School of Medicine
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Virginia D. Winn, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Reproductive and Stem Cell Biology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Winn Laboratory seeks to understand the unique biological mechanisms of human placentation. While the placenta itself is one of the key characteristics for defining mammals, the human placenta is different from most available animal models: it is one of the most invasive placentas, and results in the formation of an organ comprised of cells from both the fetus and the mother. In addition to this fascinating chimerism, fetal cells are deeply involved in the remodeling of the maternal vasculature in order to redirect large volumes of maternal blood to the placenta to support the developing fetus. As such, the investigation of this human organ covers a large array of biological processes, and deals not only with understanding its endocrine function, but the physiologic process of immune tolerance, vascular remodeling, and cellular invasion.