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Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI)

MIRI's Research Focus

The lifelong consequences of the intimate and unique biological relationship between mother and baby during pregnancy.

Medical research has already established that events that occur at critical stages of human development in the womb influence the later occurrence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and inflammatory disorders, such as asthma, in both childhood and adulthood.

The in-utero environment has a profound influence on the developing fetus, altering his or her gene expression and therefore affecting lifelong health.  Pregnancy is also a “stress test” for later health problems in the mother, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Learn more about the research focus areas at MIRI >

MIRI’s Guiding Principle

Clinical and translational multi-disciplinary research to ensure healthy pregnancies, full-term deliveries, and normal birth weights will positively affect both health and health care costs for millions of people over multiple generations.

MIRI’s Major Objectives

  • To create new knowledge that translates to improved clinical care
  • To train young physicians and scientists in the conduct of research

MIRI Is Unique

  • No other multidisciplinary research institute in the US combines Pediatrics and Obstetrics.
  • MIRI’s research draws on the seamless integration of care for pregnant women, children, & adults at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children.

Spotlight on MIRI Researchers

MIRI’s Executive Director Jill Maron, MD is Co-PI on $8 Million NIH Award to Integrate Targeted Genomic Sequencing Into Neonatal Diagnosis and Care.

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Patrick Catalano, MD, Principal Investigator at MIRI, quoted in NYT about new research reporting that diet and exercise in second trimester may help overweight pregnant women avoid excess weight gain.

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Patrick Catalano MD, MIRI Principal Investigator, author of major JAMA study – Even mild gestational diabetes increases the risk of mothers developing type 2 diabetes compared to women with normal glucose tolerance in pregnancy. Children of women with mild gestational diabetes had an independent increased risk of obesity at the time of follow up at ages 8-12 years.

Read the article