Dr. Mana Parast provides an introduction to placental development, the organ that every mammalian embryo needs for proper growth and development. The placenta derives from trophoblasts, embryonic cells located in the outermost layer of the embryo. Pre-eclampsia and other maternal factors can hinder placental development and therefore affect the development of the fetus. A better understanding on how defects associated with pregnancy disorders affect placental development could lead to novel therapeutics in the future.
In her second seminar, Parast explains the different models to study human placental development in-vitro. Scientists can derive induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from umbilical cord cells. Parast’s laboratory first differentiates the iPSCs into trophoblasts cells which can then generate the different cells found in the placenta. Her laboratory uses these placental cells to study developmental complications by comparing cells derived from normal pregnancies to cells derived from non-normal pregnancies (e.g. patients born from mothers with pre-eclampsia).
Dr. Mana Parast is a Professor in Residence at the University of California, San Diego. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1994, and her medical (2002) and doctorate degree (2001) from the University of Virginia. She completed a residency in Anatomical Pathology at Emory University in 2005, and a fellowship… Continue Reading