Discovery Research

Our Discovery Research portfolio contributes to global knowledge about preterm birth and supports testing of tools to improve preterm birth prevention and management. We support projects through two distinct mechanisms: (1) a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process for East African investigators and (2) targeted studies that address priority research areas. By focusing on locally driven research questions, we are further defining this previously invisible problem.

The RFP program is shedding much needed light on preterm birth etiology and epidemiology in East Africa, and it is accelerating the development of promising East African researchers interested in prematurity-related research. Since 2015, we’ve selected 14 projects for funding. These projects span the life course – from elucidating risk factors associated with prematurity to developing clinical tools to improve preterm care to understanding what happens when these babies go home. Through this program, we also promote capacity-strengthening activities that include training at UCSF laboratories, in-country data analysis and writing workshops, and formal connections with research mentors.

Targeted studies, the second arm of our Discovery Research portfolio, represent key topic areas that organically surfaced from our measurement and implementation research efforts. Project topics include new biomarkers and approaches to accurately assess gestational age, preterm birth phenotyping, and exploration of preterm outcomes after facility discharge. Most of these projects leverage the research platforms of the large trials, and they will add much-needed knowledge around preterm birth epidemiology and community drivers of post-neonatal outcomes.

A complete list of PTBi-EA Discovery publications can be found here.