Pregnancy Health

Why Should We Care About Pregnancy?

While pregnancy-related maternal mortality in the past two decades has dropped by nearly half worldwide, it has exhibited a two-fold increase in the United States and a steadily rising trend (Troiano & Witcher, 2018). Pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and premature labor and birth, have also contributed to severe maternal and perinatal morbidity, with significant physical and emotional health consequences and billions of dollars lost in annual expenditure (Kilpatrick & Ecker, 2016; Liu et al, 2016). Health implications extend well beyond the postpartum period, as noted through the prevalence of chronic medical conditions, neurodevelopmental and growth deficits, and cardiovascular disease amongst implicated neonates (Blencowe et al, 2013). Women’s health experts speculate that as many as one-half of those cases could have been prevented with early recognition and prevention (Berg et al, 2006).

Researchers at ISB are partnering with leading experts in women’s health and obstetrics to address this unmet need, using systems approaches to elucidate the landscape of normal pregnancy and its perturbed state in pathological pregnancy and to ultimately identify at-risk pregnancies for timely interception.

Featured Projects

  • Pregnancy Health, from Bench to Bedside

    ISB is leading a comprehensive clinical study to tease out the intricacies of pregnancy as it progresses from conception to postpartum. In collaboration with Magee-Womens Health, ISB is collecting an exhaustive set of maternal and fetal health parameters — digital health, physiological, behavioral/contextual, molecular, clinical, and medical imaging measures — from multiple modalities and over the course of gestation.

  • Placenta and Preterm Birth

    ISB is using systems biology to map molecular network dynamics in normal pregnancy, as well as study changes that occur in pregnancies with complications such as preterm birth. By using a systems approach, we hope to gain a more comprehensive understanding of pathological changes that occur in pregnancy, and identify women most at risk of developing pregnancy complications.