Session Abstract – PMWC 2022 Silicon Valley

Track 3, June 29


Panel

 Session Chair Profile

M.D., Associate Dean, Women’s Health Research and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

Biography
Dr. Sadovsky is the Executive Director of Magee Womens Research Institute, the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair of Women's Health Research, Distinguished Professor of OBGYN, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Associate Dean, Women’s Health Research and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology (Washington University), and maternal-fetal medicine (UCSF). His NIH-funded research focuses on feto-placental development and molecular mechanisms underlying placental function, aiming to better understand early human development and pregnancy health. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. He has served as president of the Society for Reproductive Investigation, on the Councils for NIH-NICHD and the March of Dimes, and currently serves on the NIH Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health. In 2013 he was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize in Biomedical Science from the National Academy of Sciences.

Talk
Extracellular Vesicles and Placental-Maternal-Fetal Communication Systems
The discovery of regulated extracellular vesicle signals, such as exosomes, has added a new dimension to our understanding of placental-maternal-fetal transfer functions during human gestation. Tracking their cargo, trafficking, targets, and intracellular processing illuminates unique cell-and organ-level molecular communication systems that can directly inform maternal-fetal health during pregnancy.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University

Biography
Dr. Winn is a physician-scientist board certified in Maternal-Fetal Medicine with a PhD in Biochemistry. She is a leading expert in human placental development and preeclampsia pathogenesis. She leads an active NIH funded basic and translational research program. Dr. Winn’s research program focuses on both normal and abnormal human placental development and related obstetrical complications, particularly preeclampsia. Her laboratory also investigates the impact of pregnancy, and specifically placental factors, on the maternal immune and endothelial systems. Dr. Winn’s mission is to improve maternal and child health while training the next generation of perinatal researchers. 

Talk
Preeclampsia: Challenges of Personalized Medicine When There Are Two
The health of a pregnancy is determined by the maternal, placental and fetal units. Therefore, consideration of personalized medicine in pregnancy requires examination of the interplay of two genomes and the subsequent impact on biology. Preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, will demonstrate the challenges in the field.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Biography
Dr. Karumanchi’s laboratory is focused on discovering pathogenic pathways and bringing therapies to patients in the areas of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and chronic kidney diseases. Dr. Karumanchi’s research activities are vertically integrated, ranging from molecular and cell biological studies to animal models to first-in-class human clinical trials. Dr. Karumanchi has published over 300 papers (with several publications in NEJM, Circulation, Nature, Nature Medicine, JCI) and 25 book chapters. He has received prestigious awards from several societies including recognitions from American Heart Association (AHA) – Established Investigator Award (2008), the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy – Chesley Award (2010) – and Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation for Medical Research (2010). He was also elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007 and Association of American Physicians in 2015. His work in Preeclampsia has been highlighted in The New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe and LA Times. Dr. Karumanchi completed his medical degree from Kilpauk Medical College, India in 1992. He then completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (1996) and his post-doctoral training in Molecular Biology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston (2000).

Talk
Targeted Therapies for Preeclampsia
Circulating anti-angiogenic proteins of placental origin are responsible for the maternal signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. We will present data for short interfering RNAs that selectively silence placental expression of anti-angiogenic proteins responsible for the human disease. Our results demonstrate a feasible path toward a new treatment paradigm for patients with preeclampsia.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford

Biography
Mira Moufarrej developed 3 liquid biopsy tests that measure cell-free RNA (cfRNA) to predict how far along a pregnancy is and whether a mother is at risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery long before traditional diagnostics. This work paves the way for affordable, simple, and reliable tests for preeclampsia and preterm delivery – risks that no other test can presently diagnose early enough to allow for meaningful clinical intervention. To enable such discoveries, she has also built a semi-automated pipeline to process samples, a notoriously tedious task, which to date, has extracted cfRNA from ~1100 samples in 9 days. For this work, Mira received the 2021 “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. Her work has also been published in Science, and highlighted by the New York Times, CNN and Insider, among others. It was also recognized by Bill Gates as one of the top 10 innovations of 2019 in the MIT Technology Review.

Talk
Improving Prenatal Care through Liquid Biopsies


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., CEO, 9 MONTHS

Biography
Dr. Liang is passionate about developing diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for pregnancy complications. She globally characterized thousands of molecular features from small amounts of blood and urine samples from pregnant women, and developed tests based on only a few biomarkers from a mother’s blood or urine using machine learning. Her work has been published in Cell, and she co-authored over a dozen publications. She is a Co-Awardee in Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health from the Gates Foundation. Beyond prediction, Dr. Liang has focused on drug screening and identified novel therapeutic candidates for preterm birth. With personal experience of preterm labor, Dr. Liang’s mission is to improve maternal and child health by reducing pregnancy complications. She received postdoctoral training at Stanford University, holds degrees from Tsinghua University and Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and is also a graduate of the Ignite program at the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University.

Talk
Molecular Profiling in Pregnancy: From Prediction to Intervention