Discover Brigham
Poster Session

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 | 1pm - 3:45pm et

Virtual Event

Tag: Connors BRI Lightning Talks

Jodian Pinkney, MD

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of including pregnant women and other women of reproductive age in all tiers of vaccine research. The exclusion of pregnant women from the original COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials led to a significant void in safety and efficacy data, contributing to vaccine hesitancy (defined as a delay or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services) and low vaccine uptake among this group. Other factors contributing to low vaccine uptake among this group remain largely unexplored. In the future including women of reproductive age in vaccine research could provide invaluable information for vaccine decision-making conversations, local and national vaccine strategic planning and policy guidance.

Primavera A Spagnolo, MD, PhD

PTSD and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (AIID) are female-prevalent conditions and both pose an high individual and societal burden. Recently, a link between PTSD and AIID has emerged, although the majority of research in this area has not considered differences among sexes. This study is aimed at filling this gap and also provides insight into the compounding effect that depression may exert on the relationship between PTSD and AIID, since depression is also associated with an increased inflammatory state and is more prevalent in women compared to men.

Rachel A. Blair, MD

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common condition, affecting 5%-10% of pregnancies in the United States, and has important implications for maternal and child health. Poorly controlled GDM can cause adverse fetal outcomes including preterm delivery, neonatal hypoglycemia, and fetal demise, as well as increased maternal risk for preeclampsia, Cesarean sections, and other complications. The cornerstone of management relies on lifestyle modification and self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), typically 4 times daily. Without the crucial information from SMBG, women and their clinicians cannot work together for optimal glucose control during pregnancy. However, many women have difficulty adhering to this intensive monitoring, and a study found that women with poor adherence to SMBG are more likely to have poor pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia. Therefore, a mobile health intervention that could improve SMBG in GDM could be very impactful for women’s health.

Jose Halperin, MD

This work relates to the discovery and clinical validation in human studies of pGCD59, a novel, simple and accurate biomarker for GDM. GDM is a major women’s and public health problem because it is associated with serious adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, affects 1:6 pregnancies, and heralds a mother-infant pair at risk of future diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The presentation will summarize results of prospective and retrospective multicenter human studies supporting the conclusion that pGCD59 is a simple and accurate biomarker for a) GDM diagnosis in first and second trimesters, b) risk assessment of serious adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with GDM, and c) postpartum identification of glucose intolerance in women with GDM.

Jaclyn Kline

This work directly investigates sex differences in T cell metabolism as it compares systemic and cellular metabolism in male and female wild-type mice. Thus, it has applications to biological sex differences as may provide future context and a basis for sex differences in the immunology of various diseases.

Jia Zhu, MD

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age and is the leading cause of female infertility. Though not a diagnostic criterion, cardiometabolic dysfunction with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and/or obesity is often a life-long comorbidity. Because the understanding of the pathophysiology of PCOS is incomplete, clinical care is currently confined to managing the manifestations of PCOS rather than treating the underlying cause. Existing clinical and genetic evidence have shown that genetic risk for PCOS is associated with cardiometabolic and hyperandrogenic conditions in both women and men. My work shows that genetic risk factors for PCOS have sex-biased effects in childhood. Further characterizing and understanding the molecular pathways that underlie these genetic risk factors in women, men, and children could not only shed light on the pathogenesis of PCOS, but also could provide insights into how to intervene to prevent PCOS and its associated conditions in children.