I am a physician scientist and clinical neonatologist with a research interest in maternal-fetal physiology and the developmental origins of cardiovascular disease, and a commitment to collaborative/multidisciplinary research. I received my PhD in Developmental Biology, as well as my MD, as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine. There I studied how developmental pathways (FGF signaling) are reactivated in the adult mouse heart in response to injury and lead to pathologic remodeling (fibrosis and hypertrophy). Through my clinical training, I became very interested in the maternal-fetal interaction, and specifically how adverse pregnancy conditions (undernutrition, pre-eclampsia, diabetes) lead to both short- and long-term complications in offspring. Following my residency in pediatrics at the University of Utah, I completed my Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship at the University of Colorado, where I studied maternal-fetal physiology in a chronically-catheterized late gestation sheep model.
Since my arrival at Wake Forest Baptist Health in the summer of 2020, I have been working to develop a non-human primate pregnancy model with the Vervet Research Colony in order to better characterize perinatal risk factors for chronic disease. I am currently investigating the impact of advanced maternal age on maternal cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy, placental function, fetal growth and well being, and long-term cardiovascular outcomes in offspring using a combination of non-invasive imaging techniques (cardiac MRI, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, standard ultrasound with Doppler, echocardiography) and minimally invasive sample collections to follow physiology longitudinally during pregnancy and throughout the lifetime of the offspring. Characterization of perinatal risk factors will promote the development of strategies aimed at early prevention or mitigation of chronic diseases.