2021 Danielle Peress Memorial Fund Award

Pictured above (left to right): Drs. Emily Hamburg-Shields and Danielle Prentice have been selected as the recipients of the 2021 Danielle Peress, MD Memorial Fund Award.

Emily Hamburg-Shields, MD, PhD a first-year Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow at MetroHealth Medical Center/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Ohio, will conduct a project “Transcriptional regulation of myometrial quiescence: how modulation of the progesterone receptor maintains a ‘pro-gestational’ state.”

Preterm birth is the single largest contributor to neonatal mortality in the United States, but interventions to prevent preterm labor remain limited. Alteration of progesterone signaling occurs in both term and preterm labor. Dr. Hamburg-Shields’ project is designed to examine downstream gene transcription effects to elucidate the mechanism of action of promegestrone, a selective progesterone receptor modulator, in human myometrial cells. Her goal is to better understand how modulation of progesterone signaling can maintain the pregnant state, contributing to the future development of effective interventions to prevent preterm birth.

Danielle Prentice, DO a second-year Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow at The Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will conduct a project “Impact of exercise on neurodevelopmental programming effects of maternal obesity in mice.”

Dr. Prentice’s long-term goal is to better understand how exercise impacts the deleterious effects of maternal obesity on offspring’s neurodevelopment. Her team will use a mouse model to test the hypothesis that voluntary exercise improves behavioral measures of neurodevelopment including reduced anxiety and increased learning and memory functions in offspring born to obese female mice and that these changes will be associated with differences in gene expression in specific brain regions. The primary objective of the study is to determine if moderate exercise intervention may improve epigenetic outcomes of offspring born to obese mothers.

The Danielle Peress, MD Memorial Fund was established in 2018 in memory of Dani Peress, MD whose vision was to support MFM fellows in their clinical or translational research endeavors.

Learn more about the Danielle Peress, MD Memorial Fund Award here.