Dr Karen Forbes BSc, PhD


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Research interests

Normal development and function of the placenta is absolutely critical in achieving a successful pregnancy, for normal fetal growth depends directly on the transfer of nutrients from mother to baby via this organ.  Currently, there are no treatments for cases of altered fetal growth, and in order to make significant progress in this area a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating placental growth is needed.

We have evidence that growth factors and microRNAs are important mediators of normal placental development.  My research is now focused on:

  • Investigating the role of microRNAs within the human placenta
  • Identifying novel microRNAs within growth factor signalling cascades 
  • Understanding how placental microRNA profiles and growth factor signalling pathways are altered in pregnancies complicated by maternal diabetes
  • Examining the interaction between the maternal environment (eg. diet) and placental microRNA expression



Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display