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I undertook my undergraduate medical training in Cambridge and Edinburgh, training initially in obstetrics and neonatology, before completing a DPhil in Oxford investigating the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. During my DPhil I became interested in epidemiology and population health. I therefore undertook specialty training in public health in the Oxford Deanery, becoming a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in 2006. In February 2012, I was awarded one of the first UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Professorships and was appointed to the position of Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in the Nuffield Department of Population Health. I lead the MBRRACE-UK national Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity and am Programme Director for the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit programme, which funds projects using a wide range of methods which aim to directly improve health and wellbeing. I was elected to fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2021 in recognition of my exceptional contribution to the advancement of medical science. I joined Exeter College as a Supernumerary Fellow in 2022.


I am an applied health researcher whose research focuses on the care and prevention of severe complications of pregnancy and early life and addressing disparities in outcomes for women and babies from different population groups. I conduct a range of studies to address key challenges with global relevance in maternal and child health, using a range of epidemiological study designs, including randomised clinical trials, observational studies and qualitative work. My focus has been to develop specific methodologies within the UK context and to then expand these to international settings. I developed the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) to undertake national studies of uncommon and severe disorders of pregnancy and the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System (BAPS-CASS) and subsequently Children’s Surgery Outcomes Reporting (CSOR) programme to study the surgical management of uncommon neonatal conditions. In order to maximise the benefit of studies of uncommon conditions internationally, I set up the International Network of Obstetric Survey Systems (INOSS) to facilitate multinational collaborative and comparative studies, a very active collaboration which has contributed most recently to enhancing the evidence on prevention and management of Covid-19 in pregnancy.


I teach on the Maternal and Child Health module of the MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology, as well as supervising Masters and DPhil students. I also mentor academic trainees, both clinical and non-clinical, and teach on a range of postgraduate medical courses.

Selected publications

ORCID: 0000-0002-1984-4575

  • Engjom H, van den Akker T, Aabakke A, Ayras O, Bloemenkamp K, Donati S, Cereda D, Overtoom E, Knight M. Severe COVID-19 in pregnancy is almost exclusively limited to unvaccinated women – time for policies to change. Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2022 Feb;13:100313.
  • Knight M, Bunch K, Vousden N, Banerjee A, Cox P, Cross-Sudworth F, Dhanjal MK, Douglas J, Girling J, Kenyon S, Kotnis R, Patel R, Shakespeare J, Tuffnell D, Wilkinson M, Kurinczuk JJ; MBRRACE-UK. A national cohort study and confidential enquiry to investigate ethnic disparities in maternal mortality. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Dec 13;43:101237.
  • Ayman G, Strachan JA, McLennan N, Malouf R, Lowe-Zinola J, Magdi F, Roberts N, Alderdice F, Berneantu I, Breslin N, Byrne C, Carnell S, Churchill D, Grisoni J, Hirst JE, Morris A, Murphy HR, O’Brien J, Schmutz C, Shah K, Singal AS, Strachan MWJ, Cowan K, Knight M. The top 10 research priorities in diabetes and pregnancy according to women, support networks and healthcare professionals. Diabet Med. 2021 May 5:e14588.
  • Allin BSR, Opondo C, Kurinczuk JJ, Baird R, Puligandla P, Skarsgard E, Knight M; BAPS-CASS/NETS2G/CAPSNet/CNN gastroschisis collaborations. Management of Gastroschisis: Results From the NETS2G Study, a Joint British, Irish, and Canadian Prospective Cohort Study of 1268 Infants. Ann Surg. 2021 Jun 1;273(6):1207-1214.
  • Knight M, Bunch K, Vousden N, Morris E, Simpson N, Gale C, O’Brien P, Quigley M, Brocklehurst P, Kurinczuk JJ; UK Obstetric Surveillance System SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pregnancy Collaborative Group. Characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women admitted to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK: national population-based cohort study. BMJ. 2020 Jun 8;369:m2107.
  • WHO Global Maternal Sepsis Study (GLOSS) Research Group. Frequency and management of maternal infection in health facilities in 52 countries (GLOSS): a 1-week inception cohort study. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 May;8(5):e661-e671.
  • Knight M, Chiocchia V, Partlett C, Rivero-Arias O, Hua X, Hinshaw K, Tuffnell D, Linsell L, Juszczak E, on behalf of the ANODE collaborative group. Prophylactic antibiotics in the prevention of infection after operative vaginal delivery (ANODE): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet Jun 15;393(10189):2395-2403.