The MFMU Network is designed to conduct perinatal studies to improve maternal and fetal outcomes. Greatest emphasis and priority are given to randomized-controlled trials, followed by observational studies.
The major aims of the Network are to:
- Reduce the rates of preterm birth, fetal growth abnormalities, neurologic sequelae of the newborn and maternal complications of pregnancy
- Evaluate maternal and fetal interventions for effiacy, safety and cost-effectiveness
Included in these aims are:
- Translational research
- The use of genetics
- The evaluation of new technologies in the promotion of maternal-child health/prevention of disease
The NICHD established the MFMU Network in 1986 to respond to the need for well-designed clinical trials in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics, particularly with respect to the continuing problem of preterm birth. The aims of the Network are to reduce maternal, fetal, and infant morbidity related to preterm birth, fetal growth abnormalities, and maternal complications, and to provide the rationale for evidence-based, cost-effective obstetric practice. UNC at Chapel Hill joined the MFMU Network in 2001 with Dr. John Thorp, Jr. as the principal investigator.
The Institute funds the MFMU Network through its Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) using the Cooperative Clinical Research award mechanism (U10) in 5-year competitive cycles. For the 2016–2021 cycle, the MFMU Network includes 12 clinical centers at U.S. universities and hospitals, a data coordinating center at The George Washington University, and the NICHD . MFMU Network centers may include one or more affiliated hospitals. The clinical centers represent premier institutions in perinatal medicine with track records of excellence in clinical research.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke also provide support for certain projects within the MFMU Network. MFMU Network studies include randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and registries. Network trials may be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov and on the MFMU Network website. The UNC MFMU Network grant is administered by the Center for Women’s Health Research at UNC.