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Perinatal Research Center - Education


The PRC provides a unique basic biology training program for students, clinical and basic science trainees, and clinical and basic scientists. The purpose of the training program is to provide basic and clinical postdoctoral research training for neonatology and maternal-fetal medicine physicians and basic scientists who have completed residency training or a PhD degree. The research training includes concepts and techniques in perinatal/developmental physiology, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology.

Training at the PRC provides preparation for research oriented academic careers in reproductive medicine. During the first year of MD fellowship training programs, which is largely clinical and is not funded by the NIH Training Grant in Perinatal Medicine, trainees work with faculty advisors to select basic research projects and mentors.

Three principal areas of research are offered:

  1. fetal nutritional metabolism and growth
  2. placental development and function
  3. vascular development and regulation of blood flow

Each area includes clinical, whole animal, organ, cell, and molecular research so that a trainee can participate at any one or several levels of biological investigation.

Trainees attend seminars that review intrauterine development and fetal, maternal, and neonatal physiology. Courses in the graduate school dealing with cell culture, genetics, developmental biology, cell and molecular biology, isotope applications, biostatistics, data processing and informatics, statistics, graphics, bioethics, and ethical conduct of research are included. Seminar programs in research design and abstract and manuscript preparation are provided.

The second and third years, funded by the NIH Training Grant in Perinatal Medicine, are devoted to the completion of the basic research projects begun in the first year and expansion into new areas of research and research techniques. Each trainee develops institutional animal and clinical research protocols to address ethical issues involved in research. Trainees plan and conduct their research projects independently, but with full faculty guidance.

This program provides multidisciplinary training in basic and clinical biological investigation, integrating state-of-the-art research techniques with important questions in perinatal medicine and biology. This approach equips the trainees with the capacity to move independently and successfully into academic careers.