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Virginia Winn, MD, PhD

Student Cancer Research Fellowship Preceptor


Human placental development, cytotrophoblast invasion, leptin actions on cell migration and invasion.


Maternal-Fetal Medicine


University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Must have completed two years of college

Number of Openings: 2

Program Objective:

Study the regulation of human cytotrophoblast cell migration, invasion and vascular remodeling to understand both normal and abnormal placentation as it relates to pregnancy outcomes.

Program Description:

The main focus of our current research is to study the unique features of human placental development, as humans have the most invasive placenta and impaired invasion leads to the pregnancy complication preeclampsia. 

Based on several completed microarray analyses we are focusing on a few target molecules that likely have a role in cytotrophoblast invasion, namely leptin, Siglec-6 and PAPPA2.  A second area of interest is in persistent gestational trophoblast disease (GTD) where invasion is not controlled as in choriocarcinomas. The metastasis-associated molecule Mig-7 is the focus of these studies. 

 We use a combination of molecular and cellular techniques using several in vitro model systems as well as human samples.

More details can be found at the Winn Lab website.