Professor John R. Higgins is a practicing Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). He specialises in High Risk pregnancy. He is the Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in University College Cork. He is Clinical Director of CUMH and of Maternity Services in the region.
John’s subspecialty clinical and research interests are in the area of Maternal Fetal medicine. He has published widely on a range of topics including pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy), folic acid and pregnancy, twin pregnancy, and haemostatic alterations (changes in blood clotting) in pregnancy. In particular, he has explored the relationship between abnormal blood clotting and pregnancy complications including miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction, stillbirth and placental abruption. He has co-authored the National Guideline on Prevention of Venous Thrombosis in Pregnancy (2013) and is currently writing the guideline for Treatment of Venous Thrombosis in pregnancy. His expertise and experience primarily focusses on all types High Risk or complicated pregnancy. He runs a preconceptual clinic for women with previous poor pregnancy outcome or pre-existing medical disorders. He has an outreach clinic in South Tipperary General Hospital for couples who have suffered recurrent miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
John trained initially in internal medicine (MRCPI 1991). He commenced clinical and academic training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Rotunda Hospital and the TCD Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (MRCOG 1996, MD 1996). He undertook a fellowship in Maternal Fetal medicine at the University of Melbourne Perinatal Medicine Department at the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne. He was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Mercy Hospital for Women in 2000. He was awarded the FRANZCOG in 2000, FRCPI in 2003, FRCOG in 2007 and FACOG 2016. He was awarded the Andrew Phippard award for his research by the Australasian Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy, the Blair Bell Lectureship by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Ella McKnight Lectureship by the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetrician & Gynaecologists.
When he first returned to Ireland John’s main task was to lead the amalgamation of three maternity units in Cork to form CUMH. He believes that clinical practice should be integrated with research, teaching and training to achieve the highest standards. He wants CUMH to be a leader in research for women and new-born infants. He also wants CUMH to be a leader in ensuring safety of mothers and babies during pregnancy.
John is married to Ann; they have six children.