Dr. Abrahams' lab studies Reproductive Immunology with a focus on the impact the immune system and immunological processes have on pregnancy outcome. Her research is concentrated on three main areas:1. Innate immune responses to infection at the maternal-fetal interface
2. Mechanisms of antiphospholipid antibody-induced pregnancy complications
3. The role of placental microparticles in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia
Research in Dr. Guller’s laboratory focuses on placental dysfunction in adverse preterm pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia (PE), intrauterine growth restriction, and chorioamnionitis (CAM). The overall goal of his work is to elucidate the role of major cell types of the placental villus, including syncytiotrophoblast, Hofbauer cells (HBCs, fetal macrophages), fibroblasts, and fetal endothelial cells, in mediating responses to glucocorticoid, hypoxia-reperfusion injury, and intrauterine infection.
Dr. Johnson's research program focuses on the control of oocyte number inside the ovary, primarily in mammals, but recently also in the fruit fly model organism. We are currently focused on mechanisms that support oocyte quality--the ability to give rise to a healthy offspring--and those that lead to oocyte loss, due to 'normal' aging and in the context of human premature ovarian failure (POF). To maximize his clinical/ translation acumen, Dr. Johnson was trained and worked part-time as an embryologist in the Yale IVF Center. Now, our primary mission is to better understand the function of the ovary so we can first identify women whose ovaries are at risk of failing or who will have trouble conceiving, and one day intervene to protect fertility and organ function.
We are currently investigating the origin of ovarian cancer. Studies in the laboratory have shown that tumor initiating cells are attracted to the ovaries following ovulation and once the malignant cells reach the ovaries, the ovaries are able to provide a “fertile soil” that can support tumor initiation. These findings have open the opportunity for the development of new venues to prevent ovarian cancer by inhibiting the factors associated with the recruitment of transformed cells towards the ovaries. Furthermore it has provided the identification of new makers for early detection.
Dr. Silasi is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician in the Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Her research interests lie in the role of the immune system in complications of pregnancy, specifically preterm labor and preterm delivery. She currently is a WRHR scholar and is part of the Reproductive Immunology Unit.