Sylvie Girard , Ph.D.
    Sylvie Girard
    Research Axis
    Fetomaternal and Neonatal Pathologies Axis
    Research Theme
    High-risk pregnancies

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    • Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal


    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA – 2014
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, St-Mary’s Hospital, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK – 2012-2013
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK – 2011-2013
    • PhD, Immunology, University of Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada – 2007-2010

    Research Interests

    Preterm birth and fetal growth restriction are important complications of pregnancy. They are associated with abnormal function of the placenta, which leads to deleterious effects on fetal/newborn development, especially brain development. My research focuses on prenatal inflammation, an important risk factor for these serious pregnancy pathologies, and mainly on alarmins as non-infectious inducers of inflammation at the maternal-fetal interface.

    Through the analysis of human high-risk pregnancies, my laboratory investigates the potential of alarmins as biomarkers of an adverse maternal-fetal environment. We are addressing using ex vivo/in vitro techniques, the impact of alarmins on human placental trophoblast and Hofbauer cell function. We also use pre-clinical models in order to understand the long-term impact of prenatal inflammation on neonatal development with particular interest into neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and cerebral palsy. Both human and pre-clinical models are used to investigate novel therapeutic approaches

    Our research will help gain a better understanding of the processes linking prenatal exposure to inflammation, abnormal function of the placenta and altered fetal development which is greatly needed in order to find new strategies to protect the placenta and the fetus against the deleterious effects of inflammation.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) (2011-2013)
    • Y.W. Charlie Loke Award for early career researcher, International Federation of Placenta Association (IFPA) (2013)
    • Career Development Award, University of Manchester, UK (2013)
    • Investing in Success Grant, University of Manchester, UK (2012)
    • Researcher Training Award, University of Manchester, UK (2012)
    • Thesis of the year (Life Sciences), Université de Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada (2011)
    • PhD Scholarship (CIHR)
    • PhD Scolarship (FRSQ, declined)


    • Girard S, Heazell AEP, Derricott H, Allan SM, Sibley CP, Abrahams VM, Jones RL. Circulating cytokines and alarmins associated with placental inflammation in high-risk pregnancies. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2014, Sous presse
    • Girard S, Murray KN, Rothwell NJ, Metz GAS, Allan SM. Long-term functional recovery and compensation after brain injury. Behavioural Brain Research, 2014, Sous presse
    • Girard S, Sebire H, Brochu ME, Briota S, Sarret P, Sébire G. Postnatal administration of IL-1Ra exerts neuroprotective effects following perinatal brain damage. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 2012; 26(8):1331-9
    • Girard S, Tremblay L, Lepage M, Sébire G. Early detection of placental inflammation by MRI enabling protection by clinically relevant IL-1Ra administration. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2012; 206:358 e1-9
    • Girard S, Tremblay L, Lepage M, Sébire G. IL-1 receptor antagonist protects against placental and neurodevelopmental defects induced by maternal inflammation. Journal of Immunology, 2010; 184(7): 3997-4005
    • Other publications :

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