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Sood Laboratory

Location

Translational & Biomedical Resource Center

4th Floor

General Interests

Placental Development, Blood Coagulation, Uterine Hemostasis, Obstetric Hemorrhage, Perinatal health/Prematurity, Preeclampsia

View Rashmi Sood Bio
Rashmi Sood Laboratory

Research Areas

Regulation of placental and uterine hemostasis

Humans form a hemochorial placenta. In this type of placentation, the walls of maternal arteries leading to the placenta are breached and maternal blood flows through extravascular spaces lined by zygote-derived cells. There remain fundamental gaps in knowledge on how blood coagulation is regulated and hemorrhage is prevented during hemochorial placentation and in parturition. Hallmarks of pathological thrombosis in uteroplacental circulation are poorly defined. The unusual blood flow in hemochorial placentation is thought to further increase the risk of thrombosis in women with preexisting clotting disorders, and contribute to recurrent pregnancy loss, fetal growth restriction, stillbirth, and other placenta-mediated pregnancy complications. Conversely, inflammation can trigger excessive coagulation in the placenta causing pregnancy complications. Obstetric hemorrhage remains a leading cause of maternal death worldwide. Given the high incidence of these pregnancy complications and their severe consequences on maternal and fetal health, it is necessary to identify (1) key factors that regulate placental and uterine hemostasis, and (2) features that mark pathological thrombosis. To address this gap in knowledge, we generate and utilize murine models of maternal and fetal thrombophilia to examine the role of thrombotic processes in uteroplacental disease and its consequences on maternal and fetal health.

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Human pregnancy and gestational syndromes

Prediction and prevention of gestational syndromes such as preeclampsia and spontaneous preterm delivery are a crucial challenge facing modern obstetrics. The placenta plays a key role in these complications. In the United States, about 1 in 10 babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. It is a leading cause of neonatal death and the second leading cause of death below 5 years of age. Preterm babies that survive the neonatal period are predisposed to long-term health complications. Preeclampsia is another complex gestational syndrome that roughly affects 5 to 7% of all pregnancies. It is most typically characterized by maternal hypertension and proteinuria. Preeclampsia is frequently associated with fetal growth restriction and often requires premature delivery, putting neonates at risk of immediate and long-term adverse health consequences. It can progress into its potentially fatal form eclampsia and endanger the lives of the mother and fetus. There is a paucity of tools to monitor healthy progression of pregnancies and predict the risk of these major gestational syndromes. Our laboratory utilizes a sensitive bioassay to identify changes in maternal plasma associated with normal progression of pregnancy and abnormalities that are predictive of preterm birth and preeclampsia. In recent work conducted through funding from Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, we find that features identified by this assay allow correct classification of preterm birth cases and normal term controls with 90% accuracy 8 weeks prior to preterm delivery. Our goal is to identify features that can be developed into useful biomarkers for prediction and early diagnosis.

Current Members

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Michelle Castillo, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

mcastillo@mcw.edu

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Katelyn Storage

Lab Technician

kstorage@mcw.edu

Sood Lab Summer 2018

Summer 2018

Pictured left to right: Katelyn Storage, Kathryn Wagstaff, Emily Ott, Michelle Castillo, Dosia McKinney, Abril Solis Sigala, Rashmi Sood, Qiuhui Yang
Sood Lab Summer 2016

Summer 2016

Pictured left to right, back row: Qiuhui Yang, Michelle Bordas, Alicia Ivory, Rashmi Sood, Michelle Castillo; front row: Kristen Chen, Katelyn Storage, Alli Biskowitz

Recent Publications