Who you are is partially defined by your genes, or the material that encodes the parts of you that make up your physical body and how it interacts with the world around you. Small changes in your genetics can have significant results on how you’re able to respond to your environment, physiological changes, and what you pass on to future generations. An interesting component of genetics is epigenetics, which determines how genes express themselves. Switching certain genes on or off in response to environmental signals when done correctly is hardly noticeable. But what happens when things go awry? How does the body know which genes should respond when, and how is pregnancy impacted by this? Our research goes to the heart of the matter by looking into some of the mechanistic parts of what a healthy pregnancy looks like on a genetic level so we can understand how to help when things don’t go according to plan.

Investigating genetics


Ethan M. Goldberg, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine