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Dr. Alan Guttmacher

Director's Update

Scientists’ New ‘Human Placenta Project’ Aims to Improve Health of Moms and Their Children

Human Placenta Project logoThe placenta sustains us at the earliest phase of our development and shapes the adults we’ll eventually become. And yet it’s the least understood, and least studied, of all human organs. At the National Institutes of Health, we’re planning a new initiative to learn more about the placenta, in hopes of better health for mothers and their children—not just in pregnancy, but long after.

A chief goal of this initiative is to develop tools for studying the placenta in real time, so we can learn how a placenta develops normally. With that knowledge, we could do a better job of monitoring pregnancies and detecting placental problems earlier. Ultimately, we may be able to identify markers that predict many adverse pregnancy outcomes and take steps to prevent them.

Read the rest of the update in my Huffington Post Blog: http://huff.to/1q2CTF0External Web Site Policy.

Last Updated Date: 12/05/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 12/05/2014

About the Director

Alan Guttmacher, M.D., assumed the duties of NICHD Acting Director on December 1, 2009. A pediatrician and medical geneticist, Dr. Guttmacher came to the NIH in 1999 to work at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he served in a number of roles, including Deputy Director from 2002 to 2010, and Acting Director from 2008 to November 30, 2009.

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