Clinical and Translational Science Focusing on Novel In-Utero Therapies and Diagnosis

Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Therapy

The Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Therapy domain of the Dunlevie MFM Center is investigating novel therapies and diagnostic tools for fetal conditions diagnosed during pregnancy. Researchers and clinicians in this domain utilize gene-therapy, biomedical design and multiomics approaches to improve the outcomes of families impacted by complex genetic and structural pregnancy complications.

Our work correcting spina bifida in utero and developing a fetal therapy for babies whose kidneys fail to develop are just two examples of our faculty’s pioneering work in fetal therapy. We are also an active site for the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet). Our goal is to push the limits and advance efforts to improve the diagnosis of fetal anomalies, correct them if possible, and predict likely health outcomes.

Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy

Early pregnancy renal anhydramnios or EPRA is a condition where a pregnant woman does not have any amniotic fluid around her fetus because of a problem with the fetus's kidneys. This condition is thought to be fatal once the fetus is born because of inadequate lung growth. The Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy (RAFT) Trial offers eligible pregnant women with a diagnosis of EPRA an experimental therapy of repeated or serial "amnioinfusions" of fluid into the womb.

Cell Free DNA for Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis in Pregnancy Complicated by Birth Defects

In order to improve the field of non-invasive prenatal screening and diagnosis, we aim to develop novel molecular approaches and improve the existing ones. 

Principal Investigator: Katherine Bianco, MD

Maternal-Infant Metabolic Health Study

Accumulating evidence shows that your baby’s development and early life exposures during pregnancy and the newborn period together have a profound impact on overall health throughout their lifetime. Many diseases and disorders that occur in childhood and adulthood are based upon problems with metabolic function that originate in utero (during fetal development) and during the first 1000 days of life.

With the transformative gift from the Dunlevie Family we will be able to have a significant impact on the future of fetal medicine and therapy. Our goal is to develop and offer previously unimaginable treatment options in order to improve the lives of our patients, their children, and their families.

Director of Fetal Therapy

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine)