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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.