Perinatal Research Center - Research

The Perinatal Research Center (PRC) is the longest standing research and educational program at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.

Research Areas

The PRC is housed, supported, and run by the Division of Neonatology within the Department of Pediatrics. It is a freestanding 24,000 square foot facility on the CU-AMC campus utilized for perinatal research using the pregnant sheep model and mouse models. The PRC has been a leading center for research in fetal and placental physiology since its official establishment in 1980 and its earlier incarnations dating to the early 1960’s. Research by Faculty at the PRC primarily involves reproductive and developmental physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. 

Fetal and placental physiology research is conducted in pregnant sheep. The principal aims of this research are to better understand the physiological regulation of fetal growth and development and the mechanisms responsible for abnormal growth and development under pathological conditions. These studies of fetal growth provide a greater understanding of how aberrant fetal growth can lead to poor outcomes (such as intrauterine growth restriction), neonatal disease (such as neonatal hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and neonatal respiratory diseases, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and persistent pulmonary hypertension), and adult disorders that have their origins during fetal life (such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease).

Studies in prenatal, perinatal, and adult mice focus on the role of various insults (inflammation, oxygen toxicity, ischemia) in producing brain, hepatic, pulmonary, and pancreatic islet injury and determining the how responses to injury vary across the lifespan. Two murine models of intrauterine growth restriction have been established at the PRC  to determine the immediate impact on various organs and tissues as well as mechanisms of the developmental origins of adult disease in formerly growth restricted newborns.

An important goal of the PRC is to support 1) research within the Division of Neonatology by Faculty members engaged in laboratory and animal based research in non-PRC campus laboratories, 2) clinical research conducted by Faculty members within Neonatology, and 3) collaborators from a variety of Divisions and Departments on campus.

Personnel Located at the PRC

The PRC currently houses the laboratories and office space of over 10 Faculty. Full time students, trainees, and staff at the PRC include Postdoctoral Fellows, Neonatology Fellows, Research Staff, and Administrators. 





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