The Human Placenta Project: Placental Structure and Function in Real Time

April 14–15, 2016




Natcher Conference Center, Building 45
NIH Main Campus
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


The placenta is the least understood human organ and arguably one of the more important organs in the body, not only for the health of a woman and her fetus during pregnancy but also for the lifelong health of both. To address this lack of knowledge, the NICHD believes a concerted effort, the Human Placenta Project, would make substantial inroads.

Initial goals of the Human Placenta Project are to:

  • Improve current methods and develop new technologies for real-time assessment of placental development across pregnancy.
  • Apply these technologies to understand and monitor, in real time, placental development and function in normal and abnormal pregnancies.
  • Develop and evaluate non-invasive markers for prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
  • Understand the contributions of placental development to long-term health and disease.
  • Develop interventions to prevent abnormal placental development and thereby improve pregnancy outcome.

The goals of this meeting are to bring together a group of broad thinkers that includes technical subject matter experts, placental biologists, and clinicians to:

  • Identify scientific processes that with noninvasive monitoring will allow understanding of placental development and function.
  • Identify new and emerging technologies and imaging methods to achieve HPP goals.
  • Develop partnerships between subject matter and technology experts.
  • Leverage this breadth of expertise to inform the broader project roadmap and prioritize next steps.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

View the meeting agenda (PDF 244 KB).

More Information


David Weinberg, PhD

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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