National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility

Human Placental Bank

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A Human Placenta Bank has been established within the University of California, San Francisco SCCPIR center.  Its objective is to acquire, after written informed consent under approved protocols, human placental tissue from well-characterized clinical specimens.  This bank is unique with regard to its composition, consisting of samples from normal singleton pregnancies (first trimester, second trimester and term) and from women who are diagnosed with the major forms of preeclampsia (PE) or preterm birth (PTB).  Currently, the Bank has a collection of archived samples which will be enlarged and made available to SCCPIR investigators and NIH-supported investigators in North America, including those in the NIH intramural research program.

The Bank contains several sample types from the same placenta that are suitable for analyses at the RNA (qRT-PCR, Northern hybridization and in situ hybridization) or protein (immunoblotting and immunolocalization) levels.  Specimens include formalin-fixed tissues embedded in paraffin, paraformaldehyde-fixed samples frozen in optimal cutting temperature medium (OCT), fresh frozen tissue in OCT, and RNA and protein lysates.

The placentas are obtained under protocols approved by the University of California at San Francisco Committee on Human Research (Institutional Review Board; IRB).  In the case of samples that are acquired from women who experience pregnancy complications, the corresponding clinical data for the subjects is compiled and archived.  A secure database is maintained on placental tissue and protein/RNA specimens by QuesGen, a company that provides secure (HIPAA-compliant) internet-based data storage/management.

For further information contact Dr. Susan Fisher (

Research Resources

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Ligand Assay Core Facility University of Virginia’s Center for Research in Reproduction
Human Endometrium Tissue Bank UCSF’s Center for Origins and Biological Consequences of Human Infertility
Human Placental Tissue Bank UCSF’s Center for Origins and Biological Consequences of Human Infertility
RNA Sequencing Core Cornell’s Center for Small RNA Pathways in Mammalian Gametogenesis

University of California, San Francisco

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Center for the Origins and Biological Consequences of Infertility

Linda C. Giudice, M.D., Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chair
The Robert B. Jaffe, M.D. Endowed Chair in
      the Reproductive Sciences
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and
      Reproductive Sciences
University of California, San Francisco
505 Parnassus Avenue
M1496, Box 0132
San Francisco, California  94143-0132
Phone: 415/476-2564
Fax:      415/476-6203


Recent Publications


Subprojects/Key Investigators

Mechanisms Controlling Oocyte Developmental Competence and Early Embryo Development
M. Conti

Molecular Analysis of the Early Stages of Human Trophoblast Differentiation
S. Fisher

Post-transcriptional Regulation of Trophoblast Differentiation
R. Blelloch

Development of Human Endometrium for Embryonic Implantation
L. Giudice

R. Rinaudo

Technical Service Cores/Directors

Computational Biology Research Core (closed)
J Song

Human Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank (National Resource)
L. Giudice

Human Placental Bank
S. Fisher



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The mission of the Fertility and Infertility Branch (FIB) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is to encourage, enable and support scientific research aimed at expanding our knowledge of the processes underlying the success or failure of human reproduction with the ultimate goal of improving human reproductive health and quality of life.  To help achieve its mission, the FIB supports a National network of centers through a program called the National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility (NCTRI).

Created in 1998, the NCTRI is a research-based centers program designed to promote multidisciplinary interactions between basic and clinical scientists so that breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of key reproductive processes are translated into clinical practice, and that questions arising in the clinic may be expeditiously addressed in the laboratory.  To ensure efficient transfer of knowledge between the clinic and laboratory, the NCTRI is administered through a P50 centers program.

Overall research coordination of the NCTRI program is performed by its Project Scientist, Dr. Stuart Moss (FIB, NICHD).  As a means of maximizing inter-center collaborations and translational efficiency, Research Focus Groups (RFGs) have been established in four high emphasis reproductive science areas: 1) Steroids, Metabolism, and Female Reproduction, 2) Ovarian Follicular and Oocyte Health, 3) Endometrium, Endometriosis and Implantation/Placentation, and 4) Male Fertility and Infertility.  In addition, the NICHD through the NCTRI, provides multiyear funding to support several research resources that are accessible to all NIH-supported investigators.   These resources include the endometrium, and placental tissue banks, and a ligand analysis and assay core.  In addition, a number of online supported databases are available to all investigators world-wide including the Ovarian Kaleidoscope Database.  All centers are required to have an Outreach/Education core; funds are provided to support activities related to community outreach and education.