£1.8m funding boost to address long-term impacts of maternal infectious disease in pregnancy

Receipt of the prestigious Wellcome Career Development Award will help LSHTM's Dr Enny Paixao Cruz to examine more clearly what maternal infection means for long-term health outcomes for the offspring

Enny Cruz quote card

Dr Enny Paixao Cruz, Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has received a £1.8 million Wellcome Career Development Award to study the long-term consequences of maternal infectious disease during pregnancy on children and adolescents.

The award will fund research investigating whether infectious disease during pregnancy can increase the risk of children developing a non-infectious chronic condition later in life. This includes research on the impact of infectious disease during pregnancy on the growth patterns of children. The study will use data from Brazilian mothers, children and adolescents and will also explore how adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth, influence the relationship between infectious disease in pregnancy and non-infectious chronic conditions in childhood or adolescence.

Dr Cruz said: “The results from this study will advance our understanding of the relationship between infectious diseases during pregnancy and chronic disorders, enabling the targeting of critical points along the path from in utero exposure to outcomes to avoid or mitigate illness and disability over the life course.

“This award gives me the unique opportunity to develop my research programme and my independence as a scientist with the final goal of becoming an internationally recognised leader and promoting a positive and inclusive culture to support the next generation of researchers. I am very grateful for this Wellcome Trust award.”

The funding will also support three other researchers to work with Dr Cruz over the next eight years.

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