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07/29/22: Consideration for a travel award or platform talk
09/02/22: Late breaking abstracts (considered for pitch presentations only)

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08/12/22: Early bird registration
On the Hunt for Accessible Biomarkers with Translational Values
Phu Tran, Ph.D.
President of the US DOHaD Society
Emerging technologies such as single molecule real-time sequencing (SMRT, PacBio, Nanopore GridION) and functional proteomic profiling (Isolight, Isoplexis) enable the use of plasma contents (circulating cell-free DNA, exosomes, mononuclear cells) as non-invasive sources of biomarkers (DNA fragment profiles, DNA methylation, and DNA topology; exosomal contents; and cell secretomes, etc.) for detecting potential physiological pathogenesis. Recent advancements in proof-of-concept studies analyzing these blood-based biomarkers provide generalized signatures of such biomarkers, mechanisms by which they are generated, and their tissue-origins (e.g., Exosomes and DNA methylation carry the same information as their cells-of-origin). As such, one wonders what these have to do with DOHaD? First, these ‘cool’ technologies provide platforms for non-invasive assessment of the effects of exposures (chemicals, endocrine disruptors, drugs and alcohol, stress, nutritional deficiencies, etc.) during pregnancy using maternal blood to monitor fetal development. Second, similar analyses can be carried out in preclinical models to determine parallel clinical changes in less accessible organs (e.g., brain), providing a link between changes in peripheral and central tissues. Finally, such changes in preclinical models can provide insights into the risks of pathogenesis across the life span. By informing future investigations and potential interventional strategies in clinical settings, blood-based biomarkers have the potential of minimizing long-term adverse outcomes, which are the true cost to society in terms of educational attainment, personal productivity, and healthcare needs. In this regard, this year US DOHaD Society meeting (Minneapolis, MN Oct. 10-11) will have a session on methodologies for assessing biomarkers predicting birth outcomes, leading with a Keynote talk by Dr. Ramkumar Menon, Professor at UT Medical Branch at Galveston.
Relevant reads:
YM Dennis Lo et al., Science 372 (2021)
Stephanie CY Yu et al. PNAS 118 (2021)
SF Nassar, K Raddassi, T Wu, Metabolites 11:729 (2021)
Menon R et al., Am J Reprod Immunol (2022)

Meet Dr. Alejandro!  Emilyn U. Alejandro, Ph.D. is a McKnight Presidential Fellow and an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the twin cities.  Dr. Alejandro received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, and her Ph.D. degree in Physiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Since starting off in research, she has always been interested in understanding how growth factors and nutrients integrate signals to promote cellular growth and function in normal physiology or in disease context of type 2 diabetes. Her team combines integrative approaches to study the novel role of nutrient-sensor proteins (mTOR and OGT) in the placenta and pancreas to understand how the insulin-producing beta-cells grow and remain functional and healthy. Her team’s goal is to ultimately predict individuals who are at risk for diabetes and improve clinical interventions for existing patients. With the support of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney (NIDDK), The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, her team is shedding new light on the fetal origins of pancreatic- β-cell dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes (lab website). She mentors undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral trainees. She has a national and international reputation evidenced by speaking invitations, service on conference planning committees and an editorial board and invitations to serve on NIH study sections and NIH CSR Council. She was awarded McKnight Land-Grant Professorship in 2019 and McKnight Presidential Fellow and the UMN Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Advisor Award in 2021. Dr. Alejandro is the APS Henry Pickering Bowditch Lectureship Awardee for 2022. Outside of her research work and mentoring her trainees, Dr. Alejandro enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, watching her girls play ice hockey, traveling, and exploring local and global attractions.

Dr. Alejandro will be presenting her research at the US DOHaD Society 6th Annual Meeting on Oct. 10th!


Renew your membership for 2022!

Membership includes:

- Automatic membership to the International DOHaD Society
- Discounted registration for the US DOHaD Annual Meeting
- Voting rights in the US DOHaD Society
​- Free access to journal (J DOHaD)
- Voting privileges for bylaws and elections
- Opportunity to serve on council or elected office

Membership for 2022 runs from Jan 1- Dec 31. 
Membership types include full and trainee membership.  
Trainee members are those currently enrolled in an educational program.
(Trainee Definition: Predoctoral Students and Postdoctoral Fellows (MD/PhD/Equivalent))

Attention current members:
We would love to include your bio and photo on our website! If you are interested, please email Phu Tran at with the subject heading "US DOHaD Member Bio" and include a brief biosketch
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