Parchem awarded Preeclampsia Foundation grant

Dr. Jacqueline Parchem - Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grant Winner
Jacqueline Parchem, MD

The Preeclampsia Foundation announced Jacqueline Parchem, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, as a recipient of its 2024 Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine 44th Annual Pregnancy Meeting, Feb. 13.

“This award from the Preeclampsia Foundation is special because it was established by the Pappas family to honor the memory of their son Peter, who was born at 29 weeks due to preeclampsia,” Parchem said. “We are very grateful to the Foundation and the Pappas family for the opportunity to study a preeclampsia biomarker test that we hope can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and preterm births.”

Parchem is a maternal-fetal medicine physician-scientist who is dedicated to improving maternal and child health through research that advances the understanding of pregnancy disorders. Her current research focuses on trophoblast biology and identifying how placental adaptations to stress contribute to preeclampsia.

Her proposed study for the grant will examine the utility of placental growth factor (a biomarker of placental function) in the obstetric triage setting and explore the relationship between circulating PlGF and underlying trophoblast biology. Baha Sibai, MD, professor of maternal-fetal medicine, and Natalie Neff, MD, maternal-fetal medicine fellow, are co-leaders of the study.

Named for the infant son of preeclampsia survivor Lauren Pappas and her husband Clement, the Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants program awards grants totaling up to $200,000 each year. The ultimate goal of the program is to drive research that will eliminate the delivery of pre-term babies as an intervention for severe preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

”We lost our son Peter due to preeclampsia following a 29-week delivery in 2015,” explained Lauren Pappas. “Since then we have dedicated our lives to helping others avoid the same outcome by establishing the Peter Joseph Pappas Fund.”

“Thank to generous contributions from family and friends, and our partnership with the Preeclampsia Foundation, we are making strides to reach our ultimate goal of eliminating pre-term births due to preeclampsia by 2050,” added Clement Pappas.

Parchem joined Rachel Riley, MD, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rowan University as 2024 Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grant awardees.