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Credit to Dr. Huijuan Zhang 
The microscopic  chorionic pseudocyst (MCP) in fetal membranes. MCP is a morphology  feature  in fetal membrane under stressed intrauterine microenvironment , frequently seen in chronic hypoxia. MCP contains eosinophilic fibrinoid material, sometimes mixed with granular deposition, surrounded by increased accumulation of extravillous trophoblastic cells. Several MCP may link together. The function and role of MCP in labour onset and preterm birth need to be elucidated.

Our Members

Name

Amy Murtha

Anudeepa Sharma 

Arum Han

Carlos M. Guardia

Chan-Wook Park

Claire Kendal-Wright

Corinne Belville

Damien Bouvier

David Aronoff

David Macintyre

Deepak Kumar

Carolyn Mitchell

Kirsty Pringle 

Felipe Vadillo-Ortega

Haruta Mogami

Helena Hornychova

Helena Choltus

Huijuan Zhang

Jeffrey Keelan

Jin Jin

John Moore

Jossimara Polettini

Kang Sun

Kristin Myers

Laura Martin

Lauren Richardson

Liping Feng

Loic Blanchon

Mancy Tong

Manuel Rausch

Márcia Guimarães da Silva

Marian Kacerovsky

Mark Johnson

Martha Lappas

Michelle Oyen

Murray Mitchell 

Narmada Lavu

Nanbert Zhong

Nardy Gomez-Lopez

Nathalia Mayumi Noda Nicolau 

Phillip Bennett

Ramkumar Menon

Rita Loch-Caruso

Robert Moore

Sarah Cunningham 

Sarah Delforce

Stephen Fortunato

Samantha Sheller-Miller

Tamas Zakar

Terrence Allen 

Veronica Fabrizio

Vikki Abrahams

Vincent Sapin

Viral Jain 

William  Marinello

Yong Wang

Zhiyang HU

Institution 

Duke University

Case Western Reserve

Texas A&M University

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Seoul National University

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Université Clermont Auvergne

Teaching hospital of Clermont-Ferrand 

Vanderbilt University

Imperial College London

Case Western Reserve

University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Kyoto University, Japan

Fakultní nemocnice Hradec Králové

Université Clermont Auvergne 

Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine

The University of Western Australia

Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

Case Western Reserve

Universidade do Oeste Paulista

Shanghai Jiao Tong University 

Columbia University

Botucatu Medical School

University of Texas Medical Branch

Duke University

Université Clermont Auvergne 

Yale University School of Medicine

University of Texas

Departamento de Patologia, aculdade de Medicina de Botucatu

Fakultní nemocnice Hradec Králové

Imperial College London

The University of Melbourne

East Carolina University

The University of Queensland

University of Texas Medical Branch

New York State Institure for Basic Research

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Botucatu Medical School

Imperial College London

University of Texas Medical Branch

University of Michigan

Case Western Reserve

Duke University

University Of Newcastle

Ochsner

University of Texas Medical Branch

University of Newcastle

Duke University

Yale University School of Medicine

Yale University School of Medicine

Université Clermont Auvergne 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Duke Univerity

Hope center for neurological disorders

Shenzhen People’s Hospital in Shenzhen, China

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Claire Kendal-Wright, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

My group focuses on the role of inflammation in human fetal membrane weakening and is currently funded by the Hawaii Community Foundation and NICHD. I primarily work with both epithelial and mesenchymal cells isolated from the amnion and I am particularly interested how sterile inflammation is initiated in/by these cells to drive the breakdown of this tissue layer leading to its rupture.

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Carlos M. Guardia, PhD

Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator and Head of the Placental Cell Biology Group (PCBG), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Durham, NC, USA

Our group works in multiple aspects of placental cell biology, including autophagy and secretion, using a multidisciplinary approach that involves mouse and human placental tissue and isolated trophoblasts. We are interested in networking with colleagues working on placenta and fetal membrane biology, as well as keeping up with the latest discoveries from the field. Lab Website: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/rdbl/pi/placental-cell/index.cfm

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Damien Bouvier, MD, PhD

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department, Teaching hospital of Clermont-Ferrand and Team n°10 “Translational approach to epithelial injury of repair”, “Génétique, Reproduction et Développement” laboratory (GReD) / UMR CNRS 6293 UCA INSERM 1103, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Place Henri Dunant, F63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France

Our team is interested on the study of the cellular and molecular implications of the Receptor of Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE) and its ligands on the physiological and pathological events occurring during the rupture of fetal membranes. The project is based on cellular and tissue models of human amnion and chorion, on mice model (RAGE  knock-out) and collection of human biological samples.

Website: https://www.gred-clermont.fr/directory/team/fr/equipe-10-approche-translationnelle-des-lesions-epitheliales-et-de-leur-reparation/

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Huijuan Zhang, MD, PhD

 Director and Professor,  Departments of Pathology and Biobank,  the International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, P. R. China.

Exam and find the morphology changes of fetal membrane under microscopy. To explore the correlation between some environmental-genetic factors and those morphology changes. To give answer to why fetal membrane plays important roles in the labor onset, especially in spontaneous preterm birth.

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Kang Sun, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Vice Director, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical School of Medicine

We endeavor to uncover the roles of the unique endocrine/paracrine features of the fetal membranes in labor onset and membrane rupture by using human fetal membrane tissue and cells. The aim of our study is to seek novel approaches to the prevention of  preterm birth through elucidation of  the endocrine/paracrine functions of the fetal membranes. 

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Kristin Myers, PhD

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University

I study the mechanical environment of pregnancy, and the mechanical mechanisms of preterm birth. My engineering lab uses computational and experimental biomechanics tools to understand the structure-function of the soft tissues protecting and supporting the fetus during gestation. Our goal is to create an engineering framework to diagnose women at high-risk for spontaneous preterm birth and to design personalized intervention strategies.

Laboratory Website: https://kristinmyerscolumbia.com/

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Lauren Richardson, BS

Graduate Student, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy

MRB 11.154, 301 University Blvd, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 USA

FM Research Interests: My ongoing predoctoral research is focused on the mechanistic processes of fetal membrane remodeling (Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transitions and the reverse Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transitions) throughout gestation and its dysregulation at term. 

Laboratory Website: https://www.utmb.edu/obgyn/Research/MenonLab.asp

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Loic Blanchon, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology, Team n°10 “Translational approach to epithelial injury of repair”, “Génétique, Reproduction et Développement” Unit  / GReD / UMR CNRS 6293 UCA INSERM 1103, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Place Henri Dunant, F63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France

Our team is interested on the study of the cellular and molecular implications of the Receptor of Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE) and its ligands on the physiological and pathological events occurring during the rupture of fetal membranes. The project is based on cellular and tissue models of human amnion and chorion, on mice model (RAGE  knock-out) and collection of human biological samples.

Laboratory Website: https://www.gred-clermont.fr/directory/team/fr/equipe-10-approche-translationnelle-des-lesions-epitheliales-et-de-leur-reparation/

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Marian Kacerovsky, MD, PhD

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Charles University, Faculty of Medicine Hradec Kralove; Biomedical Research Center, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Marian and his team are interested in intraamniotic infection and inflammation in pregnancies complicated by preterm prelabor rupture of membranes.

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Haruta Mogami, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kyoto University, JAPAN

Role of fetal fibronectin and coagulation factors (thrombin) on rupture of fetal membrane. Healing mechanism of sterile ruptured membrane by innate immune system.

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Mancy Tong, PhD

 Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine

Mancy is interested in characterizing the interaction between maternal neutrophils and fetal membranes in the presence of infection and how this may lead to premature rupture of fetal membranes and preterm birth.

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Ramkumar Menon, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perinatal Research Division

MRB 11.138, 301 University Blvd, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 USA

Maintenance of fetal membrane homeostasis throughout pregnancy by cellular transitions and how signals from membrane senescence contributes to normal and pathological parturition. My lab is also interested in fetal membrane derived exosomes as signalers of fetal readiness of parturition at term.

Laboratory Website: https://www.utmb.edu/obgyn/Research/MenonLab.asp

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Sarah Cunningham

PhD Candidate, The Department of Genetics and Genomics at Duke University, USA.

 and Tim Reddy's lab in the Center for Genomics and Computational Biology

My research is looking at the effect of the glucocorticoid receptors in the amnion.

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Tamas Zakar, MD, PhD

Professor (Conjoint), School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine and Priority Research Center for Reproductive Science, The University of Newcastle, Australia; Principal Research Scientist, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle NSW, Australia; Pregnancy and Reproduction Program, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Tamas and his group are interested in the role of the fetal membranes and the decidua in determining gestational length. Their current focus is the epigenetic regulation of inflammatory genes in the amnion and the decidua in the context of normal and preterm parturition.

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Vincent Sapin, PhD

 Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Team n°10 “Translational approach to epithelial injury of repair”, “Génétique, Reproduction et Développement” Unit  / GReD / UMR CNRS 6293 UCA INSERM 1103, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Place Henri Dunant, F63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France

Our team is interested on the study of the cellular and molecular implications of the Receptor of Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE) and its ligands on the physiological and pathological events occurring during the rupture of fetal membranes. The project is based on cellular and tissue models of human amnion and chorion, on mice model (RAGE  knock-out) and collection of human biological samples.

Laboratory Website: https://www.gred-clermont.fr/directory/team/fr/equipe-10-approche-translationnelle-des-lesions-epitheliales-et-de-leur-reparation/

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Chan-Wook Park, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine.

Associate Professor Park's research explores the molecular pathways of spontaneous preterm birth, the relationships between maternal and fetal inflammatory responses, and between neonatal morbidities and placental inflammation. Associate Professor Park also seeks to identify novel and non-invasive screening technologies and interventions for spontaneous preterm birth. Notably, he has completed important work on furthering our understanding of necrotizing chorioamnionitis, a very unique histologic feature that he has examined extensively.

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David M. Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM

Professor and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine; Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Adjunct Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN, USA. Director, the Vanderbilt Pre3 Initiative (Preventing Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes & Prematurity), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

The Aronoff lab studies reproductive immunology during pregnancy with a major focus on bacterial chorioamnionitis. We are interested in defining innate immune functions of the fetal membranes, particularly with related to paracrine signaling among diverse structural and immune cells upon microbial invasion. We use Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a major cause of adverse pregnancy outcomes, as a model organism. We are a highly collaborative group and have been working on team science approaches to build better in vitro model systems of the fetal membranes, particularly at the microscale.

Laboratory Website: http://www.aronofflab.org/ and see https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/pre3-initiative/

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Helena Choltus

PhD student, Team n°10 “Translational approach to epithelial injury of repair”, “Génétique, Reproduction et Développement” Unit  / GReD / UMR CNRS 6293 UCA INSERM 1103, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Place Henri Dunant, F63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France

Our team is interested on the cellular and molecular implications of the Receptor of Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE) and its ligands on the physiopathology of the rupture of fetal membranes. Moreover my project also consists to study the link between tobacco/ RAGE/ sterile inflammation and pPROM.

 

Laboratory Website: https://www.gred-clermont.fr/directory/team/fr/equipe-10-approche-translationnelle-des-lesions-epitheliales-et-de-leur-reparation/
 

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Jossimara Polettini, PhD

Professor, Universidade da Fronteira Sul – UFFS, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil;

Collaborator researcher, Botucatu Medical School, Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil

Amnion cells, fetal membrane culture and fetal membranes samples and their role in infection and senescence during pregnancy, in particular, the characteristics of telomere and telomerase during prematurity.

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Corinne Belville, PhD

GReD (UMR 6293 CNRS-Universit Clermont Auvergne, U1103 INSERM), team:" Translational approach to epithelial injury and repair", head of the team: Pf Vincent Sapin

Physiopathology of fetal membranes

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Laura Martin, PhD

São Paulo State University UNESP - BRAZIL

The focus of my researches was on inflammatory and oxidative process in spontaneous preterm labor and the differences between preterm labor with intact membranes and premature rupture of membranes preterm.

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Liping Feng, PhD

Division of Reproductive Science, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Global Health Institute

My research interests in fetal membrane field is focusing on the PGRMC1 functions in fetal membranes and the etiology of Ureaplasma Parvum infection-induced premature rupture of fetal membranes. My previous work has demonstrated that PGRMC1 protects the fetal membranes from premature senescence, calcium signaling-induced cell apoptosis, and Ureaplasma Parvum infection-induced inflammation. My research also showed that Ureaplasma Parvum infection causes fetal membrane rupture through thrombin production. My on-going research will lead a better understanding of the observed phenomenon above and eventually contribute to the prevention of preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes which is a devastating pregnancy complications.

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Márcia Guimarães da Silva, PhD

São Paulo State University (Unesp), Brazil

Our group studies the innate immune response in the intrauterine environment to understand the mechanisms that trigger infection-associated pathways that culminate in preterm birth with intact membranes and preterm premature rupture of membranes.

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Martha Lappas, PhD

Head; Obstetrics, Nutrition and Endocrinology Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne Mercy Hospital for Women, 4th Floor/163 Studley Road, Heidelberg Victoria 3084 

My team are interested in the role of inflammation in fetal membrane rupture. Another area of focus of my team is to identify novel therapeutic targets to prevent preterm birth. We are investigating the exciting possibility that polyphenols - natural compounds found in fruits/vegetables - can prevent preterm birth.

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Manuel Rausch, PhD

University of Texas at Austin, Departments of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering.

My group studies the biotransport and biomechanical properties of human fetal membranes with the goal of uncovering novel mechanisms of PPROM. Our hope is that discovery of such mechanisms enables the development of new diagnostic tools and opens up now pathways for therapy.

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Michelle Oyen, PhD

Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Engineering, East Carolina University

Our biomechanics and biomaterials group has studied pPROM from a fracture mechanics perspective.  We have designed analytical and computational models for membrane mechanical behavior from the scale of individual collagen fibrils up to the scale of the entire membrane.  We have also done work on computational modeling of the blood flow and oxygen diffusion in the placenta and examined trophoblast migration using microfluidic devices and assays.  

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Samantha Sheller-Miller, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perinatal Research Division

MRB 11.150, 301 University Blvd, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 USA

Exosome signaling for maintenance of fetal membranes throughout pregnancy and fetal membrane derived exosomes as a paracrine mechanism for the initiation of labor.

Laboratory Website: https://www.utmb.edu/obgyn/Research/MenonLab.asp

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Narmada Lavu

Graduate Student, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
MRB 11.154, 301 University Blvd, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 USA

My research interests involve the study of signaling pathways in fetal membranes that may possibly contribute to term and preterm parturition. Currently, I am involved in studying the contributions of the kinase GSK3 beta and exosomes to parturition.

Laboratory Website: https://www.utmb.edu/obgyn/Research/MenonLab.asp

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Vikki Abrahams, PhD

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

Division of Reproductive Sciences & Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Yale University School of Medicine

My laboratory is interested in the innate immune mechanisms by which the fetal membranes respond to both infectious and non-infectious stimuli. In particular we are interested in the role of fetal membrane Toll-like receptors, Nod-like receptors, and the inflammasome family members in mediating inflammation and immune responses and how this may impact pregnancy outcome.

Laboratory Website: https://medicine.yale.edu/obgyn/people/vikki_abrahams.profile

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Zhiyang HU, PhD

Shenzhen People’s Hospital in Shenzhen, China

My interest is in fetal membrane after fetal surgery.

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