Experts from the Vancouver-led international initiative to prevent one of the world’s leading causes of maternal and infant death during pregnancy and child birth

PRE-EMPT is funded by a $7-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This research and community-level intervention project involves developing and testing new strategies to prevent maternal and infant death and illness from pre-eclampsia. This meeting marks the first time that PRE-EMPT researchers, clinicians and experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America will come together to discuss progress to date and future initiatives.

Pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of maternal death in North America and the second leading cause of maternal death worldwide. Pre-eclampsia arises only during pregnancy and the sole cure is to deliver the baby. Deaths related to this disease are often preventable and are typically due to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Experts are available for commentary on the PRE-EMPT initiative and its projects:

    • Dr. Peter von Dadelszen, Principal Investigator for PRE-EMPT, clinician scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital, professor in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at UBC, and a consultant at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre.
    • Dr. Diane Sawchuck, International Project Director for the PRE-EMPT project and adjunct professor, nursing at UBC.
  • PRE-EMPT projects:
    • Calcium and Pre-eclampsia (CAP) Trial: The goal of this South African and Zimbabwean clinical trial is to determine whether or not calcium supplementation before or during pregnancy prevents the onset of pre-eclampsia and its consequences.
      • Dr. Justus Hofmeyr, Principal Investigator for the Calcium and Pre-eclampsia (CAP) Trial. Dr. Hofmeyr is employed in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, East London Hospital Complex in the Eastern Cape, and Director of the Effective Care Research Unit, a World Health Organization collaborating centre in research synthesis. 
    • mini-PIERS Development & Validation: This project aims to develop and validate mini-PIERS (Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk), a tool to identify, diagnose, and treat women at risk for pre-eclampsia.
      • Dr. Mark Ansermino, Principal Investigator for PIERS on the Move, a project that will use cell phone technology to create tools to identify, diagnose and manage women at risk for pre-eclampsia. Dr. Ansermino is a clinician scientist at CFRI, Director of Research for Pediatric Anesthesia at BC Children’s Hospital, and assistant professor in Anesthesia at UBC.
    • Community-Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP): This project tests the impact of a community-level package of care to identify, triage and manage women with pre-eclampsia. It includes a number of sub-projects in four South Asian and African countries.
      • Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Principal Investigator for CLIP Pakistan and Founding Chair of the Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
      • Dr. Hillary Bracken, Principal Investigator, Gynuity Health Projects' Oral Antihypertensive Trial (India).
      • Dr. Laure Magee, Principal Investigator, Maternal Mortality and Severe Acute Maternal Morbidity Audits and CLIP Therapeutics. Dr. Magee is a clinician scientist at CFRI and Clinical Professor, UBC Department of Medicine.
      • Dr. Rahat Najam Qureshi, Principal Investigator, CLIP Feasibility Study Pakistan and associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aga Khan University.
    • Global Pregnancy Colaboratory: This project involves establishing an international collaboration to share clinical data and biological samples.
      • Dr. Jim Roberts, Principal Investigator, Global Pregnancy Colaboratory and PRE-EMPT medical advisor.  Jim is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.
    • Knowledge Translation: This group will update the World Health Organization guidelines related to prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
      • Dr. Matthew Mathai, Principal Investigator, Knowledge Translation, Pre-eclampsia Guidelines. Dr. Mathai is the Co-ordinator of the Epidemiology, Monitoring and Evaluation Team in the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization. 
      • Ms. Eleni Tsigas, Principal Investigator, Knowledge Translation and Executive Director of the Pre-eclampsia Foundation.