NICHD Hosts Upcoming Lecture on Fetal Individualized Medicine

Diana Bianchi, M.D.

The next NICHD Director’s Lecture at the NIH will feature Diana Bianchi, M.D., from Tufts University School of Medicine. Her talk, titled “Changing Paradigms: From Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis to Fetal Individualized Medicine,” will take place on January 21, 2015, 9:00–10:00 a.m., in Lipsett Amphitheater, at NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.

In this lecture, Dr. Bianchi will describe how genomic analysis of placental cell-free DNA circulating in maternal plasma has revolutionized prenatal screening for fetal genetic diseases and provided novel insights into perinatal biology. She also will discuss how NICHD-supported research on the amniotic fluid transcriptome has elucidated mechanisms of disease in living fetuses, which has led to testable hypotheses regarding individualized treatments. She will use prenatal treatment of Down syndrome as an example.

Diana W. Bianchi is the executive director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center and the Natalie V. Zucker Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She also is vice chair for pediatric research at the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston. She is a member of NICHD’s National Advisory Council, editor-in-chief of the international journal Prenatal Diagnosis,and a past president of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and the Perinatal Research Society. In 2013, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

The NICHD Director’s Lecture Series is designed to showcase cutting-edge science relevant to the NICHD mission and to provide NIH trainees and staff members with the opportunity to interact with nationally recognized scientists and leaders. Members of the public also are welcome to attend.

Individuals with disabilities who need sign language interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Laureen Lee at or 301-594-1968 at least 5 days in advance of the event.


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute's website at

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