OHSU to host international placental research meeting

OHSU will host the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA) annual meeting next month. Placental researchers from across the globe will be converging on Portland Sept. 13 –16, 2016.  

The theme for the meeting this year is "Placenta: back to the basics." Emphasis will be placed on the latest advances in basic mechanisms underlying placental physiology and pathophysiology and application of novel techniques for understanding the placenta. The meeting will also have two satellite sessions, "New methods for exploring multiscale placental architecture" and "Uteroplacental pathology and the human placenta project." Highlights of the conference will include a focus on the latest imaging tools to understand the placenta's function in real time and sessions on how the Zika virus affects the placenta.

Leslie Myatt, Ph.D., FRCOG, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine and the Bob and Charlee Moore endowed professor in the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition &Wellness is the chair of IFPA 2016.

OHSU houses one of the largest placental research groups in the world. The group has been steadily built over the past 25 years by Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition &Wellness and director of the Center for Developmental Health in the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute.

The National Institutes of Health recently announced the Human Placenta Project, an initiative designed to revolutionize understanding of the placenta and its role in chronic disease. Antonia Frias, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine, received two major awards as part of this initiative to use new imaging tools to look at placental performance in three groups of human subjects.

The placenta is the center of the chronic disease universe, but arguably the least understood organ in the body. OHSU placental research spans basic research to small animal model and non-human primate research to clinical interventions. The group of almost 50 researchers feeding into the placental research group is leading the world in understanding the effects of obesity and diabetes on placental function and sexual dimorphism in regulatory mechanisms and outcomes.

Any OHSU employee interested in attending all or part of the conference or the imaging satellite meeting can email ifpa@ohsu.edu to find out about day rates and registration procedures. The full schedule with workshop descriptions and speakers is available at www.ohsu.edu/ifpa2016.