August 19, 2022 – Melbourne, FL –– The Preeclampsia Foundation and the Preeclampsia Foundation Canada have announced that John Snelgrove, MD, MSc, and Samantha Wilson, PhD, are their 2022 Vision Grant research award recipients respectively. These highly competitive monetary awards recognize the best junior investigators with novel research ideas in preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
A scientific review committee reviews all Vision Grant applications with a further review by a patient advisory board, who then make a recommendation on the awardees for the year. The two organization’s distinct Board of Directors then render the final decision on these recommendations.
Dr. Snelgrove’s research study entitled “Preeclampsia phenotypes: Reclassifying the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy” will be conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada and funded by the US-based Preeclampsia Foundation. The research study will focus on whether the classification of hypertension in pregnant patients can be improved to classify patients according to similar characteristics and clinical features, rather than based on clinical severity and timing of delivery. The goal of the study would be to help clinicians provide more personalized care to hypertensive pregnant patients and improve outcomes through more precise diagnosis.
Dr. Snelgrove is a maternal-fetal medicine physician at Mount Sinai Hospital where his clinical work focused on the complex care of obstetric patients, especially the large number of patients whose pregnancies are complicated by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. He received his medical degree from Western University, and completed his OB/Gyn residency and MFM fellowship at the University of Toronto.
“Preeclampsia and its associated conditions have been the subject of a long history of medical enquiry, yet we still grapple with fundamental questions about how to predict who will develop these conditions and how best to implement treatments,” said Snelgrove. “Our hope is to understand whether earlier warning signs and a novel biochemical marker (PlGF) could help change the course of diagnosis for mothers and their babies.”
Dr. Wilson’s research study entitled “Non-invasively assessing placental aging and oxidative stress as markers for preeclampsia" will be conducted at McMaster University also in Ontario, Canada, and funded by Preeclampsia Foundation Canada. Her research study will assess placental DNA methylation in the mother’s blood circulation to non-invasively assess placental health. The goal would be a way to predict which pregnancies will go on to develop preeclampsia based on the placental development and health.
Dr. Wilson is an assistant professor in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She received her PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of British Columbia with a dissertation focus on genetic and epigenetic profiling of placental insufficiency.
“We have few strategies to assess whether pregnancies are at high risk of developing preeclampsia prior to clinical symptoms,” said Wilson. “Our work will focus on characterizing DNA modifications that are related to placental stress and aging, which are known to occur in some subtypes of preeclampsia.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please call 1.800.665.9341.
Preeclampsia Foundation Canada
Preeclampsia Foundation Canada was incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act in May 2015. A charity dedicated to its mission of raising awareness and advancing education and research of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. These activities are made possible by the combined efforts of our dedicated Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Board members, donors, and volunteers. For more information, visit www.preeclampsiacanada.ca.
About the Preeclampsia Foundation
The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000 to improve the outcomes of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by educating, supporting, and engaging the community, improving healthcare practices, and finding a cure. We envision a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.
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