The Mestan lab studies the fetal and early origins of childhood diseases, through the comprehensive investigation of cord blood and placental biospecimens linked to maternal and infant outcomes. We seek to understand the complex mechanisms by which events and exposures during pregnancy lead to adverse neonatal outcomes, to identify predictive markers, and to develop therapies that will prevent and treat childhood diseases. Specifically, our lab is currently studying how changes in stem and progenitor cells in cord blood and tissues, coupled with placental vascular dysfunction, leads to neonatal chronic cardiopulmonary diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension. By understanding such mechanisms of fetal programming, we can help develop promising treatments to restore and protect the developing lungs in critically ill newborn infants.
Project title: Evaluation of Stem and Progenitor Cells from Umbilical Cord Blood and Tissues for Therapeutic Use in Premature Infants.
Description: The goals of this project are to develop a research biobank of umbilical cord blood and tissues, and to evaluate the cellular composition, hematopoietic potential, and expansion of cord blood and tissue-derived stem and progenitor cells.
Project title: The Role of Placental Maternal Vascular Underperfusion in Neonatal Pulmonary Hypertension.
Description: The goal of this project is to elucidate the mechanism by which placental vascular disease leads to the pulmonary vascular disease through investigation of mouse models of hyperoxia-induced lung injury combined with in vitro studies of cord blood-derived fetal monocytes.
Principal Investigator: Karen Mestan, MD, MSCI
Lab Manager: Robert Birkett, BS
Clinical Research Nurse: Juanita Saqibuddin, RN, BSN
Karen Mestan, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Attending Physician, Lurie Children's, Division of Neonatology
Department Office: 312.227.4190
Email: Karen Mestan