Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Head, Division of Perinatal Research
655 West Baltimore St. BRB 11-015
Education and Training
BS, Biological Sciences, The University of Vermont
MS, Reproductive Endocrinology, The University of Vermont
PhD, Reproductive Endocrinology, Rutgers University
Staff Fellowship, Pregnancy Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
Dr. Albrecht is a leader in the field of developmental and perinatal endocrinology. He has made groundbreaking discoveries of the role of the placental hormonal milieu, particularly estrogen, in regulating primate maternal cardiovascular function, placental vascularization and programming mechanisms in the fetus that promote cardiovascular and metabolic function in the offspring. He has established an innovative nonhuman primate model to study placental vascular remodeling, the primum movens step that underpins adverse conditions of human pregnancy, e.g. preeclampsia, preterm birth and fetal growth restriction. Moreover, his laboratory employs ultrasound-mediated/microbubble-facilitated ultrasonography to selectively target to the placenta vascular endothelial growth factor gene, the preeminent angiogenic growth factor, and other genes that control placental and fetal development. In collaboration with clinical investigators, B-flow/STIC M-mode ultrasonography and echocardiography are used to detect in the first trimester defects in placental vascular and fetal heart development in the primate model. This laboratory also made the novel discovery that placental estrogen promotes systemic microvascularization in the fetus, which promotes insulin sensitivity and metabolic homeostasis after birth. These highly translational clinically relevant studies are foundational for exploring the potential of gene delivery as a therapeutic modality to prevent or manage the devastating consequences of adverse human pregnancy. The advances in perinatal research made in this laboratory are currently being applied to human pregnancy to detect and prevent early in gestation abnormal conditions of pregnancy underpinned by impaired placentation.
Pregnancy, Placental vascularization, Fetus, Development, Programming
Babischkin JS, Aberdeen GW, Lindner JR, Bonagura TW, Pepe GJ, Albrecht ED 2019 Vascular endothelial growth factor delivery to placental basal plate promotes uterine artery remodeling in the primate. Endocrinology 160:1492-1505.
Albrecht ED, Pepe GJ 2020 Regulation of uterine spiral artery remodeling: A review. Reproductive Sciences 27: 1932-1942.
Albrecht ED, Babischkin JS, Aberdeen GW, Burch M, Pepe GJ 2021 Maternal systemic vascular dysfunction in a primate model of defective uterine spiral artery remodeling. American Journal of Physiology-Heart Circulatory Physiology 320: H1712-H1723.
Pepe GJ, Albrecht ED 2021 Novel technologies for target delivery of therapeutics to the placenta during pregnancy: A review. Genes (Basel) 12(8):1255(1-14). doi: 10.3390/genes12081255.
Turan OM, Babischkin JS, Aberdeen GW, Turan S, Harman CR, Pepe GJ, Albrecht ED 2022 B-flow/spatiotemporal image correlation M-mode: Novel ultrasound method that detects decrease in spiral artery luminal diameter in first trimester in a primate model of impaired spiral artery remodeling. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology 59: 358-364.
Aberdeen GW, Babischkin JS, Lindner JR, Pepe GJ, Albrecht ED 2022 Placental sFlt-1 gene delivery in early primate pregnancy suppresses uterine spiral artery remodeling. Endocrinology Apr 1;163(4):bqac012. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqac012.
Albrecht ED, Aberdeen GW, Babischkin JS, Prior SJ. Lynch TJ, Baranyk IA, Pepe GJ 2022 Estrogen promotes microvascularization in the fetus and thus vascular function and insulin sensitivity in the offspring. Endocrinology 2022 May 1;163(5):bqac037. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqac037.
- Regulation of maternal uteroplacental vascular remodeling and impact on cardiovascular function in the offspring
Programming of cardiovascular development in the fetus and impact on insulin sensitivity and metabolic homeostasis in the offspring
- Regulation of fetal adrenal development
Awards and Affiliations
- Endocrine Society
- Society for the Study of Reproduction
- Society for Reproductive Investigation
- Perinatal Research Society
Grants and Contracts
National Institutes of Health, NICHD, R01 HD 93946
07/01/18-06/30/23 (Albrecht, Co-Investigator)
“B-flow/M-mode Ultrasonography to Assess Uterine Spiral Artery Remodeling During Baboon and Human Pregnancy”
National Institutes of Health, NIDDK, R01 DK 120513
02/01/20-01/31/25 (Albrecht, Principal Investigator)
“Estrogen Regulation of Fetal Microvessel Development During Primate Pregnancy: Impact on Insulin Sensitivity in Offspring”
National Institutes of Health, NICHD, R01 HD 93070
09/01/23-08/31/28 (to be reviewed on 06/22/23) (Albrecht, Principal Investigator)
“VEGF Gene Delivery in the Primate to Prevent Defective Spiral Artery Remodeling and Maternal Vascular Dysfunction”
- Plenary Speaker, Symposium on “Hormones and Angiogenesis,” Endocrine Society Annual Meeting
- Plenary Speaker, 7th World Congress of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
- Plenary Speaker, North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology
- Keynote Speaker, M. Carlyle Crenshaw Lectureship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- Plenary Speaker, Experimental Biology Symposium, American Physiological Society (APS), Endocrinology and Metabolism Section
- Previous Member of Human Embryology and Development Study Section, NIH, PHS
- Recent Member of Editorial Boards of: Steroids, Reproductive Sciences, Placenta, Biology of Reproduction
- Previous Member of Pregnancy and Neonatology Study Section, NIH, PHS
Key Areas of Expertise
- Fetal/Perinatal Endocrinology
- Placental Development
- Fetal Development