Research themes

Research themes 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 across all Washington University in St. Louis and its partner institutions.
  • Provide a strong foundation for transdisciplinary collaboration.

The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis will address three inter-related transdisciplinary research themes:

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High-Speed Functional Photoacoustic Endoscopy for Assessment of Cervical Remodeling The cervix plays a central role in maintaining pregnancy and permitting delivery of the fetus, changing progressively as gestation advances. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis believe understanding these changes is crucial for predicting and preventing preterm birth.
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Three-Dimensional Electrophysiology of the Uterus: Early Electrical Maturation in the Etiology of Preterm Birth This theme will build a new electromyometrial imaging device that will image uterine contraction patterns and seek to prove that untimely electrical maturation of the uterine smooth muscle at a preterm gestational age contributes to preterm birth.
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The Influence of Chronodisruption on Risk of Preterm Birth This research theme will determine whether our daily circadian rhythms play a key role in bringing babies to term.
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