Overview

In November of 2014, the March of Dimes joined with the University of Pennsylvania and other leading hospitals to launch the fourth transdisciplinary research center aimed exclusively at finding what causes preterm birth. The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates the commitment and enthusiasm of a team of accomplished investigators and faculty as they come together in this transdisciplinary and cross-institutional effort to solve the mysteries of preterm birth.

Research themes must meet a set of essential criteria:

• Address a research target that is likely to be crucial to the prevention of preterm birth.
• Generate or refine new technologies that could lead to important new discoveries regarding preterm birth.
• Leverage the expertise and resources available across the University of Pennsylvania campus, the health system and the hospitals..
• Provide a strong foundation for transdisciplinary collaboration.

The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania will address three interrelated transdisiciplinary research themes:

R Simmons

Bioenergetics and Genetics This theme will attempt to understand why deficiencies in mitochondria, also known as "cellular power plants," in the cells of the placenta and maternal reproductive tissues may be contributors to preterm birth.
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Theme Leaders and Co-Investigators & Collaborating Faculty >

 

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Cervical Remodeling This research theme will confirm that the cervix must remodel for fetal delivery to occur at any gestational age. We will test the hypothesis that, in preterm birth, cervical remodeling occurs prematurely weeks if not months prior to actual delivery.
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Theme Leaders and Co-Investigators & Collaborating Faculty >

 

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Placental Dysfunction This theme will attempt to understand the mechanisms that cause specific cells called "trophoblasts" to enter — or not — the maternal uterine arteries and cause changes in the placenta that may lead to preterm birth.
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Theme Leaders and Co-Investigators & Collaborating Faculty >