Maternal Fetal Communication
“The 25 Club has been a lifeline for innovative science at Magee-Womens Research Institute, fueling discovery research that challenges current knowledge, and is not commonly funded by standard means. The partnership between 25 Club members and our scientists impacts the health and wellness of women and infants in Pittsburgh, yet has far-reaching implications for societal health globally.”
~Dr. Yoel Sadovsky – Director, Magee-Womens Research Institute Yoel Sadovsky, MD, Director, Magee-Womens Research Institute, Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair of Women’s Health Research and Associate Dean, Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences Research, University of Pittsburgh
Restricted fetal growth and premature delivery impact the health of a newborn and may be forerunners for many chronic childhood and adult diseases. Creating the potential to alter this course, Dr. Yoel Sadovsky and his team investigate the placenta and its ability not only to provide oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby, buts its function as a physical barrier to infection, that may result in pregnancy loss, developmental abnormalities, growth restriction, and preterm birth.Dr. Sadovsky and his team have made significant progress in his investigation into the production and function of human placental nanovesicles, which contain microRNAs and other molecules that weaken maternal-fetal viral infection during pregnancy. They have characterized the surface proteins and content of placental nanovesicles and their trafficking into maternal tissues showing that these vesicles are capable of entering recipient cells. The Twenty-Five Club award has allowed them to make good progress in assessing the level of these “anti-viral” microRNA molecules in pregnant women at Magee and successfully complete an NIH grant that provided $3.5 Million over 5-year to advance this work. The ultimate goal is to ensure the best outcomes for babies and mothers.