Navigation Links
March of Dimes provides $2.7 million in new funding for preterm birth research
Date:2/11/2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., FEB. 11, 2009 Scientists intend to identify microbes that may cause preterm labor in some women, investigate the role of an enzyme in preventing uterine contractions and an early birth, and look at different groups of women to find genetic and environmental risk factors for prematurity.

The work of seven researchers will be supported for the next three years by new March of Dimes Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) grants. The nearly $2.7 million in new grants continues March of Dimes support for efforts to predict and prevent preterm birth. These 2009 grants bring the five-year-old program's grant total to nearly $14 million.

"This research is critical to ending the epidemic of preterm birth," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the organization. "That's why we created the PRI grants and continue to award them even in these difficult economic times. Because the goal is for every baby to be born healthy and full-term."

Jennifer Condon, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, is one of the new PRI grant recipients who's seeking clues to what causes both normal labor and premature labor. Her work focuses on an enzyme called caspase-3 that typically is involved in cell turnover.

"We think we've found a central mechanism for why the pregnant uterus usually stays quiet for nine months," Dr. Condon says. "Caspase-3 may be what prevents the uterus from contracting during a normal, healthy pregnancy. We hypothesize that inappropriate elimination of this enzyme from the pregnant uterus may be the cause of the onset of preterm labor."

Caspase-3 is positively regulated by progesterone and other studies have shown that regular injections of a form of progesterone found naturally during pregnancy can prevent some preterm births in women who have had a prior preterm birth.

"The March of Dimes is the only major health charity supporting basic research on the causes of premature labor, so we're extremely fortunate to receive this grant," Dr. Condon said.

The March of Dimes calls on the federal government to fully fund the PREEMIE Act of 2006, which expands federal research on preterm labor and delivery, and the care and treatment, and outcomes of preterm and low birthweight infants, Dr. Howse said.

In December 2008, the March of Dimes and the Burroughs Wellcome Trust co-sponsored "Preventing Prematurity: Establishing a Network for Innovation and Discovery," a meeting that brought together about 200 researchers from around the world to establish new partnerships on the problem of preterm birth and inspire other scientists to pursue studies in this area so crucial to maternal and infant health.

Preterm birth (before 37 completed weeks gestation) is a leading cause of infant death in the United States. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and sometimes lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, developmental delays, vision loss and cerebral palsy. More than 543,000 babies are born too soon each year and recent federal statistics show that the nation's preterm birth rate has risen to 12.8 percent -- a 36 percent increase since the early 1980s.

The 2009 PRI grant recipients are:

  • Jennifer C. Condon, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Cell Biology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Magee-Women's Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA;
  • Michal Elovitz, MD, assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA;
  • Sarah Katherine England, PhD, associate professor, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA;
  • Ramkumar Menon, MS, PhD, associate research professor, Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA;
  • Deborah McColl Money, BSc, MD, FRCSC, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC;
  • James Frederick Padbury, MD, professor and vice chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, Brown University, Providence, RI;
  • Kristina M. Adams Waldorf, MD, assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
elynch@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4286
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. March launch planned for ESAs gravity mission
2. Far-reaching genetics topics to be addressed: 2009 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, March 25-29
3. March of Dimes announces Prematurity Campaign expansion at Surgeon Generals conference
4. American Chemical Societys Weekly PressPac -- March 26, 2008
5. American Chemical Societys Weekly PressPac -- March 19, 2008
6. K-State contributions to red flour beetle genome sequencing featured in March 27 issue of Nature
7. AGU Journal Highlights -- March 19, 2008
8. Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2008
9. March GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
10. Media highlights in the March 1 issue of Biophysical Journal
11. Sea bed provides information about present climatic change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... WASHINGTON , June 22, 2016 On ... highly-anticipated call to industry to share solutions for the ... by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that ... nationals are departing the United States ... criminals, and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Finland , June 9, 2016 ... National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the ... France during the major tournament ... data communications systems and services, announced today that its video ... Prefecture to back up public safety across the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority ... as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use ... height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- A person commits a crime, and the detective uses ... criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes ... uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that caused ... not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge technology ... Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: