Pregnancy is a critically important time in a woman's life and it is recognized as a window into women's future health. Although the overwhelming majority of patients have a healthy outcome, pregnancy complications have been on the rise globally. New and emerging data strongly suggest significant maternal health consequences after pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia, diabetes and preterm birth. Likewise, offspring born to mothers experiencing these conditions are at significant risk of developing chronic diseases, including neurological, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders. Surprisingly, the causes of these pregnancy-associated disorders have remained enigmatic as have prediction and treatment. The programmatic and scientific goals of this Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for Reproductive Health are to develop research infrastructure for a center that supports a multidisciplinary, translational, and innovative program in women's reproductive health. The response to women's reproductive health requires a broad and balanced research strategy aimed at expanding knowledge and technology in reproductive medicine. The overarching research goals of this COBRE application include the use of well-defined pre-clinical models to understand mechanisms mediating preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and prematurity, identification of functional predictive biomarkers, and application of contemporary computational approaches to enhance our understanding of the networks and pathways underlying these devastating pregnancy complications. The proposed projects are hypothesis-driven and supported by strong published and preliminary data. An outstanding group of scientists will serve as Mentors to the Investigators and the Internal Advisory Committee and External Advisory Committee (to be formed) will provide timely guidance and oversight for the program. This COBRE for Reproductive Health includes four talented investigators as Project Leaders supported by Administrative, Clinical and Translational, and Data Management and Biostatistics Cores. The COBRE will also support two pilot projects per year.
The Specific Aims of this COBRE are: 1. Establish an integrated research community to provide leadership in basic and translational research in reproductive biology and medicine; 2. Support the career trajectories of talented junior investigators in reproductive health to ensure their successful transition to established investigators; 3. Build infrastructure for reproductive research through support for the Clinical and Translational Core and the Data Management and Biostatistics Core. The Research Projects will also leverage existing core facilities supported by the institution; and 4. Maintain recruitment of promising Junior Investigators committed to research on reproductive health and provide mentoring by established investigators.
This Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Reproductive Health will develop an innovative and translational research program for Women's Reproductive Health in Rhode Island. This COBRE will provide an environment that fosters creative and trans-disciplinary approaches to study the pathobiology of devastating pregnancy complication. The main objective of this COBRE is to facilitate career development of junior investigators as independent researchers who become capable of garnering extramural funding. This COBRE will foster an integrated approach to Women's health.
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