Center for Perinatal Research
Director: Michael J. Soares, PhD
The quality of postnatal life has its origins in the womb. Scientists in the Center for Perinatal Research seek to understand how maternal physiology and pathology impact fetal development and program postnatal health and disease. Pregnancy is a well conserved process and designed to ensure the survival of the species. A specialized and highly adaptive organ derived from extraembryonic structures called the placenta orchestrates pregnancy and creates the milieu in which the fetus develops. Failures in placental adaptations to the maternal environment lead to diseases of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and pre-term birth. In utero insults have fundamental organizational effects on the developing fetus, which affect postnatal health and susceptibility to adult disease. The efforts of our researchers are key to improving the health and quality of life.