Professor Melissa Westwood
Associate Vice-President for Research.
Professor Westwood is Professor of Endocrinology (2015) and Associate Vice-President for Research (2018).
Previously, she was Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and Academic Director of the University’s MRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (2015-18) and Lead of the Centre for Women's Health in the Faculty's Institute of Human Development (2011-2015).
Professor Westwood graduated from The University of Manchester with a first class honours degree in Anatomical Sciences in 1991 and began her PhD studies, also at the University, on the role of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis in diabetes. However, an unexpected finding led her into pregnancy research and a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (1997) to pursue her PhD findings. This resulted in a number of key studies relating to IGF function in normal and compromised pregnancies and ‘finding solutions to pregnancy problems’ became the focus of her research.
Her current interests, funded through Research Council and UK charities, include the influence of maternal hormonal and nutritional signals on implantation and placental development/function, aiming to develop new strategies for clinical intervention.
Professor Westwood serves on the Editorial Board for Placenta and is a member of the International Federation of the Placenta Association's Executive Committee.