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Margherita Yayoi Turco

Research Interests

Origin and lineage specification of trophoblast cells in human placenta

Major complications of pregnancy originate from defective trophoblast function during placental development. The Great Obstetrical Syndromes such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction and stillbirth are still alarmingly common, with 2.6 million stillbirths per annum worldwide and more than 50,000 annual maternal deaths due to pre-eclampsia.  There are still no effective therapeutic interventions to alleviate these complications. Thus there is a great need to understand how human placentation works, in order to investigate what goes awry in pregnancy complications.

My research aims are:

1)      To understand developmental processes and cell lineage relationships during placentation

2)      To investigate the role of the endometrium in guiding trophoblast and placental development

3)      To develop in vitro tools to study placental development and its interaction with the endometrium.

I am based at the Department of Pathology and am working together with Professor Graham Burton, Professor Ashley Moffett and Dr. Myriam Hemberger.

Funding: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, Centre for Trophoblast Research Fellowship
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no PIEF-GA-2013-629785 Flag

Collaborators:

Bon-Kyoung Koo (Wellcome Trust – MRC Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge)

Benjamin Simons (Gurdon Institute, Cambridge)

Jan Brosens (University of Warwick)

Hilary Critchley (MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh)