Reproductive Sciences, REI, MFM dominate at 2017 SRI annual meeting

For many years, our UW Ob-Gyn researchers have had a strong presence at the Society for Reproductive Investigation annual meeting, but this year we topped all expectations!

Aleks Stanic-Kostic, MD, Ph.D., was proud of both the lab’s abstracts, by Jessica Vazquez (graduate student) and Dr. Yan Li (postdoctoral fellow), selected for oral presentations at SRI. Vazquez’s talk revealed the discovery of new immune cell types in the human decidua, while Li presented a study describing complex immune dynamics at the murine decidua across pregnancy.

Stanic also presented to leadership and supporting foundation representatives at the Reproductive Scientist Development Program retreat dinner.

Derek Boeldt, Ph.D., attended for the first time as new faculty and gave an oral presentation on work undertaken with Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow Danielle Berdahl, MD, on Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as a possible therapy for preeclampsia-induced hypertension.

Amanda Hankes from the Bird laboratory also presented work on the modulating effect of IL6 to take away protective effects of growth factors and amplify damaging effects of cytokines in damaging the endothelial monolayer in preeclampsia. Working with Bryan Ampey, Ph.D., they also showed cyclic nucleotides may be protective and so gave us an excuse to drink that one additional cup of coffee! (As if any of us need an excuse.)

Dr. Jing Zheng's lab presented new data on the role of GNA 11 in modulating growth factor effects in endothelium(Qing-Yun Zou), the role of estrogen metabolites in controlling endothelial cell migration (Rosalina Villalon-Landeros - Oral Presentation), and the role of miRNA released from placenta of preeclamptic patients in causing vascular dysfunction (Dr Chi Zhou).

Dinesh Shah, MD, and Ted Golos, Ph.D., represented the University of Wisconsin Human Placenta Project U01 in the Hot Topics poster session. These described new imaging modalities under development in the pregnant rhesus macaque, with the ultimate goal of using MRI to diagnose placental developmental and functional deficiencies in advance of the development of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Golos delivered the opening oral presentation in the final session of the meeting at the President’s Luncheon, on Zika virus infection in pregnant rhesus macaques. ERP graduate student Sydney Nguyen and MFM faculty Katie Antony, MD were the first two authors on this abstract.

All told, UW Ob-Gyn was represented with 11 presentations, including five selected as oral presentations. To put that in perspective, there were over 1000 submissions to the meeting this year.

If that’s not enough, Rosalina Villalon - Landeros was awarded a Pfizer President’s Presenters Award for her oral presentation, and she and Jessica Vazquez and Bryan Ampey all received registration awards.

And finally, Ian Bird, Ph.D. officially took up his role of Secretary Treasurer of the Society Reproductive Investigation at the 2017 meeting and will serve a three year term.

Full details of UW Ob-Gyn presentations at SRI are available here (PDF).

Congratulations, and great work, to all our UW Ob-Gyn researchers and scientists who attended SRI! Thank you for promoting the great work done in our department.