Research and Funding

Research Objectives

The Human Placenta Project has five main research objectives:

  • 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 hence improve pregnancy outcomes.


Since the project launched, NIH has awarded more than $50 million in HPP research awards. All HPP-funded projects are listed on NIH RePORTER.

HPP Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs):


Moving Beyond Standard Assessments: Applying Novel Tools to Assess Human Placental Structure and Function in Real Time

  • Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2017.
  • R01 Research Project Grant (RFA-HD-18-003)
  • R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant (RFA-HD-18-004)

Assessing Human Placental Development and Function Using Existing Data


Using '—Omics' to Define Human Placental Development and Function Across Pregnancy


Developing Paradigm-Shifting Innovations for in vivo Human Placental Assessment in Response to Environmental Influences 

Novel Tools to Assess Human Placental Structure and Function

List of projects funded through 2015 FOAs.

FOAs for other types of placental research (non-HPP):

Project Background

The Human Placenta Project was inspired by the NICHD's Scientific Vision (PDF - 2 MB) and is described in these articles:

  • Guttmacher, AE, Maddox, YT, & Spong, CY. (2014). The Human Placenta Project: Placental structure, development, and function in real time. Placenta, May;35(5), 303-4. (PMID: 24661567
  • Sadovsky, Y, Clifton, VL, & Burton, GJ. (2014). Invigorating placental research through the 'Human Placenta Project.' Placenta, August;35(8), 527. (PMID: 24997635)
  • Guttmacher, AE, & Spong, CY. (2015). The Human Placenta Project: It's time for real time. Am J Obstet GynecolOct;213(4 Suppl), S3-S5. (PMID: 26428502)

Return to the Human Placenta Project main page.

top of pageBACK TO TOP