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Sally L. Collins

Sally L. Collins


Sally graduated in Medicine from the University of Oxford and specialized in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, training within the Oxford region during which time she completed a PhD in Obstetric Ultrasound which started her journey in AI for medical imaging. 

She is highly research active having authored over 150 journal articles, filed three patents and won several international research awards.

She currently leads the placenta accreta service at Birmingham Women's Hospital.

AI Research

Using machine learning techniques her team pioneered the first fully automated method for estimating placental morphology and vascularity from a 3D-PD ultrasound image, the OxNNet Toolkit. She is PI on a Phase 2 grant from the NIHR AI in Health and Care awards. This aims to test the clinical utility of the OxNNet Toolkit to predict adverse pregnancy outcomes from a simple first trimester ultrasound scan. A second study is also underway to investigate how easily it can be embedded into a standard NHS ultrasound department and provide a full healthcare economic analysis. It is hoped that this will form the basis of a multifactorial, early pregnancy screening test for fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia.

Using transfer learning her team are now aiming to apply their fully convolutional neural network to assess the volume and vascularity of other organs and tumours.

Placenta Accreta Spectrum

Sally co-authored both national (RCOG) and international (FIGO) guidelines for the classification, diagnosis and management of placenta accreta spectrum, (PAS) and was the lead author on the IS-PAS evidence based guideline for intra-partum management of PAS. She is also working with NHS England to develop a national network for the improved management of PAS. She represents the UK to and is Chair of the International Society for PAS (IS-PAS) and belongs to the European Placenta Group.

Expertscape recently ranked her as one of the top three experts in the world for my work on placenta accreta.

Research Team and Local Collaborators

International Collaborators

University of Cambridge

Prof Graham Burton

University of Auckland

Dr Alys Clark & Dr Jo James

University of New South Wales

Prof Alec Welsh & Dr Gordon Stevenson

Hackensack University Medical Center

Dr Stacy Zamudio & Dr Nick Illsley

Sally L. Collins


Professor of Obstetrics

  • Principal Investigator - Sir Jules Thorn Award for Translational Research 2021
  • Principal Investigator - NIHR AI in Health and Care Awards (Phase 1 2020 & Phase 2 2021)
  • Principal Investigator - NIH Human Placenta Project (U01HD087209)
  • Lead Oxford Placenta Accreta Team (OxPAT)
  • UK representative and Chairman of the International Society for Placenta Accreta Spectrum (IS-PAS)
  • Member of the European Placenta Group
  • Recognised on Expertscape as one of the top 3 in the world for her expertise in placenta accreta
  • Consultant Obstetrician and Lead for Placenta Accreta Birmingham Women's Hospital

Research groups


Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions). Editors: Collins S, Arulkumaran S, Jackson S, Impey L. Oxford University Press.

Oxford Specialist Handbook of Maternal Medicine. Editors: Frise C & Collins S. 2020, Oxford University Press.

Oxford Subspecialty Handbooks in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Series Editor. Oxford University Press. Published so far:

  • Maternal Medicine
  • Urogynaecology

International Fellowships and Research Awards

Andree Gruslin Award 2018

International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA), Tokyo, Japan

Seelye Fellowship 2016

University of Auckland, New Zealand

Best platform poster - Pregnancy Outcome 2015

17th Annual Meeting British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society, London

Highly Commended British Medical Association Book Awards 2014

Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2nd Edition), London

Best short oral presentation - Maternal-Fetal Doppler 2012

22nd World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Copenhagen, Denmark

Trophoblast Research Award 2011

International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA), Geilo, Norway

Other roles

  • Editorial Board Member ‘Placenta’
  • Associate Editor Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (2017-2021)
  • Associate Editor of BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2015-2017)
  • Internal Speciality Advisor (examiner) for Obstetrics and Gynaecology Finals, Oxford University Clinical Medical School (2016-2020)
  • Lecturer and practical demonstrator on Placental Anatomy (Pre-clinical and Graduate entry courses, Oxford University)
  • MOET and POET course instructor

Recent publications

More publications