Andrea Edlow, M.D., M.Sc.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Obstetrics Gynecology & Repro. Bio. , Harvard Medical School
Assistant In Gynecology & Obstetrics
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital
M.Sc. Oxford University 2003
MD Perelman School of Medicine @ University of Pennsylvania 2007
B.A. Yale College 2002
MD University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 2007
amniotic fluid supernatant; behavior addictive; behavioral research; catecholamine neurotransmitter signaling; fetal brain development; fetal development; macrophages; maternal diet; microglia; neurobiology; obesity; sex differences; sex dimorphism; transcriptomics

Dr. Andrea Edlow is a member of the Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty at Harvard Medical School and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

The Edlow laboratory focuses on the effects of maternal obesity on fetal brain development and offspring behavior, and how these effects may be modified by placental factors and fetal sex.  The laboratory also explores fetal and offspring metabolic programming and offspring eating behavior in the setting of maternal obesity. 

The Edlow lab was one of the first to use amniotic fluid supernatant and umbilical cord blood to investigate real-time fetal brain development in obese human pregnancy.

Gene expression profiling of these two biofluids identified abnormal gene expression signatures in fetuses of obese women, highlighting dysregulated brain development and increased inflammation.

Using a validated mouse model of maternal diet-induced obesity, we have demonstrated significant sex differences in the impact of maternal obesity on embryonic brain development, catecholamine neurotransmitter signaling, offspring neurobehavior, and offspring metabolic profiles. 

Ultimately, we anticipate this work will provide targets for a lifestyle/behavioral intervention, and possibly for prenatal therapies that could be given orally to obese pregnant women, to reverse or ameliorate deleterious structural and functional brain changes.

Dr. Edlow’s research is funded by the Reproductive Scientist Development Program, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the March of Dimes, MGH ECOR, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Research website Publications
Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology
Thier Building
60 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114-3104