Determining Pregnancy Complications Across Diverse Ancestries
The lack of research on pregnancy complications of people from non-European ancestry has created stark disparities in the treatment and care of pregnant people from diverse ancestries. African Americans currently have nearly a 10 percent increase in preterm birth compared to the U.S. national average. This project will use tissue banks to investigate if and how placental functions and complications are affected by ancestry.
This project will use the latest 10x Multiome technique to simultaneously determine single-nuclei epigenomes and transcriptomes in typically developing placentas from 80 individuals of African, Latinx, and Asian ancestries. This ancestrally representative atlas data will help determine population ancestry effects on cell-type-specific epigenomes and transcriptomes in the placenta. The team will implement deep learning models to integrate the new cell atlas data with existing large-scale patient genomes with preterm birth to identify population-specific molecular etiologies. This project will bring much needed data on historically excluded populations to the Human Cell Atlas and will be disseminated via community engagement activities to communicate with stakeholders and better inform maternal health policies.