The GLOW Committee
The steering committee founded GLOW in 2011 and is made up of senior academics committed to improving maternal and child health, along with a trainee representative. Together they decide the direction of GLOW and facilitate the organising of the GLOW conferences.
Arri Coomarasamy (University of Birmingham) is a Professor of Gynaecology and a trustee of Ammalife, an international charity with a mission to reduce maternal death and disability in the developing world. He holds numerous research grants, of over £8 million, and has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles. His research program includes leading the three national/international multicentre randomised trials, one on the role of progesterone therapy in recurrent miscarriages (The PROMISE Trial) another on the use of levothyroxine in women with thyroid antibodies (The TABLET Trial) and the third on the effects of prophylactic antibiotics before miscarriage surgery in low-income countries (the AIMS Trial) . He is a past editor for British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Prof. Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical training at the University of Birmingham, and subspecialist training in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery from Guy’s Hospital, London. He was awarded an MD by the University of Birmingham for his work exploring the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic information.
Tina Lavender (University of Manchester) is Professor of Midwifery and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Health at the University of Manchester. She also holds an honorary contract at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester and a Visiting Professorship at the University of Nairobi. She leads a programme of research, Midwifery and Women's Health; her main research focus being the management of prolonged labour and partogram use. Dame Tina has published extensively in this field. She is Co-editor in Chief of the British Journal of Midwifery, Associate Editor of the African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Editor of the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group of the Cochrane Collaboration and on the editorial team of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dame Tina is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives and European Academy of Nurse Science. Dame Tina also acts as a regular Advisor to the World Health Organization, particularly in relation to guideline development.
Gwyneth Lewis (Institute of Women's Health, University College London, London, UK). Widely known and respected by the maternal and new-born health community, globally as well as in the UK, Gwyneth is a clinician, author, policy maker, teacher, researcher, film maker and advocate for improved services for all women and babies. She has held several roles in promoting safer motherhood and child health both nationally and globally. Currently she is the leader for International Women’s Health Research at the Institute for Women’s Health, University of London where her key interests are raising quality of care, improving access to reproductive health services and using audits and reviews to overcome the barriers most women and new-borns face in accessing high quality maternal and newborn health care services. Until early 2011, she was the national and international clinical leader for maternal health policy and research (the Maternal Health Tsar) in the UK where she developed the new NHS maternity services programme. She now concentrates mainly on the academic and international aspects of reproductive and maternal and newborn health. Gwyneth ran the UK Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths for thirty years and helped author, edit and develop the WHO initiative “Beyond the Numbers”, the leading programme for maternal death and morbidity review which is now the cornerstone of the new WHO programme for Maternal Death Surveillance and Response. She has worked in over 40 countries and trained representatives from another 30 in issues relating to quality of care or reviewing maternal deaths and near misses to improve care. She has just ceased working with the International Organisation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) on their maternal mortality audit programme in eight countries around the world.She recently co-edited and authored papers in the Quality of care in developing countries supplement for the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and has several more papers in press. She also lectures and write extensively on maternal and new born health and co-directed and produced several short films including the award winning My Sister My Self and Why Did Mrs X Die? She co-founded the educational charity “Hands-On” to reissue as well as update and introduce new board games and other hands-on training and teaching materials for health care and community support workers as well as for women, their families and communities around the world. There are several other exciting developments on the horizon.
Abi Merriel (University of Birmingham) is a Research Fellow in Global Maternal Health at the University of Birmingham. She trained at Bristol University and is currently an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trainee. Her interests lie around quality improvement in obstetric care and she is now undertaking a PhD in this area working in collaboration with colleagues in Malawi.
Andrew Weeks (University of Liverpool) is a Professor of International Maternal Health and director of the Sanyu Research Unit. He trained in Sheffield and Leeds, and spent 2 years as a visiting lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda before going to Liverpool in 2003. He was awarded a personal chair in 2011, and is honorary consultant obstetrician at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. His primary interest is in the translation of maternity care from high to low resource settings. He has a particular interest in misoprostol (he runs the www.misoprostol.org website), postpartum haemorrhage and the management of labour. He is currently running the INFORM study in India comparing the Foley catheter and misoprostol for induction of labour (funded by the MRC/Wellcome/DFID), the BabyGel study in Uganda (an MRC funded cluster RCT assessing the benefits of providing alcoholic hand gel to postnatal mothers in homes without running water), and the PPH Shelf study (an NIHR funded project developing a new treatment for PPH in which an intravaginal device diagnoses the source of postpartum bleeding as well as providing a platform against which to compress the uterus).
Wendy Graham (University of Aberdeen) is Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen and also holds an Honorary Professorship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She trained at Sheffield and then Oxford University, & was based at LSHTM for ten years prior to moving to Aberdeen. From 2002 to 2013, Wendy initiated and led IMMPACT - the international research group co-ordinated by the University of Aberdeen to strengthen the evidence-base for reducing maternal and newborn mortality. Focus areas for her current work are infection prevention at birth in healthcare facilities (see www.soapboxcollaborative.org), quality improvement of maternity services, maternal death surveillance and response systems, & strengthening the translation of research evidence into policy & practice. Wendy has undertaken collaborative research in many countries over the last 25 years, with partnership projects currently in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gambia, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. She continues to serve on expert panels and committees for many international organisations, partnerships and initiatives, such as the World Health Organization, the Wellcome Trust, and the UK Department for International Development. Wendy is passionate about supporting the next generation of MNH researchers and practitioners, as illustrated by her recent work with the International Federation of Medical Student Associations and her development of a new medical electives exchange scheme linking the University of Aberdeen with partner medical schools in low-income countries.
Julia Hussein (University of Aberdeen) is Scientific Director of Immpact. She trained as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Ireland and the UK. She worked in Afghanistan as a clinician and then in ‘public health obstetrics’. Julia has since implemented and managed maternal mortality reduction programmes for UNICEF and the UK government in Asia and sub Saharan Africa. Julia's interests are in health services research for maternity care, quality improvement, referral systems, infection control, monitoring and evaluation and capacity strengthening in low and middle income countries. She has authored over 50 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals and is on the Editorial Boards of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive Health Matters.
Joy Lawn (London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) is a Professor of Maternal Reproductive and Child Health Epidemiology, London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Director of the MARCH Centre. Joy is an African-born paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience of maternal, newborn and child health. She has over 20 years’ experience especially in Africa, including four years as a lecturer and neonatalogist in Ghana. She shifted to public health and global estimation working at the WHO Collaborating Center, CDC Atlanta, USA (1998-2001), and then at the Institute of Child Health, London, UK (2001-2004), and also completing a Masters of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta and a PhD in perinatal epidemiology at University College London, UK.