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Su Lab

(left to right, Shuhan Ji, PhD, Kathryn Kilpatrick, MS, Diane Gumina, MS, Emily Su, MD)

Fetal growth restriction secondary to placental insufficiency is a major cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality.  Of even more concern are growth-restricted fetuses that also demonstrate abnormal placental blood flow on ultrasound Doppler imaging.  These fetuses are at especially high risk for adverse outcomes, including stillbirth or neonatal death, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and even long-term health problems.  Currently, no preventative or therapeutic measures for growth restriction exist other than delivery, and clinical data are clear that this intervention does not impact overall survival or long-term outcome.  Our lab is primarily focused on molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal placental blood flow and function.  

Research Complex-2, P15-3450C
12700 E. 19th Avenue, MS 8613
Aurora, CO  80045
Laboratory Phone:  303-724-9240​

Emily J Su, MD, MSCI - Principal investigator 
Shuhan Ji, PhD - Post-doctoral Fellow
Kathryn Kilpatrick, MS - Professional Research Assistant
Diane Gumina, MS - Graduate Student

Ji S, Xin H, Li Y, Su EJ. FMS-like tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1) is a key regulator of fetoplacental endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis​. Placenta. 2018 Oct;70:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2018.08.004. Epub 2018 Aug 20. Select item 290975902.

Li, Y, Lorca RA, Su EJ. Molecular and cellular underpinnings of normal and abnormal human placental blood flows.​ J Mol Endocrinol​. 2018 Jan;60(1):R9-R22. doi: 10.1530/JME-170139. Epub 2017 Nov 2. Review.

Gumina DL, Su EJ. Endothelial Progenitor Cells of the Human Placenta and Fetoplacental Circulation: A Potential Link to Fetal, Neonatal, and Long-term Health. Front Pediatr. 2017 Mar 15;5:41. doi: 10.3389/fped.2017.00041. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 28361046; PubMed Central PMCID:


Mestan KK, Gotteiner N, Porta N, Grobman W, Su EJ, Ernst LM. Cord Blood Biomarkers of Placental Maternal Vascular Underperfusion Predict Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia-Associated Pulmonary Hypertension. J Pediatr. 2017 Jun;185:33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.01.015. Epub 2017 Feb 2. PubMed PMID: 28162769; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5529237.

Palatnik A, Xin H, Su EJ. Dichotomous effects of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) activation on human fetoplacental endothelial cell function. Placenta. 2016 Aug;44:61-8. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2016.06.004. Epub 2016 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 27452439; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4964606.

Blundell C, Tess ER, Schanzer AS, Coutifaris C, Su EJ, Parry S, Huh D. A microphysiological model of the human placental barrier. Lab Chip. 2016 Aug 2;16(16):3065-73. doi: 10.1039/c6lc00259e. PubMed PMID: 27229450; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4970951.

Su EJ. Role of the fetoplacental endothelium in fetal growth restriction with abnormal umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Oct;213(4 Suppl):S123-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.06.038. Review. PubMed PMID: 26428491; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4592515.


Su EJ, Xin H, Yin P, Dyson M, Coon J, Farrow KN, Mestan KK, Ernst LM.  Impaired fetoplacental angiogenesis in growth-restricted fetuses with abnormal umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry is mediated by aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT).  J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015; 100: E30-40.

Mestan KK, Check J, Minturn L, Yallapragada S, Farrow KN, Liu X, Su E, Porta N, Gotteiner N, Ernst LM.  Placental pathologic changes of maternal vascular underperfusion in bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension.  Placenta 2014; 35: 570-574.

Voller SB, Chock S, Ernst LM, Su E, Liu X, Farrow KN, Mestan KK.  Cord blood biomarkers of vascular endothelial growth (VEGF and sFLT-1) and postnatal growth: A preterm birth cohort study.  Early Hum Dev 2014; 90: 195-200.

Ernst LM, Minturn L, Huang MH, Curry E, Su EJ.  Gross patterns of umbilical cord coiling: Correlations with placental histology and stillbirth.  Placenta 2013; 34: 583-588. 

Robinson BK, Su E, Grobman W, Huang M, Ernst LM.  The association of histologic placental inflammation with category II fetal heart tracings.  Pediatr Dev Pathol 2012; 15: 298-302. 

Su EJ, Xin H, Monsivais D.  The emerging role of estrogen receptor-beta in human reproduction.  Semin Reprod Med 2012; 30: 62-70. 

Su EJ, Ernst L, Abdallah N, Chatterton R, Xin H, Monsivais D, Coon J, Bulun SE.  Estrogen receptor-beta and fetoplacental endothelial prostanoid biosynthesis: A link to clinically demonstrated fetal growth restriction.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96: E1558-1567.

Su EJ, Lin ZH, Zeine R, Yin P, Reierstad S, Innes JE, Bulun SE.  Estrogen receptor-beta mediates cyclooxygenase-2 expression and vascular prostanoid levels in human placental villous endothelial cells.  Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009; 200: e1-8.  Editor’s Choice for Basic Science: Obstetrics.​

  • ​Center for Women's Health Research Multi-disciplinary Seed Grant. Characterization of a specific endothelial progenitor cell population within the human placenta.
  • R01 HL 119846.  Mediators of impaired angiogenesis in fetal growth restriction.
2016 International Federation of Placenta Associations Early Career Research Award

2015 Society for Reproductive Investigation President’s Achievement Award

Scientific Program Director; Society for Reproductive Investigation 2015 Annual Meeting

2008 NIH Young Investigator Awardee to the Perinatal Research Society

2000 The Harry Garber, M.D., Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

2000 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine