OPERA - Optimal Pregnancy Environment Risk Assessment

Image courtesy by Daniel Lobo, Flickr


OPERA is an international, interdisciplinary program of women’s health researchers, care providers, foundations and international agencies dedicated to discovering and disseminating inexpensive and accessible tools to diagnose those women at risk for preterm birth (PTB) or other adverse pregnancy outcome as early as possible in pregnancy and to promoting effective interventions to mitigate these risks. OPERA’s initial efforts focus on risk diagnosis in populations of vulnerable women in any jurisdiction. An initiative of the Preterm Birth International Collaborative (PREBIC), OPERA receives support from WUN and the March of Dimes (MOD) and is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

OPERA is building a sustainable international organization that will provide guidance and support for studies of cohorts of pregnant women in order to develop evidence to 1) determine how to assess risk for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes simply, inexpensively and as early as possible in pregnancy, 2) identify the women in the highest (20%) at-risk group (with 80% precision), and 3) share this information with other studies, care-providers and interested parties. OPERA is not a funding organization but instead provides support in terms of special skills, study design, data evaluation and sharing, guidance, advocacy, informs about best practices and communicates discoveries and achievements to partners and target audiences.


For the latest updates and events please visit www.operamtg.org

The OPERA group helds its first meeting on March 23-24, 2015 in San Francisco. The purpose of this meeting was to:

  • discuss and generate enthusiasm to achieve the goals of OPERA, to appreciate why early assessment of risk is important;
  • identify what is meant by populations of vulnerable women and to listen to some of their stories;
  • hear about mechanisms of risk and what we can learn from them regarding development of risk assessment tools;
  • learn more about the studies in progress and how they are assessing risk for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes;
  • identify a few intervention strategies that may mitigate risks;
  • discuss how to move the OPERA agenda forward toward a sustainable program that provides genuine benefit for women, their babies and care providers.

A China Opera Workshop was held in Chongqing on 12 November 2016. Eight Chinese universities, five foreign universities and 75 people attended.

  • Dr. David Olson, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Rhonda Bell, University of Alberta
  • Ms. Barbara Verstraeten, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Phil Baker, University of Auckland
  • Dr. Svein Skulstad, University of Bergen
  • Dr. Caroline Relton, University of Bristol
  • Dr. James Walker, University of Leeds
  • Dr. Jane Hirst, University of Sydney
  • Dr. Craig Pennell, University of Western Australia
  • Ms. Melanie White, University of Western Australia
  • Dr. Adrienne Ettinger, Yale University
  • Dr. Amelia Reese Masterson, International Medical Corps
  • Dr. Anisur Rahman, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research
  • Dr. Ben Mol, University of Adelaide
  • Dr. Calvin Hobel, University of California
  • Dr. Claire Roberts, University of Adelaide
  • Dr. Craig Rubens, Global Alliance for the Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth
  • Dr. Dawn Misra, Wayne State University
  • Mr. Edouard Tursan d’Espaignet, World Health Organization
  • Dr. Felipe Vadillo-Ortego, National University of Mexico
  • Dr. Gerlinde Metz, University of Lethbridge
  • Dr. Gian Carlo Di Renzo, University of Perugia
  • Dr. Jane Norman, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr. Jeff Murray, Gates Foundation
  • Dr. Jeff Stringer, University of North Carolina
  • Dr. Jennifer Culhane, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Jinan Usta, American University of Beirut
  • Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, March of Dimes Foundation
  • Ms. Katharina Staub, Canadian Premature Babies Foundation 
  • Dr. Maria Laura Costa do Nascimento, State University of Campinas
  • Dr. Michael Gravett, Global Alliance for the Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth
  • Dr. Michael Katz, March of Dimes Foundation
  • Dr. Nanbert Zhang, Peking University
  • Dr. Qi Hongbo, Chongqing Medical University
  • Dr. Ramkumar Menon, University of Texas
  • Dr. Richard Saffery, University of Melbourne
  • Dr. Sarah Robertson, University of Adelaide
  • Dr. Satoru Takeda, Juntendo University
  • Dr. Shoo Lee, Canadian Institute of Health Research
  • Dr. Silke Mader, European Foundation for the Care of Infants and Newborns
  • Dr. Suzanne King, McGill University
  • Dr. Young-Ju Kim, Ewha Woman's University

Public Health (Non-communicable Disease)