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We're glad you're here! NICHD's research mission covers all stages of human development, from pre-pregnancy through old age, meaning our research touches millions of lives. We invite your ideas, comments, and perspectives to help guide our activities and achieve healthy and optimal lives for all. Check out our campaigns and add your voice.

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The Human Placenta Project

The Human Placenta Project

The placenta is immensely important, affecting not just pregnancy but also childbirth-related issues, such as maternal mortality and morbidity, and the lifelong health of mother and child. Despite its importance, the placenta is the least understood, and least studied, of all human organs. In 2014, NICHD established the Human Placenta Project (HPP) to accelerate the development and application of innovative—and safe—technologies and approaches for studying the placenta in real-time.

On May 10-11, 2021, NICHD will host the 6th HPP meeting, HPP Meeting 2021. This meeting will bring together multidisciplinary experts and broad thinkers to discuss lessons learned from HPP research and engage in active discussions about possible future directions for HPP and placental research. The goal of HPP Meeting 2021 is to answer two broad questions:

1. What is the current state of placental knowledge and assessment capability?

2. What are the key gaps and opportunities that need to be addressed going forward?

To answer these questions, will are asking members of the clinical and research communities to weigh in on proposed research topics and objectives. Input will be collected in three phases. For the first phase, input will be accepted until April 26. Information gathered will help to inform discussions at HPP Meeting 2021. Subsequent phases will follow.

To submit an idea, please select the blue Submit Idea button in the top right corner of the webpage.

To comment and vote on others' ideas, visit the Ideas page by selecting Ideas in the top navigation menu.

Thank you to our friends at University College London for generously allowing us to use their artwork for this campaign site.
Placental Pop-Art, Aughwane & Melbourne 2017, Guided Instrumentation for Fetal Therapy and Surgery (GIFT-Surg), University College London.


The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) was founded in 1962 to investigate human development throughout the lifespan, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy. Since then, research conducted and funded by NICHD has helped save lives, improve well-being, and reduce societal costs associated with illness, injury, and disability.

Our mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.

Check out the Planning Discussions

Add your voice with your comments and votes

Clinical biomarkers: Pre-meeting...


Clinical biomarkers: Pre-meeting workshop Meeting for NIH/NICHD. Summary of meeting (S Tong - Chair), held 5th April 2021. Scope: "Looking at ...

Net Votes: 0 Number of Comments: 0

Circulating Factors - Premeeting...

Irina Buhimschi

Key Achievements & Breakthroughs Description and potential roles of placental extracellular vesicles (EVs) Circulating RNAs, placental microRN...

Net Votes: 6 Number of Comments: 2

Hearing all voices - Premeeting ...


Community Engagement Challenges and Opportunities • BEGIN in this space, VALUE diverse populations and put them at the center of your efforts o rem...

Net Votes: 1 Number of Comments: 1

Envisioning the Future: Premeeti...


It is easy for a crystal ball to predict that the future will include enhanced technology, i.e. digital medicine, higher resolution ultrasound, etc...

Net Votes: 4 Number of Comments: 1

Challenges in Ultrasound - Preme...


What are the most exciting features coming out of ultrasound research? • 3D/4D automation with real-time post-processing • MRI/US fusion – has been...

Net Votes: 3 Number of Comments: 1

MRI - Premeeting Discussion Summary


MRI Safety in First Trimester Is there a need for a consensus statement from experts representing major societies such as ISMRM, RSNA, SPR, Obstetr...

Net Votes: 1 Number of Comments: 3

Basic Research Premeeting Discus...

Leslie Myatt

Key Achievements/Breakthroughs • Development of trophoblast and decidual organoids • Induced pluripotent stem cells • Introduction of single cell a...

Net Votes: 8 Number of Comments: 2