Research lines

  • Fetal programming

    Understanding better the effect of pregnancy complications on fetal development will allow us to discover preventive strategies to improve the quality of life of many babies.

    Prenatal period is critical for the development of all organs. An insult in prenatal life such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), assisted reproduction techniques, exposure to toxicants or congenital heart disease may affect this development and have long-term health effects that persist during adult life.

  • Fetal brain development

    We evaluate the prenatal brain development in the most detailed way possible to be able to select the best markers and thus identify babies with greater risk of suffering from neurological alterations.

    The brain is an organ with a long development process, complex and susceptible to different conditions that may occur throughout pregnancy. Our goal is to assess in detail the development of the fetal brain in order to understand this process and select markers that can help us identify children with risk of suffering neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • Prematurity

    Our purpose is to detect the patients with a real risk of premature birth to optimize their treatment and be able to prolong pregnancy as long as possible, and therefore to improve neonatal prognosis.

    Preterm birth is one of the most common causes of perinatal morbidity and mortality, with one out of ten children born prematurely in Spain. Our main objectives are to advance in the knowledge of prematurity and improve management of patients.

  • Inflammation in preterm birth

    We want to predict intra-amniotic infection or inflammation in women at risk of preterm labor using rapid and non-invasive diagnostic tools to minimize the impact on the newborn.

    The presence of subclinical intraamniotic infection and the inflammatory response that it generates are the most frequent known causes of spontaneous preterm birth, especially in early gestational ages. The main drawback is that for its diagnosis it is necessary to perform an amniocentesis, an invasive procedure that limits translationality at the clinical level.

  • Fetal therapy & surgery

    We want to develop new intrauterine therapies and interventions that overcome the current limitations of fetal surge.

    Preventing or treating pathologies of fetal origin is the main objective of our research team. We do this by evaluating specific therapeutic strategies with a potential neuroprotective effect that could be useful in certain diseases of fetal origin, such as, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Before applying these therapies to clinical practice, we evaluate their effects in an animal model of IUGR.

  • Placental disease

    We improve the diagnosis and management of pregnancies with growth restrictions and therefore reduce possible alterations in the neurodevelopment.

    Babies with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) have an increased risk of complications before and after birth. Moreover, they can have alterations in their neurodevelopment. Minor neurodevelopmental alterations induced by IUGR do not involve major consequences, but they are increasingly recognized as a family and social problem.

  • Environment and pregnancy complications

    How do environmental factors such as exposure to tobacco, alcohol, drugs and environmental toxins (heavy metals and pesticides) affect growth restriction or other pregnancy complications? Discovering it is our mission.

    Toxic exposure during pregnancy can have severe effects over fetal growth and neurodevelopment. It is necessary to characterize prenatal exposure to abuse substances (tobacco, alcohol, drugs) and environmental toxics (heavy metals such as plumb and mercury, or pesticides such as DTT) during gestation to understand their effects on fetal development.