“The research of today is the treatment of tomorrow”

Professor Michael A Patton (Newlife Trustee)


Newlife’s investment in pioneering medical research provides real hope for the future. We have invested more than £16 million in over 300 individual projects at more than 80 research institutions across the UK. Over 50 disease causing genes have now been identified and Newlife is funding projects into new treatments. Newlife’s ten-year medical training programme has helped over 60 students get an insight into the world of research.


Newlife has an active research programme with applications being funded throughout the financial year, relevant to the aetiology, prevention and treatment of Birth Defects. We are working to improve the lives of children and families in the UK by focusing on conditions which cause lost pregnancies, brain malformations, organ defects, syndromes and loss of sensory or physical ability, as well as syndromes and disorders which affect thousands of children every year, affecting ability and shortening young lives.

The Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre was opened at the Institute of Child Health in London, by HRH the Princess Royal, in 2012. It is Europe’s biggest centre dedicated to research into birth defects, which is the number one threat to child health in the world today.

Active Medical Research

Below are the details of the ongoing pioneering medical research that Newlife is funding. We offer two types of grants – Full and Start Up.

Full Grants
Date Research Area Institution
7 February 2019 Gene Therapy Skin Disease & Netherton Syndrome Institute of Child Health UCL
7 February 2019 Microcephaly MRC Human Genetics Unit – Edinburgh
7 February 2019 MRI in Mircocephaly / Fetal MRI University of Sheffield
9 February 2018 Micro Syndrome University of Leeds
9 February 2018 PAX6 and Eye Malformations University of Edinburgh
9 February 2018 Skull Treatment Newlife Birth Defects Centre – London
9 February 2018 Understanding Genetic Mutations University of Oxford
3 February 2017 Autism – Discovery of new gene (KPTN) as cause of Autism University of Exeter Medical School
3 February 2017 Spina Bifida – Searching for New Genes in Spina Bifida University College London Hospitals NHS
3 February 2017 Understanding the Developmental Delay in Kabuki Syndrome St Mary’s Hospital – Manchester
3 February 2017 Ushers Syndrome – Stem Cell therapy for Ushers Syndrome Newlife Birth Defects Centre – London
21 January 2016 Bladder Exstrophy St Mary’s Hospital – Manchester


Start Up Grants
Date Research Area Institution
29 March 2019 Disease modelling of the rare genetic bone disorder, Hajdu-Cheney Syndrome, Using pluripotent cells and drug repurposing. Kings College London
29 March 2019 Exploring FGF-21 As a Potential Treatment of Mitochondrial disease University of Oxford
29 March 2019 Novel Candidate genes underlying autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorders with intellectual disability St George’s Hospital – London
9 March 2018 Chromosome Division – Chromosome Abnormalities, Downs Syndrome University of Bristol
9 March 2018 Developing a new technique for MRI imaging in skull malformations – Craniosynostosis; hemifacial microsomia; MRI scanning Addenbrookes Hospital University of Cambridge
9 March 2018 Genetic Predisposition to Fetal CMV infection – Deafness; Intrauterine infection; CMV University College Hospital – London
9 March 2018 Genetics of Hirschsprung Disease University of Oxford
9 March 2018 Stem cell investigation of cerebellar development – Cerebellar malformation; brain malformation; stem cell Newlife Birth Defects Centre – London
9 March 2018 Surgical outcome in Hirschsprungs disease – Hirschsprung’s disease; surgical outcome University of Oxford
19 December 2017 Osteogenesis Imperfecta University of Sheffield
22 March 2017 Congenital Heart Disease – Exosome signalling in Heart Development Liverpool John Moores University
16 March 2016 Lung Malformation Registry University of Southampton
16 March 2016 Weidmann-Steiner Syndrome – The WiSH Study Great Ormond Street Hospital – London
25 March 2015 Neurofibromatosis – Gene Splicing in Neurofibromatosis University of Southampton
21 October 2014 Club Foot – Club Foot Abnormalities & Quality of life study Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust