Session Abstract – PMWC 2023 Silicon Valley


Track 3, January 26

Track Co-Chairs:
Yoel Sadovsky, UPMC
Aleksandar Rajkovic, UCSF

Researchers have long been recognizing the uniqueness of women’s health and its substantial effect on clinical practice, acknowledging the increasing appreciation of the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to health and disease. In every organ system, there are diseases that are unique to women, more common in women than in men, or characterized by differences in disease course in women compared to men. This Track will focus on the following topics related to Women’s Health:

  • Chronic Diseases in Women
    - Marcia Stefanik, Stanford (Chronic Disease Prevention) - Linda Giudice, UCSF (Endometriosis)
  • Stem Cells, Preimplantation and Prenatal Genetics
    Chair: Akash Kumar, MyOme, Inc. (Ploygenic risk score)
    - Vitorio Sebastiano, Stanford (Stem cells and fertility)
    - Teresa Sparks, UCSF
    - Nathan Treff, Genomic Prediction
  • Precision Health for Mothers and Babies
    Chair: David Stevenson, U. of Stanford (Introduction: Towards Precision Health for Mothers and Babies)
    - Aleks Rajkovic, UCSF (Genomics of Pregnancy Loss)
    - Ivana Maric, Stanford (ML for Early Prediction)
    - Nima Aghaeepour, Stanford (AI-Driven Prematurity Taxonomy)
  • Components of Pregnancy Health
    Chair: Yoel Sadovsky, U. of Pittsburgh (Placental Health)
    - Marina Sirota, UCSF (Leveraging Molecular and Clinical Data)
  • Reproductive Aging (PANEL)
    Chair: Aleksandar Rajkovic, UCSF
    - Diana Laird, UCSF
    - Nikolina Lauc, GlycanAge
    - Dina Radenkovic, Gameto
  • Sex Differences
    - Noel Bairey Merz, Cedar Sinai (CV disease)
    - Danit Ariel, Stanford (Bone Health)

 Session Chair Profile

M.D., Executive Director, Magee-Womens Research Institute

Biography
Dr. Sadovsky is the Executive Director of Magee Womens Research Institute, the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair of Womens 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
Illuminating the Black Box of Placental Health
no


 Session Chair Profile

MD, Harold K. Faber Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford University

Biography
David K. Stevenson has made many impactful contributions to the field of neonatology and pediatrics, including his recent studies on the causes of preterm birth and its prevention. He is Investigator for the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University. Dr. Dr. the Senior Associate Dean for Maternal & Child Health, the Co-Director of the Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute, and the Principal Stevenson has received many awards, including the Virginia Apgar Award, which is the highest award in Perinatal Pediatrics, the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award from the Federation of Pediatric Organizations, the Jonas Salk Award for Leadership in Prematurity Prevention from the March of Dimes Foundation, and the John Howland Medal and Award, the highest award in academic pediatrics. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Stevenson is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Chief Genomics Officer, UCSF

Biography
Dr. Aleksandar Rajkovic serves as the Medical Director and Chief of the Center for Genetic and Genomic Medicine (CGGM) that organizes, coordinates and oversees Clinical Genetics and Genomics Services across the UCSF Health System. He is also Stuart Lindsay Distinguished Professor in Experimental Pathology I, member of the American Society of Clinical Investigator, American Association of Physicians and National Academy of Medicine. His research interests lie in basic and translational medical sciences in reproductive and population genetics. His current work focuses on implementing precision medicine tools across UCSF and evaluate its clinical significance and validity.

Talk
Genomics of Pregnancy loss
no


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., PHARMD, CEO, Presagen

Biography
Dr. Michelle Perugini is an academic and health tech entrepreneur with extensive experience in healthcare and advanced AI technologies. Michelle is also a dedicated advisor to many start-ups, a member of numerous Government Committees, and an avid supporter of the AI and women’s health sectors globally. She has a PhD in Medicine and was a post-doctoral research fellow in Oncology for a decade. She has founded 2 global AI tech companies, the first of which was acquired by EY in 2015. Michelle is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Presagen, an AI healthcare company building The Social Network for Healthcare, with a focus in women’s health. Presagen’s first product Life Whisperer uses AI for embryo selection to improve pregnancy outcomes in IVF, and is being sold in IVF clinics globally.

Talk
no
AI often lacks scalability as it is based on biased data that lacks diversity. Presagen's Social Network model enables global collaboration and data sharing by clinics and patients, creating AI healthcare products that are globally scalable, accessible and affordable for all.


Clinical Dx Showcase
Presagen: The Social Network for Healthcare

 Speaker Profile

PHD, Associate Professor, UCSF

Biography
Marina is an Associate Professor at the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute at UCSF. Prior to that she was a Senior Research Scientist at Pfizer after getting her PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford. Dr. Sirota’s research experience spans over 10 years during which she has co-authored over 100 scientific publications. Her research interests lie in developing computational integrative methods and applying these approaches in the context of disease diagnostics and therapeutics. The Sirota laboratory is funded by NIA, NLM, NIAMS, March of Dimes and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. As a young leader in the field, she has been awarded the AMIA Young Investigator Award in 2017. Dr. Sirota also is the director of the AI4ALL program at UCSF, with the goal of introducing high school girls to applications of AI in biomedicine and serves as the director of outreach and advocacy at the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute.

Talk
Leveraging Molecular and Clinical Data to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes
Each year, 15 million babies are born preterm (before 37 weeks of gestation) but the exact mechanism of spontaneous preterm birth is unknown. We are leveraging different types of molecular and clinical data combined with integrative computational approaches to define new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to prevent preterm birth.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Stanford University

Biography
Dr. Vittorio Sebastiano is an Associate Professor of OBGyN at Stanford School of Medicine. His lab has established a new technology named ERA (Epigenetic Reprogramming of Aging), which repurposes the conceptual idea of reprogramming, with the goal to promote epigenetic rejuvenation of adult cells leaving their identity untouched. This new technology was patented and is being implemented by Turn Biotechnologies, of which Dr. Sebastiano is co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Sebastiano completed a postdoctoral fellowship on the newly discovered iPSC technology and was among the first to demonstrate that iPSCs can be efficiently derived, genetically modified, and implemented for cell therapy in genetic diseases. Dr. Sebastiano completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Pavia, Italy. He joined the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine as a postdoctoral fellow where he continued his research on cellular reprograming, germ cells biology, and embryonic development.


 Speaker Profile

MD, Director, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, Cedars-Sinai Med Cen

Biography
Dr. Bairey Merzs research interests include women and cardiovascular disease, mental stress and heart disease, the role of exercise and stress management in reversing disease, the role of cholesterol and nutrition management in heart disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Bairey Merz is a prolific lecturer and member of many professional organizations amd has received numerous investigational grants and chairs the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored WISE (Womens Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation) initiative. Dr. Bairey Merz has received numerous awards and honors, and her extensive scientific publication record spans 425+ scientific papers, 315+ abstracts, myriad book chapters, and countless peer-reviewed journals.ompleted her residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served as Chief Medical Resident before completing fellowships in clinical cardiology and nuclear cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Talk
Women's Heart Disease: Update 2023
It is established that there are gender differences in the clinical manifestation of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the incidence of cardiovascular event, and the use of evidenced-based CVD therapies. There are also gender and sex differences physiologic factors unique to women or men that may affect cardiovascular risk, diagnosis and therapies.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Stanford University

Biography
Dr. Ivana Maric is a Senior Research Scientist at the Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University, School of Medicine. Her research focus is on applying machine learning to improving maternal and perinatal health. She is a co-recipient of the 2021 Rosenkranz Prize and the 2013 IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award.

Talk
Machine Learning for Early Prediction of Pregnancy-Related Outcomes
More than 800 women worldwide die from pregnancy-related causes every day. The complexity of adverse outcomes such as preeclampsia and preterm birth makes their early prediction difficult. We present a machine learning methodology that, by analyzing large omics and EHR data can identify a handful of predictive biomarkers ultimately leading to a simple diagnostic tool.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Cofounder, CSO, and Clinical Laboratory Director, Genomic Prediction

Biography
Dr. Treff received his PhD in Biochemistry from Washington State University in 2003 and performed postdoctoral fellowships in embryonic stem cell biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 and reproductive genetics at EMD Serono in 2005. He previously served as a Research Director at RMA of New Jersey for over 10 years. He is currently Board Certified (ABB) in Molecular Diagnostics as a High Complexity Laboratory Director, a cofounder and the CSO and Clinical Laboratory Director of Genomic Prediction, and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University. He also serves as a Senior Editor of Fertility and Sterility Science and JARG, has published over 100 peer reviewed papers in reproductive genetics, and has received 7 awards from the ASRM. His research on PGT has been reported on by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Economist, among other media outlets.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Stanford University

Biography
Nima Aghaeepour is an Associate Professor at Stanford University. His laboratory develops machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to study clinical and biological modalities in translational settings.  He is primarily interested in leveraging multiomics studies, wearable devices, and electronic health records to address global health challenges. His work is recognized by awards from numerous national and international organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Talk
An AI-Driven Taxonomy for Prematurity
Despite significant investments, preterm birth has remained the single largest cause of death in children under 5 years of age. I will discuss a series of studies using state-of-the-art biological profiling, electronic health records, and artificial intelligence techniques which aim to enable an integrated precision-medicine approach to predict, prevent, and manage preterm births.


 Speaker Profile

CEO, GlycanAge LTD

Biography
Serial entrepreneur with 11 years experience on a mission to unlock the Human Glycome for preventive health and longevity. Co-founder of several startups in the field of SaaS, travel and consumer health. Co-inventor of 1 patent in Women’s health diagnostics space. Fellow at Foresight Institute and co-founder of Women for Longevity.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Masters or Bachelor Degree, Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Biography
As an adult endocrinologist, Dr. Ariel has a special interest in gender hormone related care. She is a Certified Menopause Practitioner through the North American Menopause Society, and is a member of the NAMS Educational Committee. Her clinical care focuses on the management of perimenopause and menopause, using a combination of evidence based medicine with a personalized approach.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, University of Califo

Biography
Dr. Giudice is Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF and Director of the UCSF Precision Medicen Center. She is a biochemist and reproductive endocrinologist specializing in endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovulatory disorders and infertility. Her research focuses on multiomics approaches to elucidate function and dysfunction of human endometrium in health and disease and environmental impacts on reproductive health. She has mentored >320 students, fellows and faculty, authored >325 peer-reviewed publications and is co-editor of 7 textbooks on women’s health, endocrinology, environmental health, endometrium, and endometriosis. She has received numerous awards acknowledging her contributions to science, medicine, and mentoring. Dr. Giudice is Past-President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the World Endometriosis Society, and the International Federation of Fertility Societies. She is immediate past Chair of the FIGO Committee on Climate Change and Toxic Environmental Exposures and is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine

Talk
Novel Insights into Endometriosis through Precision Medicine
Endometriosis, a common, chronic, estrogen-dependent inflammatory disease, derives from uterine endometrium and is a major cause of pelvic pain and infertility. Diagnosis is hampered by complex disease presentation, and medical and surgical therapies are variably effective. Multi-omics approaches are key to developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics for this debilitating disorder and will be discussed herein.


 Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Stanford University

Biography
Born in France, Dr. Gaudilliere studied Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique before completing an MD-PhD degree from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University (Dr. Garry Nolan laboratory). Dr. Gaudilliere is now an Associate Professor at Stanford University and a board-certified Anesthesiologist. Dr. Gaudilliere has over twenty years of experience in basic sciences with expertise in immunology, cell signaling biology and translational application of next-generation, single-cell technologies. Research in the Gaudilliere lab (Gaudillierelab.stanford.edu) combines high parameter mass cytometry (suspension and imaging mass cytometry) with other proteomics approaches to study how the human immune system responds and adapts to physiological or pathological stressors. Ongoing studies focus on several clinical scenarios including, 1) pregnancy, pregnancy complications and infertility (NICHD P01, Gates foundation and March of Dimes foundation), 2) immune mechanisms of surgical recovery and complications (NIGMS R35), 3) immune dysfunction and outcomes prediction in patients with COVID19.


 Speaker Profile

BSc MBBS, Co-founder &CEO , Gameto

Biography
Dina is a co-founder & CEO of Gameto, a biotechnology company using cell engineering to develop novel therapeutics for the diseases of the female reproductive system. Dina is also a Partner at SALT. She is an academic medical doctor by background and a healthcare entrepreneur. Dina qualified in medicine and physiology from UCL Medical School, London, UK. Dina was a co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Hooke, longevity research clinics launched in collaboration with Dr Eric Verdin, Buck Institute for Research on Aging. She had research posts at King’s College London and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.


 Speaker Profile

MD, Masters or Bachelor Degree, Associate Professor, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics, UCSF

Biography
Dr. Sparks is a physician who specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics. Her clinical time is spent performing prenatal ultrasounds, developing strategies for genetic evaluations of fetal anomalies, counseling families about the management of fetal anomalies, and caring for pregnant individuals who are diagnosed with a genetic disease themselves. She is the prenatal ultrasound unit director for UCSF Benioff Childrens Physicians, is actively involved in genetics education through the UCSF School of Medicine, and mentors numerous residents, fellows, and junior faculty. Dr. Sparks research focuses on applying genomic sequencing, functional studies, and fetal phenotyping to discover genetic diseases underlying non-immune hydrops fetalis. Her research program integrates genetic sequencing and fetal imaging to define the unique fetal phenotypes of genetic diseases, achieve an earlier diagnosis, and develop novel opportunities for fetal intervention and treatment for cases of non-immune hydrops fetalis.

Talk
Prenatal genetic diagnosis: past, present, and future
This talk will provide an overview of current prenatal screening and diagnostic genetic testing options, discuss our current understanding of how genetic diseases manifest in utero, and describe future directions of prenatal screening, diagnostic testing, and novel in utero treatments for genetic diseases.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Professor, UCSF

Biography
Dr. Laird directs the Laboratory of Germline Development, Fitness, and Aging. Her basic research program is motivated by solving infertility, reproductive aging, and understanding the effects of prenatal exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and psychosocial stressors. She is involved in the intersection between science and society as deputy director of the UCSF P30 EaRTH Center (Environmental Research and Translation for Health). After a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard, she entered stem cell biology as a PhD student at Stanford in the lab of Irving Weissman. She trained as a postdoc in developmental genetics with Kathryn Anderson at Sloan Kettering Institute. Her research has been recognized by an NIH New Innovator Award (DP2), an award from the W.M. Keck Foundation for Biomedical Research and she was recently appointed as a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.