Placental Laboratory

About the Program

"Maternal-fetal medicine is the only specialty in medicine in which there are two hosts. Generally, they should have the same interests, but with the introduction of insults, the interests are often divergent."
Dr. Roberto Romero
  • Training in placental pathology and histology
  • The study of the human placenta in normal and abnormal pregnancies
  • Correlation between clinical presentation and histopathological/molecular phenotypes of the placenta
  • Unique opportunities for basic research: cellular/molecular biological techniques, bright field microscopy, immunostaining and imaging
  • Hands-on experience in the laboratory with PCR, Western Blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, transfection experiments, gene silencing, etc
  • Advanced technology such as scanning confocal microscope, laser microdissection system, tissue microarrayer, and others
  • Participation in clinical pathological conferences


  • Study the relationship between placental lesions and adverse pregnancy outcome
  • Determine the mechanisms of disease underlying placental lesions
  • The role of fetal membranes in pregnancy complications

Research Focus

  • Correlation between placental histology and clinical outcome
  • Placental gene expression patterns and its relationship to placental histology
  • The differential changes of the placenta vs. mother/fetus in different conditions (preeclampsia, chorioamnionitis, inflammation, etc)
  • Histology of normal and abnormal human labor
  • Changes in the fetal membranes in chorioamnionitis


  • Demonstration of in vivo plasticity of chorioamniotic connective tissue cells, which has biological implications in chorioamnionitis and rupture of the membranes
  • Demonstration of functional compartmentalization of the human placental amnion and reflected amnion
  • The role of microRNAs in human parturition and pregnancy disorders
  • Elucidation of the pattern of microbial migration in intrauterine infection

Selected Publications

  • Montenegro D, Romero R, Kim SS, Tarca AL, Draghici S, Kusanovic JP, Kim JS, Lee DC, Erez O, Gotsch F, Hassan SS, Kim CJ. Expression patterns of microRNAs in the chorioamniotic membranes: a role for microRNAs in human pregnancy and parturition. J Pathol 2009 Jan;217:113-21.
  • Kim MJ, Romero R, Kim CJ, Tarca AL, Chhauy S, LaJeunesse C, Lee DC, Draghici S, Gotsch F, Kusanovic JP, Hassan SS, Kim JS. Villitis of unknown etiology is associated with a distinct pattern of chemokine up-regulation in the feto-maternal and placental compartments: implications for conjoint maternal allograft rejection and maternal anti-fetal graft-versus-host disease. J Immunol 2009 Mar;182:3919-27.
  • Than NG, Romero R, Goodman M, Weckle A, Xing J, Dong Z, Xu Y, Tarquini F, Szilagyi A, Gal P, Hou Z, Tarca AL, Kim CJ, Kim JS, Haidarian S, Uddin M, Bohn H, Benirschke K, Santolaya-Forgas J, Grossman LI, Erez O, Hassan SS, Zavodszky P, Papp Z, Wildman DE. A primate subfamily of galectins expressed at the maternal-fetal interface that promote immune cell death. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Jun;106:9731-6.
  • Kim MJ, Romero R, Gervasi MT, Kim JS, Yoo W, Lee DC, Mittal P, Erez O, Kusanovic JP, Hassan SS, Kim CJ. Widespread microbial invasion of the chorioamniotic membranes is a consequence and not a cause of intra-amniotic infection. Lab Invest 2009 Aug;89:924-36.
  • Kim CJ, Romero R, Kusanovic JP, Yoo W, Dong Z, Topping V, Gotsch F, Yoon BH, Chi JG, Kim JS. The frequency, clinical significance, and pathological features of chronic chorioamnionitis: a lesion associated with spontaneous preterm birth. Mod Pathol 2010 Jul;23:1000-11.
  • Lee DC, Romero R, Kim CJ, Chaiworapongsa T, Tarca AL, Lee J, Suh YL, Mazaki-Tovi S, Vaisbuch E, Mittal P, Draghici S, Erez O, Kusanovic JP, Hassan SS, Kim JS. Surfactant protein-A as an anti-inflammatory component in the amnion: implications for human pregnancy. J Immunol 2010 Jun;184:6479-91.
  • Nhan-Chang CL, Romero R, Tarca AL, Mittal P, Kusanovic JP, Erez O, Mazaki-Tovi S, Chaiworapongsa T, Hotra J, Than NG, Kim JS, Hassan SS, Kim CJ. Characterization of the transcriptome of chorioamniotic membranes at the site of rupture in spontaneous labor at term. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010 May;202:462.e1-41.
  • Jacques SM, Qureshi F, Kim CJ, Lee JH, Giorgadze T, Mittal P, Hassan SS, Romero R. Eosinophilic/T-cell chorionic vasculitis: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 51 cases. Pediatr Dev Pathol 2011 May-Jun;14:198-205.
  • Oggé G, Romero R, Lee DC, Gotsch F, Than NG, Lee J, Chaiworapongsa T, Dong Z, Mittal P, Hassan SS, Kim CJ. Chronic chorioamnionitis displays distinct alterations of the amniotic fluid proteome. J Pathol 2011 Mar;223:553-65.
  • Lee J, Romero R, Dong Z, Xu Y, Qureshi F, Jacques S, Yoo W, Chaiworapongsa T, Mittal P, Hassan SS, Kim CJ. Unexplained fetal death has a biological signature of maternal anti-fetal rejection: chronic chorioamnionitis and alloimmune anti-human leucocyte antigen antibodies. Histopathology 2011 Nov;59:928-38.
  • Jacques SM, Qureshi F. Intraplacental choriocarcinoma without associated maternal or fetal metastases. Int J Gynecol Pathol 2011 Jul;30:364-5.
  • Than NG, Romero R, Kim CJ, McGowen MR, Papp Z, Wildman DE. Galectins: guardians of eutherian pregnancy at the maternal-fetal interface. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2012 Jan;23:23-31.

Distinguished Faculty


Faisal Qureshi, MD

Associate Professor of Pathology, Director of Obstetrical and Perinatal Pathology, Hutzel Women’s Hospital