Faculty

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Lorena M. Amaral, PhD

Assistant Professor
Office: Guyton Building, G461/G323
Lab: (601) 984-1697
Office: (601) 815-1401/(601) 984-1707

Research interests

  • Women's health
  • Hypertension in pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia

Current research

Preeclampsia affects 5-7% of all pregnancies in the U.S. and despite being a leading cause of maternal death and perinatal morbidity, the mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of preeclampsia still are unclear.

My research interest is to study the pathophysiology of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and identify novel therapeutic targets for this maternal syndrome. Over the years, my laboratory has been focused on examining the effects of progesterone on pathophysiology of preeclampsia. Through our collaboration with the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department in Obstetrics and Gynecology, we have shown that a large percentage of our patient population delivering at the UMMC Wiser hospital are hypertensive and have significantly lower circulating progesterone compared to healthy pregnant women. Therefore, my laboratory is interested in the role of progesterone in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Currently we are working on the following projects:

  • To identify the role of progesterone on immunologic mechanisms in response to preeclampsia.
  • To identify the role of Progesterone Induced Blocking Factor (PIBF), either by supplementation or via progesterone in rodent models of preeclampsia.