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Meet Marie van Dijk, Ferring Innovation Grant recipient

Some descriptionTitle: Scientist, PhD, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Research Project: ELABELA as a potential biomarker and therapeutic for pre-eclampsia

We are investigating the involvement of the hormone ELABELA in the development of pre-eclampsia in the first trimester of pregnancy.

What motivated you to research this area? The placenta is an under-researched organ, even though it can cause many problems in both mother and child when it is dysfunctional. These problems include pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, growth restriction, and health risks in later life, such as cardiovascular disease.

Many processes that occur in the placenta also resemble certain processes in the development of cancer.

The major difference is that in the placenta these processes somehow stay restricted in time and place, which is not the case in cancer. The placenta could therefore teach us a thing or two about cancer management. This is why it is so interesting to research.

With the Ferring Innovation grant I hope to obtain a solid starting point for extensive translational research on factors involved in human placentation in health and disease.

Most exciting thing about your research project? I’m looking forward to seeing how the ELABELA hormone affects the human placenta during first trimester pregnancies. 

Most challenging part of your research project? The most exciting thing is also the most challenging; the effects must be strong enough to be able to investigate.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?  Optimistic, determined, direct.

Visit www.ferring-research.com/ferring-grants to learn more about the Ferring Innovation Grants Program.



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