国立研究開発法人 国立成育医療研究センター National Center for Child Health and Development

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研究者・企業の方へ Scholar & Enterprise

研究者・企業の方へ Scholar & Enterprise

Department of Maternal-Fetal Biology

We aim to clarify mechanisms underlying abnormalities in fetal development and placentation, and/or perinatal diseases with developmental defects. Abnormalities during the perinatal period require emergency intervention and multidisciplinary treatment for both mothers and their infants. However, the detailed mechanism underlying perinatal diseases remains unknown. In many cases, there is no effective early diagnosis or curative treatments. Even if there are no typical pregnancy complications, the fetal environment can be affected by factors such as maternal nutrition, which in turn can affect an infant’s gene expression patterns over a long period. It is possible that factors in the fetal environment may influence the long-term risk of common diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease, in adulthood. Our research therefore not only focuses on the health of mothers and their infants, but also extends to long-term issues that influence health throughout the entire course of a lifetime.

To identify the underlying mechanisms of perinatal diseases, we take advantage of post-genomic technologies and investigate etiologies using an integrated genomic and epigenomic approach. In addition to conventional molecular biology, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are expected to play a key role in finding new solutions in perinatal care. We plan to undertake two major research strategies by first obtaining samples for genetic/epigenetic analysis from abnormal pregnancy cases, and then confirming our findings using an animal model. In addition to these strategies, the department uses cutting-edge DNA microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies to analyze DNA and protein datasets. We also collaborate with over 20 domestic medical research institutions for genetic/epigenetic diagnosis of rare diseases.