The Tissue Procurement Core supports the development of the Formative Center by integrating the procurement of clinical tissues with the needs of the basic science research projects. The goal of the Tissue Procurement Core is to optimize the ability for investigators to use spontaneously aborted fetal tissue to understand the underlying epigenetic pathways altered by environmental exposures during development that lead to childhood and adult diseases. The goal of this core will be met through the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1 : Facilitate the identification, inclusion and rapid procurement of spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) to be evaluated for enrollment in the Formative Center research protocol.
Specific Aim 2 : Evaluate, procure and process selected fetal tissues to ensure successful use of the tissues in the proposed research projects. These tissues include: fetal lung, liver and prostate tissue.
Specific Aim 3 : Provide opportunities for clinical fellows, including Pediatric, Neonatology. Pathology and Maternal Fetal Medicine fellows, to engage in research related to the Formative Center. The Tissue Procurement Core has been developed to facilitate identifying appropriate specimens, consenting women who have experienced a spontaneous abortion, acquiring the essential tissues from the aborted fetus, processing the tissues in a timely fashion to optimize scientific applications, and developing systems for short-term utilization and eventually, for long-term tissue storage. Success of this core relies on intensive surveillance, community outreach and education as well as extensive engagement and coordination with the clinical team. The clinical interface provided through the Tissue Procurement core is a fundamental element of the Formative Center, providing expertise to integrate individual and public health relevance to the research program.

Public Health Relevance

The overarching goal of this Formative Center is to develop novel biomarkers for the adverse effects of environmental exposures that impact fetal development and produce childhood and adult disease. Using an interdisciplinary approach, research, educational, and training interventions will be designed to address the concerns that pregnant women, families, and communities have about environmental chemicals and the health of their developing children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Brown University
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Saffarini, Camelia M; McDonnell-Clark, Elizabeth V; Amin, Ali et al. (2015) Developmental exposure to estrogen alters differentiation and epigenetic programming in a human fetal prostate xenograft model. PLoS One 10:e0122290
Huse, Susan M; Gruppuso, Philip A; Boekelheide, Kim et al. (2015) Patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation in human fetal and adult liver. BMC Genomics 16:981
De Paepe, Monique E; Chu, Sharon; Hall, Susan J et al. (2015) Intussusceptive-like angiogenesis in human fetal lung xenografts: Link with bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated microvascular dysangiogenesis? Exp Lung Res 41:477-88
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Heger, Nicholas E; Hall, Susan J; Sandrof, Moses A et al. (2012) Human fetal testis xenografts are resistant to phthalate-induced endocrine disruption. Environ Health Perspect 120:1137-43
De Paepe, Monique E; Chu, Sharon; Hall, Susan et al. (2012) The human fetal lung xenograft: validation as model of microvascular remodeling in the postglandular lung. Pediatr Pulmonol 47:1192-203

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