Prof Melissa Westwood

Professor of Endocrinology and Associate Vice-President for Research, The University of Manchester

Prof Melissa WestwoodInternational Federation of Placental Associations Meeting 2017

Prof Melissa Westwood is a member of Manchester’s Conference Ambassador Programme, having established a Local Organising Committee which successfully secured the rights to host the prestigious International Federation of Placental Associations Meeting 2017.

Taking place at Manchester Central, the meeting attracted over 400 delegates from 38 different countries.

The International Federation of Placenta Associations is devoted to supporting and promoting excellence in the field of placental research throughout the world. Manchester has particular strengths in this area of research. The Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC) is Europe's largest pregnancy research centre with over 80 research and support staff, including clinical-scientists, scientists and research midwives. The centre's focus is the baby's life support machine, the placenta. Its scientists have recently made some important breakthroughs in understanding what can go wrong in that area and which chemical substances may tell us early on that there's a problem, so that treatment can be targeted before it's too late.

Manchester's bid was supported by a strong partnership of organisations, including the University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tommy's the Baby Charity and the Manchester Convention Bureau.

Prof Westwood commented: "We're delighted to be bringing IFPA -the premier conference in our field - to Manchester in 2017. It's a real opportunity to showcase our Centre and cement our reputation as world-leading researchers in Maternal and Fetal Health. The IFPA Executive were blown away by the professionalism of our bid and we certainly couldn't have done it without the encouragement, advice and support from the Manchester Convention Bureau."

Anthony Cassidy, Senior International Sales Manager at Marketing Manchester added: "It has been our pleasure to support with the bid to host IFPA and we are thrilled that Manchester will be hosting the meeting in 2017. We have a great relationship with the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre and have organised many events in this field in the past, including the Placental Perfusion Workshop with Dr Paul Brownbill and the Stillbirth Workshop with Prof Colin Sibley. We look forward to supporting their incredible work in the future."