Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort

The Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort will examine participants at birth and after nine months, two years, five years and every five years until they are 25 years old.

Ground-breaking clinical and scientific research

This multidisciplinary study will draw on the ground-breaking clinical and scientific research methods developed by the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory. The study will include social, educational and clinical information, which will make the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort the first research initiative in the world to investigate perinatal brain injury this comprehensively.  The study is funded by the children’s charity Theirworld.  For further information about Theirworld go to

Survival rates for infants born too soon or too small have improved dramatically in recent years but rates of brain injury among survivors have not, and long term complications affecting several body systems are common. One of the greatest challenges facing 21st century perinatal medicine is to find new ways of reducing brain injury and improving life-long outcome. By integrating recent major advances in biology and imaging with the comprehensive annotation of the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort, we will create a world-leading and unique human system to expedite new discoveries and treatments for babies born to soon.– Dr James Boardman Chief Investigator

Infancy to adulthood

The study will follow 400 young people from infancy to adulthood and will help to reach a broader understanding of developmental problems as a result of being born too early or too small. Over the coming years, it also aims to develop therapeutics and strategies to help children and young people who have problems access the help and support they need.