Researchers in this axis focus on embryonic and fetal developmental anomalies. Birth defects are the main cause of death in newborns and represent a major cause of pediatric morbidity. The intrauterine protective environment can be perturbed by pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, diabetes or utero-placental failure, possibly leading to premature birth or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Prematurity can also cause newborn mortality or, more commonly, long term complications ranging from cerebral palsy to more subtle neurological impairments associated with cognitive deficiency. Lastly, intrauterine growth restriction predisposes to serious adult pathologies including hypertension, atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.
The CHU Sainte-Justine is among the most dynamic university hospital centers in Canada in the field of perinatology. Our researchers are interested in various aspects of fetomaternal health, such as the retinopathy of prematurity, cardiovascular pregnancy paradox, aortic isthmus and the effects of antidepressants on pregnancy.
Over the last few years, multidisciplinary teams have been responsible for many ambitious clinical research projects aimed not only at optimizing the performance of obstetrical departments, but also at creating policies and programs to improve the health of pregnant women and their newborns. A major initiative was set up in order to facilitate multicentric clinical trials. By using an integrated approach in epidemiological, clinical and biomedical research, the axis seeks to develop new high tech fields linked to its three main themes, while integrating knowledge transfer and technological valorization.