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Cathy Vaillancourt

Grossesse et toxicologie

Implication des facteurs environnementaux sur la neuroendocrinologie du placenta humain

 

Research Interest

Our laboratory is interested in the effects of environmental contaminants and season of pregnancy on placental functions and fetal development. Our research hypothesis is that exposure at certain seasonal and climatic environmental factors, and persistent environmental pollutants, such as metals and organo-chlorides (polycyclic biphenyls and pesticides) during pregnancy could induce important alterations in the mechanisms of regulation of the human placenta and by consequence on fetal development. More specifically our studies focus on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

Our studies are essential to better understand the relationship between low level environmental exposure to ubiquitous toxic chemicals and climatic environmental factors on hormonal changes and placental function during pregnancy in order to insure the best quality for pregnancy and fetal life. The mother-placental-fetal relationships present an original approach to examine the effects of persistent environmental pollutants, which may have long-term consequences on the development of the fetus and subsequently the child. Our ultimate aim is to insure an adequate fetal life and the best quality of life for the newborn all through adult life.

We are also interested in understanding the role and mechanisms of action of the placental dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin receptors. Its important to investigate further these G protein- coupled receptors not only because of their role in normal placenta and fetal physiology but also because we believe that the human placenta could represent a new model to study how receptors are assembled and regulated. The human placenta has enormous potential for studying human metabolic processes in vitro and in vivo without recourse to animal experimentation and without the need for transformation or cloning procedures using non-human cells (e.g. signal transduction studies, drug/receptor interaction, etc.).  

 

Current Research Projects

  • Implications of environmental contaminants and seasons of pregnancy on placental functions and fetal development
  • Characterization of melatonin, serotonin and dopamine systems in human placenta
  • Characterization of the 5-HT 2A serotoninergic receptor in human placenta: implication in cell proliferation and placental development.

 

About our Work

The Effects of Environmental Contaminants on pregnant women and fetus development: Placenta is a tool of diagnosis and prevention http://www.elements.nb.ca/theme/childrenshealth/cathy/cathy.htm

Pr. Cathy Vaillancourt received her B.Sc. degree in biochemistry from the University of Sherbrooke in 1990, and obtained her M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in biomedical sciences (option obstetrics and gynecology) from the University of Montreal. This was followed by postdoctoral studies at McGill University, in Dr. Patricia Boksa’s laboratory at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre (1997-2000) (www.douglas.qc.ca) and at the University of Reading (Reading, UK) (www.rdg.ac.uk)., in Philip Strange’s laboratory (2000-2001).

She was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Moncton in 2001 (www.umoncton.ca) and is Associate Professor at INRS-Insitut Armand Frappier since June 2005. Pr. Vaillancourt is also an affiliated professor at the University of Sherbrooke (www.usherbrooke.ca/biochimie) and a regular member of the Environmental Health Research Network (RRSE) (www.rrse.ca).

Pr. Vaillancourt’s main research goals are to elucidate the effect of environmental factors, such as pollutants and seasons of pregnancy (luminosity) on placental function and fetal developpment. Her work focuses particularly on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

 

Biography

Pr. Cathy Vaillancourt received her B.Sc. degree in biochemistry from the University of Sherbrooke in 1990, and obtained her M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in biomedical sciences (option obstetrics and gynecology) from the University of Montreal. This was followed by postdoctoral studies at McGill University, in Dr. Patricia Boksa’s laboratory at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre (1997-2000) (www.douglas.qc.ca) and at the University of Reading (Reading, UK) (www.rdg.ac.uk)., in Philip Strange’s laboratory (2000-2001).

She was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Moncton in 2001 (www.umoncton.ca) and is Associate Professor at INRS-Insitut Armand Frappier since June 2005. Pr. Vaillancourt is also an affiliated professor at the University of Sherbrooke (www.usherbrooke.ca/biochimie) and a regular member of the Environmental Health Research Network (RRSE) (www.rrse.ca).

Pr. Vaillancourt’s main research goals are to elucidate the effect of environmental factors, such as pollutants and seasons of pregnancy (luminosity) on placental function and fetal developpment. Her work focuses particularly on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

Actualités

Consultez notre webzine

PlanèteINRS.ca

Webzine

Les 10 ans du programme Apprentis en biosciences ...

Webzine

Le placenta produit de la mélatonine qui protègerait les femmes enceintes contre la prééclampsie ...

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Une belle équipe

Une belle équipe