Parasol Foundation Centre for Women’s Health and Cancer Research at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Launched by Ruth Monicka Parasol in March 2022, the Parasol Foundation Centre for Women’s Health and Cancer Research is based at Hammersmith and St Mary’s hospitals in north west London.
The research centre, created in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial Health Charity, focuses on research to develop advanced treatments for women’s cancers, such as ovarian cancer, and explore the health impacts of pre-term birth.
Imperial College Healthcare provides exceptional care and treatment for the communities it serves, and is at the forefront of pioneering clinical research in a wide range of specialist fields.
The centre opens up a brand-new care pathway for women with gynaecological cancers underpinned by the latest research and treatments.
Our donation is enabling Imperial College Healthcare to purchase innovative surgical equipment and award three fellowships for women to lead research in the field. Three additional grants will also be awarded to help Imperial College Healthcare continue its world-leading research in the field of pre-term birth, exploring approaches to reduce the likelihood of premature labour and improve outcomes for women who may be at risk.
The scope of research was extended in January 2023 to explore the links between infectious diseases and pregnancy. Researchers will use thousands of blood samples provided by women as part of their maternity care to examine rates of immunity and infection during their pregnancy.
A similar study carried out in 2020 enabled experts to track the spread of Covid-19 – and they believe developing this approach could enhance our understanding of other infectious diseases like polio and rubella.
The research could even help scientists learn more about future pandemics by pinpointing when and where viruses spread.
The Parasol Foundation Centre for Women’s Health and Cancer Research underlines our long-term commitment to improving women’s health and creating opportunities for women to break down barriers and excel in the fields of science, medicine and research.
We’ve also initiated research investigating the impact of gender on career progression for female academics in science and healthcare. We’re planning for the findings to be widely shared to stimulate debate and change.