The Human Placenta Project

Integrated study of placenta and pregnancy, towards personalized medicine

Unlike any other pathologies, adverse pregnancy can be captured from its inception to its conclusion as these are well-defined start and endpoints. Additionally, pregnancy occurs in a defined time frame lasting less than a year (<42 weeks). Nearly all other pathologies develop over years or decades. Relative to other extensive population studies like the Framingham heart study following pregnancy from conception to delivery... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? GENERAL FEEDBACK: New Research Theme or Objective

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The Human Placenta Project

Extracting, isolating, and synthesizing substances in placenta for medicinal use

We are mainly interested in the postpartum placenta. We think it is an underused organ. Our research began as an attempt to understand why nonhuman mammalian mothers ingest the afterbirth at parturition. We have already found a substance in placenta and amniotic fluid (POEF, present in human afterbirth) that, when ingested by rats, enhances the central analgesic activity of delta and kappa opioids. This will possibly... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME G: Envisioning the Future

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The Human Placenta Project

Involving patients when designing placental research studies

I recommend involving patients from the start in developing any placental research effort. 

Patients have helped us to design our observational cohort study of early onset fetal growth restriction. They told us how they would like to be recruited to such a study and what they thought of being recruited. Was it a burden to take part in a research study when their baby is extremely small and has a high chance of dying?... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME F: Planning Translation – Hearing all Voices

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The Human Placenta Project

Standardization of tissue processing and storage in repositories, and collection and sharing of data

A recurring theme throughout the pre-meeting reports is the need to establish standards for generation of repositories of well phenotyped placental tissue samples with collection and storage in a manner that allows comparable analysis utilizing contemporary techniques across different laboratories. Additionally the need for collection of biospecimens across the entirety of normal gestation with collection of appropriate... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME A: Basic Placenta Research

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The Human Placenta Project

Environmental Exposures

Environmental exposures (physical, chemical and built environment) are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, and depending on timing of exposure relative to sensitive developmental windows, can be linked to early childhood and lifelong adverse health consequences for the child. Environmental exposures are also strongly associated with maternal health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Air pollution especially... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? GENERAL FEEDBACK: New Research Theme or Objective

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The Human Placenta Project

Considerations for engaging all communities

Our Centre in Manchester, UK has learnt the following lessons when trying to engage with, or recruit pregnant women for different communities into clinical studies:

- Many close knit and private communities can view health services that lie outside their community as "not for them". Approaching women via nurses, midwives or health services within their community can help to build bridges.

- There can be hesitancy or... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME F: Planning Translation – Hearing all Voices

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2 votes
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The Human Placenta Project

Immunological responses to nanomedicines in pregnant women

There is growing interest in using nanomedicines to treat pregnancy complications, with several different therapies showing success in pre-clinical models. However, we must remember that to date, all of the published safety data on different types of nanoparticles has been obtained from studies in non pregnant animals and humans. Given the significant changes in immune function noted in pregnancy, it is critical to determine... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME G: Envisioning the Future

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The Human Placenta Project

Optimising testing of new therapeutics to ensure an effective pathway to translation.

Currently, not enough time or funding is invested in the pre-clinical and early phase clinical testing of new therapies to treat pregnancy complications. At present, we often jump from animal models to clinical trials using a single dose of the therapy, and test it in women with a "broad" and/or severe phenotype of disease. We do this without gathering pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic/dosing information from these women,... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME G: Envisioning the Future

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The Human Placenta Project

Single cell and placental research

I am the Principal Investigator of new birth cohort study that is currently being planned and will be implemented in Nigeria. We plan to collect biological samples including placental tissue. We will appreciate insight from investigators in the field about how single cell research will advance scientific investigation of the placenta within the context of developmental origin of health and diseases. This will enable know... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? GENERAL FEEDBACK: New Research Theme or Objective

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The Human Placenta Project

Genetic variants and placental function

Our research group in the NIDDK Intramural Research Program has investigated the risk of APOL1 genetic variants in many types of kidney diseases, including focal segmental nephrosclerosis, HIV-associated nephropathy, and hypertension-attributed kidney disease. Together, these disease account for much of the excess chronic kidney disease risk among African-Americans.

We are accumulating evidence that APOL1 risk variants... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME A: Basic Placenta Research

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The Human Placenta Project

consider additional study of placental transport?

I'm not a placental researcher - I work in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch (IDDB) at NICHD. But several conditions of interest to our branch involve transport (or lack thereof) of nutrients, toxins, or other factors across the placenta (alcohol, lead, oxygen, and many others). Greater understanding of factors that predict placental transport of such agents would be very informative to the IDD research... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? GENERAL FEEDBACK: New Research Theme or Objective

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The Human Placenta Project

feedback from an placental epidemiologist

I participated in the HPP in the beginning, went to a meeting, and submitted a funding proposal. I have lost touch since. I don't know all that has been achieved, or how the program has evolved. My impression in the beginning was that there was a strong emphasis on obstetric outcomes and technologies that could produce, for the benefit of the physician, rapid and clinically meaningful results. Innovation in technology... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME B: Circulating Factors

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The Human Placenta Project

characterizing genomic networks of human term placenta in both bulk tissue and cellular resolution

Currently, molecular data (transcriptome, methylome, etc) are lacking for NORMAL (non-pathological) TERM human placentae. Existing public databases usually lack placental data. Although some placental single cell data are available, they are usually derived from early pregnancies or diseased placentae. There is an urgent need to perform thorough molecular characterization of human term placenta from population studies.... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? GENERAL FEEDBACK: New Research Theme or Objective

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3 votes
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The Human Placenta Project

Characterization of the placental epi/genome in population studies

There is a need for in-depth characterization of placental epi/genetic profiles from normal and pathologic pregnancies from population studies with standardized data and sample collection methods. Importantly, an effort should be made to include samples from diverse and understudied populations. Knowledge of normal and pathology-linked epi/genetic changes in the placenta will expand our biologic understanding, and importantly... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME B: Circulating Factors

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6 votes
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The Human Placenta Project

Clinical biomarkers: Pre-meeting workshop Meeting for NIH/NICHD. Summary of meeting

Clinical biomarkers: Pre-meeting workshop Meeting for NIH/NICHD.

Summary of meeting (S Tong - Chair), held 5th April 2021.

Scope: "Looking at clinical biomarkers for use in pregnancy with a focus on detecting and distinguishing placental pathologies from population variance, where are we currently, and what needs to happen next?"

Themes arising from the meeting can perhaps be best grouped into 'challenges/considerations'... more »

Which theme and set of objectives does your response address? THEME C: Clinical Biomarkers

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