New Insights Into Preeclampsia Genetic Risk Factors

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Maria A. Nieves-Colón, PhD, and Andrés Moreno-Estrada, PhD, will discuss the results of a study investigating genetic factors associated with preeclampsia amongst altitude resident families in the Andean Highlands.

Overview of Presentation

  • Preeclampsia is a hypertensive complication of pregnancy that is a major cause of maternal-infant morbidity and mortality worldwide.
  • Risk for developing preeclampsia increases amongst high altitude resident populations.
  • This study investigated genetic factors underlying preeclampsia among a sample of case and control Andean Highlander family trios.
  • Our analyses found associations between preeclampsia and common genetic variants within clotting factor genes, suggesting that irregular coagulation may play a role in preeclampsia risk at high altitudes. 
  • These variants are candidates for future replication and functional validation in other Latin American or high-altitude resident cohorts

Maria A. Nieves-Colón

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Dr. Maria A. Nieves-Colón is assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and principal investigator of the Anthropological Genetics Laboratories. Her research uses genomics to investigate human population history in the Caribbean and Latin America. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and History of the Americas at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, and her masters and PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Prior to her current appointment she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar at the National Laboratory for the Genomics for Biodiversity in Guanajuato, Mexico; and a Senior Scientist at Astrea Forensics in Santa Cruz, California. 

Andrés Moreno-Estrada

Principal Investigator

Advanced Genomics Unit (UGA-Langebio)

Dr. Andrés Moreno-Estrada is principal investigator of the Human Evolutionary and Population Genetics research group at the National Laboratory for the Genomics for Biodiversity in Guanajuato, Mexico. His research uses genomic data and computational tools to understand demographic and evolutionary processes shaping human genetic diversity, with a special focus on the Americas and the Pacific. He completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Guadalajara School of Medicine, received a PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Population Genetics from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, and subsequently was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Moreno-Estrada is currently the co-chair of the International Common Disease Alliance (ICDA) Global Equity Working Group.

Bruce Korf, MD, PhD (Moderator)


American Journal of Human Genetics

Chief Genomics Officer, UAB Medicine 
Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics UAB


July Journal Club
07/13/2022 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/13/2022
07/13/2022 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/13/2022