Giants in Obstetrics - A profile of Prof Chris Redman
25 February 2021
Prof Chris Redman first joined the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford, as a University Lecturer and Consultant in Obstetric Medicine in 1976. He is highly regarded and recognised as a world class expert, pioneering research into pre-eclampsia, placental physiology, and immunology of the maternal-fetal interface and for his invention of the first computerized system of antepartum fetal heart rate analysis.
He was appointed a Clinical Professor in 1992 and in addition to his research interests, he created the High Risk Service in the Women’s Centre (John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford) and many of its associated clinics.
He is a Fellow ad eundum of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and recipient of the Chesley Award of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (2000), the Barnes Award, of the International Society of Obstetric Medicine (2002), ex-President of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (2006-2008) and Founder and Trustee of the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia.
The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology celebrated Prof Redman's huge contribution to Women's Health in their article: "Giants in Obstetrics and Gynecology Series:a profile of Christopher Redman, MB, BChir, MRCP, FRCP". In it he discusses his hugely important body of work including; a randomized clinical trial to treat pregnant patients with chronic hypertension; an elevation of serum uric acid and subsequent fetal death in patients with hypertension in pregnancy; a placental production of microparticles deported into maternal circulation; the discovery that pregnancy is characterized by physiologic intravascular inflammation and placental extracellular vesicles.
It offers a valuable insight into Prof Redman's mentors and the scientific culture at Oxford University, what is important to him outside of work (dance classes, family, and cycling) as well as his reflections on academic medicine and research and his legacy. Read article here
Here we share Prof Redman's fascinating thoughts about the human placenta:
I had not intended to be interested in the placenta; it was an unexpected line of investigation that became inevitable as the way to understand how preeclampsia developed,” Chris recalled. “The more I learned about the placenta, the more perplexing it was and the more interesting it became.” He now considers the placenta to be the second-most interesting human organ, after the brain. Chris described the placenta as “a remarkable tissue half fetal, half maternal,not yet innervated that produces many of the hormones that the rest of the body produces, and lots of other things that are very specific to its own functions, and it’s a throwaway organ. After nine months, its job is done and it goes. And with it goes the complete history of the pregnancy wrapped up inside it.