External Resources:

Louise Laurent, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine

Website: http://repro.ucsd.edu/Laurent/SitePages/lab-home.aspx
Email: llaurent@ucsd.edu

Pathways/processes: Stem cell biology, extracellular vesicle biology, non-coding RNAs.
Teams/collaborations: Perinatal Biorepository (co-founder and co-director with Mana Parast), collaborations with: Parast, Wilkinson, Cook-Andersen, and Morris groups at UCSD.
Approaches: Directed differentiation and phenotypic characterization of pluripotent stem cells, Next-generation sequencing.
Diseases: Preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, placenta accrete.

Research

The basic research in my group focuses on understanding how cell identity is determined and how transitions between cells states are regulated. We published a manuscript in 2017 on the effect of P53 mutations (which we previously showed can arise spontaneously in human embryonic stem cell cultures) on human pluripotent stem cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation (Amir, et al.,Stem Cells). In a major ongoing project, we are using an efficient and robust method for directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to the pancreatic lineage, we have generated a comprehensive transcriptomic dataset including both bulk and single cell RNA sequencing of each stage ofin vitro differentiation, as well as fetal pancreas and adult islets for context. Translational work in the lab is focused on biomarker discovery to identify extracellular miRNA biomarkers for prediction and diagnosis of preeclampsia, a common and clinically significant complication of pregnancy, which is the leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality in the U.S.