Tools

Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI)

2013 Recap

Diana Bianchi, MD is a maternal-fetal medicine physician and researcher at Tufts Medical Center.Since its inception in 2010, the Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI) has striven to advance innovative research, disseminate knowledge, and develop therapies for its three research focus areas: prenatal diagnosis, preterm birth, and maternal obesity.  In 2013, MIRI investigators, research fellows, and laboratory trainees made major progress in achieving our goals, with the award of seven newly funded research grants, publication of 16 peer-reviewed papers in major journals, and presentation of six abstracts that were selected for oral presentation (top 10%) at the 2013 annual meetings of Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI), and the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis (ISPD).  Our achievements in 2013 – in science, academic research, and training – remain concordant with MIRI’s mission to “transform the health of the next generation by integrating fetal information from pre-conception onwards to diagnose and treat illnesses that affect people throughout their lives."

Diana W. Bianchi, MD
Executive Director, Mother Infant Research Institute

NEWLY FUNDED GRANTS AND AWARDS

  • Andrea Edlow, MD MSc
    • Reproductive Scientist Development Program Award from NICHD/Washington University (only three awarded nationally annually)
    •  American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Abbott Nutrition Award (only one awarded nationally)

The goal of both of these studies is to understand how maternal obesity affects fetal brain development.

  • Michael House, MD
    • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award (PI: Katharina Ribbeck, PhD, MIT).

The goal is to increase understanding of the basic biological mechanisms underlying childbirth using multidisciplinary approaches.

  • Rimi Sen, MD
    • NICHD K23HD074648
    • Charles H. Hood Foundation Health Research Award

The central hypothesis of these studies is that obese pregnancy is characterized by an oxidant/antioxidant imbalance, which increases inflammation and adversely impacts maternal health and neonatal outcomes. The goal of these studies is to determine if restoring oxidant/antioxidant balance in obese pregnant women with a  prenatal micronutrient supplement based on body mass index (BMI) will decrease oxidative stress and improve both maternal and neonatal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by maternal obesity.

  • Tomo Tarui, MD
    • Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, USA

“Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of the developing brain in living fetuses with Down Syndrome.”

The goal of this project is to analyze developing fetal brains in ongoing pregnancies of women carrying fetuses with Down syndrome. The intent is to develop baseline information in untreated fetuses that can be used at a later date to compare with fetuses undergoing prenatal treatment to improve neurogenesis.

    • Susan Saltonstall Award

 “Prenatal diagnosis of fetal brain malformations: Improving assessment of prognosis through gene expression and imaging studies.”

The goal of this project is to improve prenatal counseling with regard to three commonly detected fetal brain malformations in the second trimester: cerebral ventriculomegaly (VM), abnormalities of the corpus callosum (ACC), and cerebellar malformations (CM), by implementing novel, post-acquisition, quantitative fetal MRI and human genome microarray-based fetal gene expression signature analyses.

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

Bianchi DW, Prosen T, Platt LD, Goldberg JD, Abuhamad AZ, Rava RP, Sehnert AJ Massively parallel sequencing of maternal plasma DNA in 113 cases of fetal nuchal cystic hygroma. MatErnal BLood IS Source to Accurately diagnose fetal aneuploidy (MELISSA) Study Group. Obstet Gynecol 2013;121:1057-62.

Critchfield AS, Yao G, Jaishankar A, Friedlander RS, Lieleg O, Doyle PS, McKinley G, House M, Ribbeck K. Cervical mucus properties stratify risk for preterm birth.PLoS One 2013;8:e69528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069528. Print 2013.

Dao MC, Sen S, Iyer C, Klebenov D, Meydani SN. Obesity during pregnancy and fetal iron status: is Hepcidin the link? J Perinatol 2013;33:177-81.

Guedj F, Bianchi DW. Noninvasive prenatal testing creates an opportunity for antenatal treatment of Down syndrome. Prenat Diagn 2013;33:614-8.

Heard AJ, Socrate S, Burke KA, Norwitz ER, Kaplan DL, House MD. Silk-based injectable biomaterial as an alternative to cervical cerclage: an in vitro study. Reprod Sci 2013;20:929-36.

House M, McCabe R, Socrate S. Using imaging-based, three-dimensional models of the cervix and uterus for studies of cervical changes during pregnancy.

Clin Anat 2013 Jan;26:97-104.

House M, Tadesse-Telila S, Norwitz ER, Socrate S, Kaplan DL. Inhibitory Effect of Progesterone on Cervical Tissue Formation in a Three-Dimensional Culture System with Human Cervical Fibroblasts. Biol Reprod 2013 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Hui L, Bianchi DW. Recent advances in the prenatal interrogation of the human fetal genome. Trends Genet 2013 ;29:84-91.

Hui L, Wick HC, Edlow AG, Cowan JM, Bianchi DW. Global gene expression analysis of term amniotic fluid cell-free fetal RNA. Obstet Gynecol 2013 ;121:1248-54.

Hui L, Wick HC, Moise KJ Jr, Johnson A, Luks F, Haeri S, Johnson KL, Bianchi DW. Global gene expression analysis of amniotic fluid cell-free RNA from recipient twins with twin-twin transfusion syndrome. Prenat Diagn 2013 Sep;33(9):873-83. doi: 10.1002/pd.4150. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Norwitz ER, Greenberg JA. Prevention of early-term deliveries: much ado about nothing? Rev Obstet Gynecol 2013;6:43-5.

Perez-Sepulveda A, España-Perrot PP, Norwitz ER, Illanes SE. Metabolic pathways involved in 2-methoxyestradiol synthesis and their role in preeclampsia. Reprod Sci 2013:1020-9.

Reaves AC, Bianchi DW. The role of social networking sites in medical genetics research.Am J Med Genet A 2013;161A:951-7.

Sen S, Iyer C, Klebenov D, Histed A, Aviles JA, Meydani SN. Obesity impairs cell-mediated immunity during the second trimester of pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013 ;208:139.e1-8.

Sen S, Iyer C, Meydani SN. Obesity during pregnancy alters maternal oxidant balance and micronutrient status. J Perinatol 2013 Dec 19. doi: 10.1038/jp.2013.153. [Epub ahead of print]

Srinivasan A, Bianchi DW, Huang H, Sehnert AJ, Rava RP. Noninvasive detection of fetal sub-chromosome abnormalities via deep sequencing of maternal plasma. Am J Hum Genet 2013;92:167-76. SELECTED AS ONE OF ASHG’S BEST  PAPERS of 2012 and 2013.

ABSTRACTS IN TOP 10 % SELECTED FOR ORAL PRESENTATION

  • Andrea Edlow, MD MSc, (Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine  - SMFM 33rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA): an unprecedented two presentations in the plenary and fellow’s plenary sessions “Decreased apoptosis in fetuses of obese women: implications for neurodevelopment”  and “Antenatal origins of metabolic syndrome in fetuses of obese women”
  •  Faycal Guedj, PhD  (Society for Gynecologic Investigation – SGI, 60th Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL) “Plasticity: molecules to motherhood and beyond”
  •  Serkalem Tadesse, PhD, (Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine  - SMFM, 33rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA) “In vivo and in vitro evidence for DNA damage In preeclampsia”
  • Tomo Tarui, MD (International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis  - ISPD, 17th Annual Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Lisbon, Portugal) “Long-term developmental outcome of children with a fetal diagnosis of isolated inferior vermian hypoplasia “
  • Lillian Zwemer, PhD (American Society of Human Genetics  - ASHG,  63rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA) “The fetal FMR1 premutation phenotype: clues from the amniotic fluid transcriptome”

MAJOR INVITED LECTURES

  • Diana Bianchi, MD
    • “Maternal plasma DNA sequencing: effects of multiple gestation on aneuploidy detection and the relative cell-free DNA (cffDNA) per fetus”, Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, San Francisco – SMFM, 33rd Annual Meeting, CA)
    • “Translating the transcriptome to develop antenatal treatments for fetuses with Down syndrome”, Society for Gynecologic Investigation - SGI, 60th Annual Meeting Orlando, FL)
    • “Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and AF-gene expression to identify novel therapies”, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar
    • “Are you ready for noninvasive prenatal DNA testing?” Edith Louise Potter Memorial Lecture”,  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - ACOG, 61st Annual Clinical Meeting, New Orleans, LA
    • “Deep sequencing/extending diagnostic spectrum of NIPT”, Plenary lecture, (International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis  - ISPD, 17th Annual Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Lisbon, Portugal) 
    • “Beyond prenatal diagnosis to fetal personalized medicine”, Chilean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Easter Island, Chile
  • Michael House, MD
    • “What’s a woman to do: assessing the pregnant cervix in 2013”, Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, San Francisco – SMFM, 33rd Annual Meeting, CA)
    • Engineering an improved cervix: model systems and treatment possibilities”, Society for Gynecologic Investigation - SGI, 60th Annual Meeting Orlando, FL)
    • “Tissue engineering to improve cervical function, American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society”, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • Jill Maron, MD, MPH
    • Presentation to the Gerber Board of Trustees, Grand Rapids, MI
    • Drool rules: the emerging role of salivary diagnostics in neonatal intensive care”, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
    • Developing a noninvasive salivary transcriptomic platform to asses oral feeding maturity in the newborn: the NOuRISH Panel”, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Philadelphia, PA
    • Gene expression analysis of oral feeding maturity in the newborn”, Pediatric Academic Society, Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Errol Norwitz, MD, PhD
    • “Morbid obesity in pregnancy: A growing problem” North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA
    • “Maternal physiologic adaptations to pregnancy”, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
    • “Endocrine disorders in pregnancy”, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
    • “Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT): The future is now!”Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Sarbattama Sen, MD
    • “Maternal obesity: opportunities for intervention”, Metrowest Medical Center Obstetrics Grand Rounds, Framingham, MA
    • “Effect of obesity on the immune system”, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Boston, MA
    • “Pregnancy, obesity and inflammation: Consequences for mother and           infant and opportunities for intervention”, Johns Hopkins University Integrated Research Center for Fetal Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    • “Obesity-related inflammation in pregnancy”, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Tomo Tarui, MD
    • Challenges in prenatal diagnosis of brain malformations”, MADAM Conference Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Warwick, RI
    • “Long-term developmental outcome of children with a fetal diagnosis of isolated inferior vermian hypoplasia”, 17th Annual Meeting of International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis (ISPD), Lisbon, Portugal

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

  • Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc  (Society for Gynecological Investigation  -SGI, 60th Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL)
  • Millie Ann Ferres, MD, International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis  - ISPD, (17th Annual Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Faycal Guedj, PhD,   (American Society of Human Genetics  - ASHG - 63rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA)
  • Lisa Hui, MD, PhD  (Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine  - SMFM, 33rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA)
  • Lillian Zwemer, PhD  - (Society for Gynecological Investigation  -SGI) SGI, 60th Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS

  • PhD’s awarded to:  Stephanie Pritchard, Tufts University Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences, and Lisa Hui, MBBS, PhD, University of Sydney
  • Elizabeth Taglauer, MD, PhD completed  pediatric residency at Tufts Medical Center 
  • “What’s a woman to do: assessing the pregnant cervix in 2013”, Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, San Francisco – SMFM, 33rd Annual Meeting, CA)
  • Engineering an improved cervix: model systems and treatment possibilities”, Society for Gynecologic Investigation - SGI, 60th Annual Meeting Orlando, FL)
  • “Tissue engineering to improve cervical function, American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society”, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL