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Centre for Trophoblast Research

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The Centre for Trophoblast Research is an exciting new initiative that aims to promote the study of placental biology, with special reference to the trophoblast, both within and outside Cambridge.

As the name indicates (trophos Gr. nourishment) trophoblast evolved with the principal role of supplying nutrients to support growth of the fetus. It is the first cell lineage to differentiate after fertilisation, and is a fundamental component of the placenta. Trophoblast forms the interface with the mother, and in addition to transport performs many diverse and important functions, including immunological, metabolic and endocrine roles. It displays an equally varied repertoire of cellular behaviours, ranging from invasion to cell-cell fusion. Trophoblast is therefore crucial to a successful pregnancy, and hence the long-term health of the offspring.

By its nature trophoblast research is multidisciplinary, and is carried out in various departments within the University and affiliated institutes. The Centre aims to provide an intellectual focus for researchers in Cambridge, to foster research collaborations, and to provide the highest international standard of teaching and training in both basic scientific and translational research. The Centre is administered from the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, where there is dedicated laboratory space available.

Goals The goals for the Centre for Trophoblast Research are:

1. to promote research and teaching in placental biology and the developmental orgins of trophoblast within the University and affiliated institutes through Next Generation Research Fellowships, Graduate Studentships, seminars, workshops, and infrastructural support;

2. to co-operate with outside bodies in the promotion of research and teaching in placental and trophoblast biology internationally through Visiting Scholarships, travel awards and research meetings;

3. to foster research into placental and trophoblast biology by any other means.

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