We study the trophoblast stem cell niche in the placenta.
The placenta has evolved in eutherian mammals to accommodate the development of the embryo inside a host body, leading to live birth (viviparity). We study the mechanisms that establish a trophoblast stem cell population during early development, which then differentiate to form the mature placenta in both normal and diseased pregnancies. Defects in the establishment and function of the trophoblast compartment of the placenta have been associated with multiple pregnancy disorders, including pregnancy loss and preeclampsia, and observed in genetic disorders, such as Trisomy 21. In our research, we use pluripotent stem cells, placental primary cells, and both small and large (non-traditional) animal models to study trophoblast stem and progenitor cells.
(Picture by Heather Gaburo)