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Research Fellows Directory

Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri

Dr Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri

Research Fellow


University of Cambridge

Research summary

My interest lies in understanding the aetiology of pregnancy complications and the regulation of developmental processes in a wider context. My laboratory investigates the environmental and genetic control of placenta, an organ that develops to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and that secretes signalling factors into the mother with suspected physiological effects. Impaired placental function results in major pregnancy complications, including abnormal birth weight, premature delivery, maternal diabetes and maternal hypertension. These complications threaten the life and health of the mother and her baby and combined, affect more than 1 in 5 pregnancies in the UK. Thus the main aims of my laboratory are to:

1)Better understand the mechanisms governing placental formation and function.

2)Examine how the placenta may influence the metabolic and cardiovascular systems of the mother and thus, her ability to allocate resources (nutrients and oxygen) to the developing fetus.

3)Determine how the placenta senses and responds to the environment of the mother and thereby regulates fetal growth.

4)Identify whether changes in the allocation of resources between the mother and the fetus due to placental mal-function, has consequences for the health of the offspring later in life.

My Dorothy Hodgkin fellowship aims to identify the signals secreted by the placenta that control nutrient allocation during pregnancy and determine what role they play in regulating fetal growth, the health of the mother and the wellbeing of her child. The anticipation is the discovery of factors secreted by the placenta that regulate maternal-fetal resource allocation which could be used to develop diagnostic tests and therapies for pregnancy complications.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Materno-fetal resource allocation; altering placental endocrine function by IGF2

Scheme: Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

Dates: Jan 2015 - Dec 2019

Value: £455,723.04