Translational Research

About the Program

  • 18 months of research in state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories
  • Design and conduct original basic and translational research in the study of prematurity, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, fetal growth restriction, abnormal placenta and fetal growth and development, prediabetes, diabetes mellitus, and fetal death
  • Mentoring by the Faculty in combination with a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
  • Completion of studies and manuscripts for submission to major scientific Journals and meetings
  • Research rounds: This daily meeting provides a unique learning experience to discuss patient management and to formulate research hypotheses with Fellows and Faculty
  • Weekly Journal Club

Objectives

  • Study of the mechanisms of disease of pregnancy complications
  • Development of novel diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative strategies to reduce perinatal morbidity and mortality
  • Research training for clinical fellows, residents and medical students

Research Questions

  • Study of the microbial diversity of the amniotic cavity and chorioamniotic interface using molecular-based techniques
  • The role of biomarkers for the prediction of spontaneous preterm delivery, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and fetal death
  • Development of a molecular taxonomy for preterm parturition using proteomic profiling
  • Study of neutrophil biology and neutrophil trophoblast interaction during pregnancy
  • The role of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in the pathophysiology of pregnancy complications

Important Points & Discoveries

  • Molecular and culture-based studies in amniotic fluid during preterm labor showed that the amniotic cavity harbors DNA from a greater diversity of microbes than previously suspected, including as-yet uncultivated
  • The use of a rapid MMP-8 bedside test for the detection of intra-amniotic inflammation identifies patients at risk for imminent preterm delivery
  • Determination of the prevalence and clinical significance of amniotic fluid “sludge” in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes, and in asymptomatic high-risk patients for spontaneous preterm delivery
  • First description of the identification of a microbial biofilm in the amniotic fluid in intra-amniotic infection associated to amniotic fluid “sludge”
  • Analysis of the proteomic profiling of amniotic fluid in premature labor using two-dimensional liquid separation and mass spectrometry, as well as the use of a novel computational method to analyze mass spectrometric profiling of amniotic fluid to identify women with preterm labor and intra-amniotic inflammation/infection
  • Longitudinal study of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in normal pregnancy and patients destined to develop preeclampsia and deliver a small-for-gestational age neonate
  • The value of maternal plasma concentrations of angiogenic and angiogenic factors in early pregnancy and midtrimester in the identification of patients destined to develop preeclampsia

Selected Publications

  • Kusanovic JP, Espinoza J, Romero R, Gonçalves LF, Nien JK, Soto E, Khalek N, Camacho N, Hendler I, Mittal P, Friel LA, Gotsch F, Erez O, Than NG, Mazaki-Tovi S, Schoen ML, Hassan SS. Clinical significance of the presence of amniotic fluid 'sludge' in asymptomatic patients at high risk for spontaneous preterm delivery. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2007 Oct;30:706-14.
  • Romero R, Schaudinn C, Kusanovic JP, Gorur A, Gotsch F, Webster P, Nhan-Chang CL, Erez O, Kim CJ, Espinoza J, Gonçalves LF, Vaisbuch E, Mazaki-Tovi S, Hassan SS, Costerton JW. Detection of a microbial biofilm in intraamniotic infection. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008 Jan;198:135.e1-5.
  • Nien JK, Yoon BH, Espinoza J, Kusanovic JP, Erez O, Soto E, Richani K, Gomez R, Hassan S, Mazor M, Edwin S, Bahado-Singh R, Romero R. A rapid MMP-8 bedside test for the detection of intra-amniotic inflammation identifies patients at risk for imminent preterm delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006 Oct;195:1025-30.
  • Kusanovic JP, Romero R, Chaiworapongsa T, Erez O, Mittal P, Vaisbuch E, Mazaki-Tovi S, Gotsch F, Edwin SS, Gomez R, Yeo L, Conde-Agudelo A, Hassan SS. A prospective cohort study of the value of maternal plasma concentrations of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in early pregnancy and midtrimester in the identification of patients destined to develop preeclampsia. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2009 Nov;22:1021-38.
  • Romero R, Espinoza J, Rogers WT, Moser A, Nien JK, Kusanovic JP, Gotsch F, Erez O, Gomez R, Edwin S, Hassan SS. Proteomic analysis of amniotic fluid to identify women with preterm labor and intra-amniotic inflammation/infection: the use of a novel computational method to analyze mass spectrometric profiling. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2008 Jun;21:367-88.

PERINATAL TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE LABORATORY UNIT

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

  • The application of single- and multi-analyte immunoassays for original basic and biomarker translation research.
  • Fellows gain hands-on experience in experimental tool including ELISA and multiplexes
  • Cutting edge laboratory equipment for single- and multi-analyte immunoassyas

OBJECTIVES

  • To study the mechanisms of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To develop a novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for great obstetrical syndromes.
  • Laboratory research training for clinical fellows, residents and medical students.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • To characterize specific subsets of the women with preterm delivery, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and fetal death based on pathophysiology.
  • To study the role of biomarkers for the prediction great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To study the role of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in the pathophysiology of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To characterize the role of the intra-amniotic infection and sterile intra-amniotic inflammation in the pathophysiology of great obstetrical syndromes.

IMPORTANT POINTS & DISCOVERIES

  • The description and identification of the role of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators in amniotic fluid in pregnancies complicated by great obstetrical syndromes.
  • Longitudinal study of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in normal pregnancy and pregnancy destined to develop preeclampsia.
  • The identification of value of concentrations of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in maternal plasma in the first and mid trimesters to identify women destined to develop preeclampsia.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • The prediction of fetal death with a simple maternal blood test at 20-24 weeks: a role for angiogenic index-1 (PlGF/sVEGFR-1 ratio). Chaiworapongsa T, Romero R, Erez O, Tarca AL, Conde-Agudelo A, Chaemsaithong P, Kim CJ, Kim YM, Kim JS, Yoon BH, Hassan SS, Yeo L, Korzeniewski SJ. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Dec; 217 (6):682.e1-682.e13.
  • Maternal plasma angiogenic index-1 (placental growth factor/soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1) is a biomarker for the burden of placental lesions consistent with uteroplacental underperfusion: a longitudinal case-control study. Korzeniewski SJ, Romero R, Chaiworapongsa T, Chaemsaithong P, Kim CJ, Kim YM, Kim JS, Yoon BH, Hassan SS, Yeo L. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 May;214(5):629e1-629e17.
  • ELABELA plasma concentrations are increased in women with late-onset preeclampsia. Panaitescu B, Romero R, Gomez-Lopez N, Pacora P, Erez O, Vadillo-Ortega F, Yeo L, Hassan SS, Hsu CD. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Jul 22:1-11/

BIOMARKER UNIT

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

  • To design and conduct original basic and translational research in the study of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To complete studies and manuscripts for submission to major scientific journals and meetings.
  • To provide mentoring by the Faculty in the combination with a multidisciplinary team.

OBJECTIVES

  • To study of the pathophysiological mechanisms of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To develop novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for great obstetrical syndromes with an ultimate goal to reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity
  • To provide a research training for clinical fellows, residents and medical students

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • To characterize specific subsets of the women with preterm delivery, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and fetal death based on pathophysiology.
  • To study the role of biomarkers for the prediction great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To identify the role of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in the pathophysiology of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To study the role of intra-amniotic infection and sterile intra-amniotic inflammation in pathophysiology of great obstetrical syndromes.
  • To study the neutrophile biology and maternal-fetal crosstalk during the healthy pregnancy and pregnancy complicated by great obstetrical syndromes.

IMPORTANT POINTS & DISCOVERIES

  • Molecular and culture-based studies of amniotic fluid from pregnancies complicated by preterm labor showed that the amniotic cavity harbors DNA from a great diversity of microbes than previously suspected, including non-cultivable and difficult to cultivate bacteria.
  • The use of rapid MMP-8 and IL-6 bedside tests to detect intra-amniotic inflammation and to identify women at risk for imminent preterm delivery.
  • Determination of the prevalence and clinical significance of amniotic fluid "sludge" in women with spontaneous preterm labor with intact membranes and in asymptomatic women at high risk of spontaneous preterm delivery.
  • First description of the identification of a microbial biofilm in amniotic fluid from pregnancies with intra-amniotic infection associated with amniotic fluid "sludge".
  • Analysis of the proteomic profiling of amniotic fluid from spontaneous preterm labor using two-dimensional liquid separation and mass spectrometry, as well as the use of a novel computational method to analyze mass spectrometric profiling of amniotic fluid to identify women with preterm labor and intra-amniotic inflammatory complications.
  • Longitudinal study of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in uncomplicated pregnancy and pregnancy destined to develop preeclampsia or small-for-gestational age fetus
  • The value of concentrations of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in maternal plasma in the first and mid trimesters to identify women destined to develop preeclampsia.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • The prediction of fetal death with a simple maternal blood test at 20-24 weeks: a role for angiogenic index-1 (PlGF/sVEGFR-1 ratio). Chaiworapongsa T, Romero R, Erez O, Tarca AL, Conde-Agudelo A, Chaemsaithong P, Kim CJ, Kim YM, Kim JS, Yoon BH, Hassan SS, Yeo L, Korzeniewski SJ. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Dec; 217 (6):682.e1-682.e13.
  • Metformin, the aspirin of the 21 century: its role in gestational diabetes mellitus, prevention of preeclampsia and cancer, and the promotion of longevity. Romero R, Erez O, Hüttemann M, Maymon E, Panaitescu B, Conde-Agudelo A, Pacora P, Yoon BH, Grossman LI. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep; 217(3): 281-302.
  • The maternal plasma proteome changes as a function of gestational age in normal pregnancy: a longitudinal study. Romero R, Erez O, Maymon E, Chaemsaithong P, Xu Z, Pacora P, Chaiworapongsa T, Done B, Hassan SS, Tarca AL. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jul; 217(1):67e1-67e21.
  • Maternal plasma angiogenic index-1 (placental growth factor/soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1) is a biomarker for the burden of placental lesions consistent with uteroplacental underperfusion: a longitudinal case-control study. Korzeniewski SJ, Romero R, Chaiworapongsa T, Chaemsaithong P, Kim CJ, Kim YM, Kim JS, Yoon BH, Hassan SS, Yeo L. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 May;214(5):629e1-629e17.

Distinguished Faculty

DIRECTOR
Marian Kacerovsky, MD, PhD

Professor - research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

FULL BIO


Offer Erez, MD

Professor, Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

FULL BIO


Percy Pacora, MD, MPH

Associate Professor- research. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Wayne State University

FULL BIO