Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI)



The Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI) takes a multi-disciplinary, trans-generational approach to the problems of preterm birth and obesity. While other institutions focus their research and studies on individual investigators or departments, MIRI applies a cross-platform thematic approach.

Tufts University-Affiliated Collaborations

MIRI’s multidisciplinary research teams leverage world-class expertise present across the campus of Tufts University.

Tufts Medical Center, the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine, has advanced pediatric, maternity and adult services all on one Boston academic campus. This enables our physicians to serve families across the lifespan and facilitates linkage of medical records for research purposes.

The 41-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center has undergone rigorous peer-review selection to participate in the National Institutes of Health’s Neonatal Research Network; Floating Hospital is the only NICU in Massachusetts currently selected to participate.

This national consortium of 16 NICUs collaborates on clinical research projects to identify best clinical practices and test new protocols to accelerate the introduction of clinical advances in NICUs throughout the United States. In addition, the Tufts Medical Center NICU is a designated March of Dimes Family Support Center.

MIRI’s internal research collaborators include physicians and scientists at Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center and its other research institutes, and faculty at Tufts University.

Some of the personnel and resources available that especially align with MIRI’s mission include: 

Human Nutrition Research Center

  • One of only six human nutrition research centers in America supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Mission is to explore the relationship between nutrition, health, and aging
  • Specific research laboratories dedicated to the study of obesity metabolism and nutritional genomics
  • Faculty include an internationally renowned expert in nutritional genomics

School of Engineering (Department of Biomedical Engineering)

  • Long-term NIH support for research, resources, and expertise related to biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • Advanced skills in the optical, noninvasive imaging of cells, tissues and extracellular matrices and biomaterials
  • Unique expertise in the development of novel silk-based biomaterials for a range of applications in medicine, including construction of 3D functional human tissues for clinical use (in vivo), the study of disease (in vitro), drug screening (in vitro), and for drug delivery (in vivo)

Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences (Department of Neuroscience)

  • One of the top 10 departments of Neurosciences in the United States
  • Expertise in study of cognition, epilepsy, depression (including post-partum), and neurodegeneration
  • Faculty include an international leader in the study of glia in health and disease
  • Faculty in Anatomy and Cell Biology include one of the world’s experts in bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in plastic that is an endocrine disruptor and causes harmful effects to mothers and children, including obesity

Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

  • One of 55 institutions in 28 states funded by the National Center for Research Resources at NIH
  • Provides research infrastructural support to 9 Tufts University-affiliated hospitals, 11 schools and centers within Tufts University, 13 Community-based partners, and 7 industry partners
  • Goal is to reduce the time for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, engage communities in research efforts, and to train clinical and translational researchers
  • Provides specific expertise to MIRI researchers in biomedical informatics, study design support, as well as a clinical translational research facility for patient-centered studies

External Collaborations

MIRI’s multidisciplinary research teams collaborate with investigators at academic centers across the United States and internationally.

Diana W. Bianchi, MD collaborates with Donna Slonim, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science, Tufts University; Andrew Hoffman, D.V.M., Ph.D. of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine; Louise Wilkins-Haug, M.D., Ph.D of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Fusun Gundogan, M.D., Geralyn Messerlian, Ph.D., and Francois Luks, M.D. of Brown University School of Medicine; Inga Peter Ph.D. of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Mary D’Alton, M.D. of Columbia University School of Medicine; Kenneth Moise, M.D. and Anthony Johnson, D.O. of Baylor College of Medicine; Antonio Farina, M.D. of the University of Bologna, Italy; Jan DePrest .D., Ph.D, of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; Dennis Lo, M.D. of the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Sicco Scherjon, M.D., Ph.D., Frans Claas, M.D., Ph.D. and Jan van Lith, M.D., Ph.D. of Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.

Errol Norwitz, MD, PhD collaborates with Joong Shin Park, M.D., Ph.D. at Seoul National University College of Medicine and Hee Joong Lee, M.D., Ph.D. of Catholic University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; Shengli Li, M.D. of the Affiliated Shenzen Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital of Nanfang Medical University, Shenzen, Guangdong, China; Paolo Arcuri, Ph.D. and Paolo Toti, M.D., of the University of Sienna, Italy; Louis Muglia, M.D. Ph.D. and Thomas Morgan, M.D. of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN; Ramkumar Menon, Ph.D. of Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; and Jay Schulkin, Ph.D. and Michael Power, Ph.D. of the Washington Zoo and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington, DC.

Michael House, MD collaborates with David Kaplan, Ph.D. Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University and Simone Socrate, Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jill L. Maron, MD, MPH collaborates with Donna Slonim, Ph.D. Department of Computer Science, Tufts University; Christopher Parkin, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, and Lakshmanan Iyer, Ph.D. Tufts Center for Neurosciences Research.

Tomo Tarui, MD collaborates with Ellen Grant, M.D., Judy Estroff, M.D., Michael Prendergast, M.D. and Rudolph Pienaar, Ph.D. of Boston Children’s Hospital; Louise Wilkins-Haug, M.D., Ph.D., Julian Robinson, M.D. and Nicole Smith, M.D. of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Francois Luks, MD and Barbara O’Brien, M.D. of Brown University School of Medicine.