About PTBi

Prematurity is an epidemic with devastating consequences. Being born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide in babies and children under age 5.

Each year across the world, one million preterm babies will die within the first 28 days of life. Of the 14 million more preterm babies who survive, many are faced with a lifetime of serious health complications. Unfortunately, despite years of research and policy work, the global rates of prematurity remain relatively unchanged. They are even increasing in some countries, like the United States.

We are here to turn the curve on preterm birth.

The Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is founded on the belief that every child deserves a healthy start, regardless of the circumstances he or she was born into. Generously funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PTBi is a multi-year, transdisciplinary research effort that unites researchers, clinicians, public health experts, and communities to collaboratively apply innovative ideas and approaches to the epidemic of prematurity.

PTBi takes a place-based and cell-to-society approach, in order to evaluate the effect of developing and implementing locally-relevant and culturally sensitive interventions across the reproductive lifecourse. The Initiative is geographically focused, comprised of a domestic arm in California (PTBi-CA) and a global arm in East Africa (PTBi-EA).

PTBi California works in San Francisco, Oakland, and Fresno to reduce the significant socioeconomic and racial disparities in preterm birth.

PTBi East Africa works in districts within Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda to decrease high rates of preterm birth and maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Read our core principles