolaides KH, Regan L, Stanier P, Moore
GE. Paternally expressed, imprinted insulin-like growth factor-2 in chorionic villi correlates significantly with birth weight. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85454.

Carr DJ, Wallace JM, Aitken RP, Milne JS, Mehta V, Martin JF, Zachary IC, Peebles DM, David AL. Uteroplacental Adenovirus Vascular Endothelial GrowthFactor Gene Therapy Increases Fetal Growth Velocity in Growth-Restricted SheepPregnancies. Hum Gene Ther. 2014 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Macintyre DA, Lee YS, Migale R, Herbert BR, Waddington SN, Peebles D, HagbergH, Johnson MR, Bennett PR. Activator protein 1 is a key terminal mediator ofinflammation-induced preterm labor in mice. FASEB J. 2014  [Epub ahead of print]

Mehta V, Abi-Nader KN, Shangaris P, Shaw SW, Filippi E, Benjamin E, Boyd M,Peebles DM, Martin J, Zachary I, David AL. Local Over-Expression of VEGF-D?N?C in the Uterine Arteries of Pregnant Sheep Results in Long-Term Changes in Uterine Artery Contractility and Angiogenesis. PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e100021

Lange S, Rocha-Ferreira E, Thei L, Mawjee P, Bennett K, Thompson PR, Subramanian V, Nicholas AP, Peebles D, Hristova M, Raivich G. Peptidylargininedeiminases: novel drug targets for prevention of neuronal damage following hypoxic ischemic insult (HI) in neonates. J Neurochem. 2014  [Epub ahead of print]

Clinical guidelines:

Member development group for British Association of Perinatal Medicine Guidelines on “In utero transfer”

Author of the RCOG Scientific Opinion paper “Intrauterine infection and perinatal brain injury” (2007) and

Magnesium sulphate and the prevention of cerebral palsy following preterm birth. Opinion paper 29 (2011)

Development group of National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guideline “Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health”

Dec 2006 – advised All party Parliamentary group on the “Limits of viability”

Member RCOG working party – Termination for Fetal Abnormality (2008-10 )

Member RCOG working party – Fetal Awareness (2008-10)

Member American College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists working group “Neonatal encephalopathy and cerebral palsy” (2010-2013)