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Marian Knight
Professor Marian Knight MBE

Marian Knight, Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at Oxford Population Health’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, has been recognised in the New Year Honours list 2023. Professor Knight has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Maternal and Public Health. 

Professor Knight's 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.

She established the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) in 2005 to conduct national studies of severe morbidities in pregnancy and leads the MBRRACE-UK national Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity. She also leads a parallel stream of work to improve the care of babies who undergo surgery in early life.

Her work demonstrating inequalities in maternal mortality amongst women from Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic groups has led to a number of actions to improve care for pregnant women from ethnic minority groups. She also led the national study of pregnant women admitted with COVID-19 in pregnancy, contributing to the pandemic response to help ensure pregnant women receive an equitable standard of care to the non-pregnant population.

Professor Knight was elected to fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2021 in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the advancement of medical science. She also received the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 2021 Recognition Award to Non-Obstetricians/Gynaecologists.

Professor Knight said ‘I am delighted to be awarded this honour which reflects the importance of maternal and child health and the work of a wide collaborative team.’ 

Professor Jenny Kurinczuk, Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, said ‘Marian made, and continues to make, a tremendous and exemplary contribution to the efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular its effects on pregnant women and babies. This was only possible by her work over many years establishing the UKOSS and MBRRACE-UK maternal research platforms that enabled this research. She has also made a continuing contribution to the RECOVERY trial particularly advocating for the inclusion of pregnant women.

‘I am enormously proud and delighted to celebrate Marian being awarded an MBE. This is a very well-deserved honour and a great start to 2023 for us all.’ 

Professor Knight is one of five members of the University of Oxford to be honoured this year. Read about all of the honours on the University of Oxford website.