The DePaoli Taylor LabComplications in Pregnancy

Perinatal Epidemiology Laboratory

The Perinatal Epidemiology Laboratory is dedicated to research that will improve reproductive and pregnancy health. Reproductive failures and perinatal complications are prevalent, complex and have limited prevention and treatment options. This research program aims to increase the understanding of underlying mechanisms and multilevel risk factors of common reproductive/perinatal complications in order to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.


Syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles in preeclampsia

This study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH) will measure syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles, potential biomarkers of placental health, and immune markers at 18 weeks gestation to determine if these biological molecules increase the risk of preeclampsia. Additionally, biological data will be combined with vast clinical information to develop algorithms that can predict risk of preeclampsia and severe outcomes of the syndrome. (PI: Brandie DePaoli Taylor)

Vaginal expression of novel type I interferon epsilon (IFNe) across pregnancy and in relation to preterm preeclampsia risk

IFNe is constitutively expressed in the female reproductive tract and protects against sexually transmitted infections in animal models. Human studies of IFNe are rare and it is not known if IFNe has clinical significance. Dr. Taylor and colleagues in a study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH) will examine IFNe in a cohort of pregnant women to determine the relationship between IFNe levels, genital infections, preterm birth subtypes, and preeclampsia. (PI: Brandie DePaoli Taylor)

 Lipid biology in preeclampsia and gestational diabetes

preeclampsia photo

This study was funded by the Discovery Foundation and is in collaboration with the Baker Lab at NC State and the Burnum-Johnson Lab at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. We utilized multi-omic evaluations, multi-dimensional analysis methods, and new cheminformatics-based visualization tools to provide an in depth understanding of the molecular changes taking place in preeclampsia (PRE) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) patients. (PIs: Brandie DePaoli Taylor, Erin Baker, and Kristin Burnum-Johnson)

Find the article here:


Sexually transmitted infections

Gender-specific syndemic risk for sexually transmitted infections

In a study funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), latent class analyses identified gender and race/ethnic risk classes for sexually transmitted infections in young adults. Patterns of socioeconomic factors and behavioral health indicators of STI risk can be utilized to tailor and target sexually transmitted infection prevention programming. This study is in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Texas A&M University. (PI: Brandie DePaoli Taylor)

Find the paper here: DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.09.006 

Preconception exposure to STIs, immune dysfunction, and pregnancy loss

This study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH) is examining preconception infection and maternal serum biomarkers of immune function to determine if infection-induced immune dysregulation prior to conception is associated with pregnancy loss. Preconception biomarkers for this common outcome may be useful for targeted treatments. (PI: Brandie DePaoli Taylor)

Sexually transmitted infections and preeclampsia phenotypes

This study is examining the influence of prenatal infection with common STIs and the risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. We will examine if the risk is modified by maternal demographics including age, race/ethnicity, and foreign-born status. (PI: Brandie DePaoli Taylor)