Morgan Research Laboratory
My primary research mission is to determine how uteroplacental vascular remodeling during pregnancy affects blood flow to the placenta leads to common maternal pregnancy complications and fetal programming of adult onset disease in their progeny. In summary, the human placenta invades the maternal uterus to be bathed in blood during gestation. This fetal organ acts as the growing baby's lungs, kidneys, and hormonal signaling system to regulate fetal nutrition, waste regulation, and mediate adequate blood flow from mom to baby. In about 10% of pregnancies, this complex regulation does not work properly leading to small babies, early labor, and pregnancy-induced hypertension in mom. Small babies have an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, essential hypertension, and perhaps cancer later in life as adults. We think that the developmental origins of adult onset heart disease may begin with abnormal blood flow to the developing placenta. Understanding the placenta's ability to regulate and compensate for abnormal maternal blood flow may lead to clinically significant insights into an important cause of common diseases. My research interests are also directed towards developing and validating new methods to screen patient blood samples for cell- and size-specific extracellular vesicles (EVs) for diagnostics and sorting of EVs for further biomarker development. I am a leader of our multidisciplinary EV Science Group to develop a new approach to EV imaging, quantitation, and isolation.
Terry K. Morgan, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Obsetrics & Gynecology, OHSU
Mayu Morita: Senior Research Associate
Nicole Marek: Masters of Public Health Student