March of Dimes, Stanford study prematurity causes

May 1, 2011

In an effort to quell the intractable problem of premature birth in the United States, the March of Dimes has joined with Stanford University School of Medicine in California to apply a transdisciplinary approach to the problem of prematurity.

In an effort to quell the intractable problem of premature birth in the United States, the March of Dimes has joined with Stanford University to create The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, pooling researchers from a range of specializations to apply a transdisciplinary approach to the multifaceted problem of prematurity.

David Stevenson, MD, principal investigator of the new center, says the approach organizes into multidisciplinary teams "people who ordinarily wouldn't work together" and who "maybe never thought about preterm birth before."

Initially, research teams will focus their investigations on 4 areas: patterns of preterm birth in the US; maternal genetic biomarkers; the impact of infection and inflammation; and placental function and genetics.

The March of Dimes contributed $2 million toward the center's recent launch and will provide support for the project through 2020. A March of Dimes scientific review committee will evaluate the center's progress annually, help shape its direction, and recommend whether it should receive additional funding.