Obstetrics and Gynecology Research


The research team is housed within the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Center for Abnormal Placentation (CAP).  The Research group, led by internationally recognized Senior Scientists (Stacy Zamudio, PhD., and Nicholas P. Illsley, D. Phil. [Oxford]), focuses its efforts on placental pathologies.  Our goals are to improve both our knowledge of what causes pregnancy pathologies such as placenta accreta and preeclampsia, and how the care of and management of problems in complicated pregnancies can be improved. 

Our research laboratory in the David Jurist Research Building is located directly across from the main hospital and uses state of the art molecular biological, high throughput genomics and imaging techniques to investigate the etiology of placental diseases.  We currently hold funding from the National Institutes of Health and from the CAP Foundation of HackensackUMC for investigations related to high-throughput genomics, with more funding anticipated from other agencies such as the National Science Foundation.  Our recently completed 10-year review of all cases of placenta accreta (excessive invasion into the mother’s uterus by the placenta) showed that HackensackUMC’s management by an experienced, dedicated team of physicians and nurses has substantially reduced the incidence and severity of hemorrhage in this life-threatening complication of pregnancy (Placenta 32[9]:A19, 2011). 

Additional projects are dedicated to improving our ability to diagnose the severity of accreta using 3-dimensional ultrasound-based imaging techniques, evaluating the extent to which MRI contributes to the accuracy of diagnosis, and basic science work to find out why the placental cells invade too deeply.  Such work is informed by an equal effort to learn why these same cells do not invade deeply enough in preeclampsia (high blood pressure and kidney problems) and in intrauterine growth restriction (failure of the fetus to attain its genetic growth potential).  We encourage you to ask about our research and what it does for you, the patient.  We appreciate your participation in our studies and thank you for your support of patient-oriented science at HackensackUMC.

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