Research themes

The Center's areas of inquiry are designed to ground the larger transdisciplinary mandate in a series of focused scientific initiatives, as well as to produce important new insights.

Areas of inquiry must meet a set of essential criteria:
• Address a research target that is likely to be crucial to the prevention of preterm birth.
• Generate or refine new technologies that could lead to important new discoveries 
   regarding preterm birth.
• Leverage the expertise and resources available at Stanford University.
• Provide a strong foundation for transdisciplinary collaboration.

Key areas of inquiry include:

The Microbiome and Preterm Birth​. Our overall goal is to characterize microorganisms in the body, their genetic components, and their reactions during pregnancy, and examine whether they are in any way associated with preterm birth. Download PDF


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Transcriptome and Preterm Birth. Our goal is to develop a diagnostic tool that — through a blood test — will enable clinicians to detect distress signals from a mother or baby before any clinical symptoms of preterm birth are apparent. Download PDF


The Immunome and Preterm Birth.  The goal of Theme 3 is to understand how the maternal immune systems adapts to a normal pregnancy and to identify immunological anomalies associated with preterm birth.  Download PDF


The Prematurity Research Centers Data Repository.  The goal of Theme 4 is to develop a powerful tool to enable new scientific discoveries from the rich molecular resources that have been funded by March of Dimes, and others, to advance the research of preterm birth. Download PDF