Associate Scientist, Division of Genetics & Development, Children's Health Research Institute
Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Instiute
Assitant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
How does my research help children:
My research is focused on how the placenta develops and functions. The placenta ensures that the baby obtains a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen throughout pregnancy. When the placenta does not develop or function properly, the baby does not obtain enough nutrients and serious obstetric complications can arise that affect the health and well-being of the baby. Thus, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of placental development is crucial to discover better preventative or therapeutic approaches for these obstetric complications.
Current Research Activities
- Studying how unique subsets of immune cells in the uterus influence uterine blood vessel remodeling and blood supply to the placenta. Uterine blood vessel remodeling is an integral feature of human pregnancy because it ensures the baby receives an unimpeded supply of nutrients to sustain growth and development. We have recently shown that immune cells within the uterus regulate uterine vascular remodeling. We are now deciphering the functional significance of these immune cells on utero-placental blood flow.
- Deciphering how inflammation affects placental development and fetal growth. Inflammation is a common underlying feature of a variety of obstetric complications associated with poor placentation. We are studying how placental development and fetal health are affected following an acute systemic inflammatory stimulus.
- Assessing the transcriptional control of placental trophoblast cell proliferation and differentiation. We have identified key transcription factors that regulate trophoblast proliferation and differentiation. Currently, we are studying how these transcription factors cooperate with epigenetic regulators to control differentiation into specialized trophoblast lineages.
- Studying the molecular mechanisms of trophoblast cell invasion. Placental development is a dynamic process wherein trophoblast cells “invade” into the uterus to remodel the uterine vasculature. We have identified several signaling and transcription factors that regulate trophoblast cell invasiveness. Currently, we are looking into a role for heparin sulfate proteoglycans in the regulation of trophoblast motility.
Awards & Grants
- Preeclampsia Foundation of Canada - Vision Grant “Natural killer cells and preeclampsia.”
- Children’s Health Research Institute - Internal Research Grant Fund Competition “Determining the role of NK cells in polyI:C-mediated intra-uterine growth restriction in rats.”
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Discovery Grant. Renaud “Regulation of epithelial barrier integrity in the placenta.”
- National Institutes of Child Health and Development - “Role of OVO-like 1 in the Regulation of Human Trophoblast Differentiation.”
1. Baines KJ, and Renaud SJ. Transcription factors that regulate placental development and function. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2017;145:39-88. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2016.12.003. PMID: 28110754
2. Renaud SJ, Scott RL, Chakraborty D, Rumi MA, and Soares MJ. Natural killer cell deficiency alters placental development in rats. Biol Reprod. 2017 96 (1): 145-158.
3. Renaud SJ, Chakraborty D, Mason CW, Rumi MA, Vivian JL, and Soares MJ. OVO-like 1 regulates progenitor cell fate in human trophoblast development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2015; Oct 26. Pii: 201507397. PMID: 26504231.
4. Renaud SJ, Kubota K, Rumi M.A., and Soares MJ. The FOS transcription factor family differentially controls trophoblast migration and invasion. J Biol Chem. 2014 289(8):5025-39. PMID 24379408.
Phone: (519) 661-2111, x88272
Email: srenaud4 [at] uwo [dot] ca