Explore This Lab


Andrea Edlow, MD, MsC, is a member of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty at Harvard Medical School and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The laboratory of Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc, at Massachusetts General Hospital investigates the effects of maternal immune activation on fetal brain development and offspring behavior, and how these effects are modified by placental immune activation and fetal sex.  Our work focuses on pre-clinical models (rodent) of maternal diet-induced obesity, and translational work with maternal COVID-19 infection in pregnancy.

Our 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, and offspring neurobehavior.

Maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation also significantly influences in utero brain development and offspring behavior.

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 changes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our lab pivoted to expand our focus to maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy. Partnering with a multi-disciplinary team, we have worked across the Mass General Brigham system to establish one of the largest COVID-19 Pregnancy Biorepositories in the country. Through these samples generously provided by enrolled participants, we have generated key insights into maternal immune response, vertical transmission and placental antibody transfer.

Recent work on COVID-19

In the News

COVID vaccine effective in pregnant womenThe Naked Scientist (BBC) - April 20, 2021

More Signs COVID Shots Are Safe for Pregnant WomenWebMD - April 20, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccinations of Pregnant Mothers Also Protect Newborns, Studies Suggest – Mar. 31 - The Wall Street Journal

Vaccination Calculus is Changing for New Parents – Mar. 31 - The Atlantic

Estudio revela cómo vacunas contra COVID-19 podrían beneficiar a embarazadas y sus bebés – Mar. 30 - Telemundo (video)

Pfizer, Moderna COVID Vaccines Safe for Pregnant Women – Mar. 29 - WebMD

Pregnant women 'didn't have the data' – until now: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even for babies, study shows - Mar. 27  – USA Today

Reporte: vacunas de Pfizer y Moderna son efectivas en embarazadas y lactantes - Mar. 26 - Telemundo

COVID-19 Vaccination Response in Pregnant and Lactating Women: A Cohort Study - Mar. 25 - American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Pregnant women show robust immune response to COVID-19 vaccine, study finds - Mar. 25 - TODAY

Pfizer and Moderna are safe and effective in pregnant women, provide antibodies to newborns - Mar. 25 - ABC News

Study says Covid-19 vaccines provide protection for pregnant and lactating women—and their newborns
– Mar. 25 - CNN

Pregnant Or Lactating? Vaccinated People Might Be Passing On COVID Immunity To Their Babies - Mar. 2021 - Washington Post

Vaccinated Mothers Pass Covid Antibodies to Babies In Utero and Through Breastmilk, Early Studies Show - Mar. 2021 - WBUR

Edlow Lab on CBS News to talk COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Efficacy in Pregnancy - Mar. 2021- CBS News

Dr. Edlow's Research Named a Top Science Advance of the Year! - Jan. 2021 - NICHD Director’s Corner

Evidence Builds That Pregnant Women Pass Covid Antibodies to Newborns - Jan. 2021- New York Times

Research reveals compromised transfer of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies through the placenta - Dec. 2020 - Mass General

Pregnant women with COVID-19 don’t pass virus to newborns, but also may pass fewer-than-expected antibodies to newborns - Dec. 2020 - Mass General

NORCH Newsletter Investigator Spotlight: Andrea G. Edlow, MD, MSc - Nov. 2019

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc

Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School

Laboratory Staff

Lydia Shook, MD

Lydia Shook, MD 

Dr. Shook is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the Edlow Lab during fellowship to explore how maternal exposures and disease states, such as obesity, can affect offspring health through placental inflammation and immune activation. Her research and clinical work has recently focused on investigating the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy.

She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and joined the Yale faculty as Instructor while completing a one-year fellowship in Medical Education within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, she will join the MFM Division as faculty. She has been awarded the the BWH/Mass General NICHD WRHR (Women’s Reproductive Health Research) Faculty Career Development Award to support her work with the Edlow lab as an Investigator at the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology.

Rose DeGuzman, PhD

Rose DeGuzman, PhD – Behavioral Neuroscientist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Rose M. De Guzman is a behavioral neuroscientist and postdoctoral research fellow. Prior to joining Dr. Andrea Edlow’s lab, she received her B.S. in Nutritional Biochemistry at UC Davis and earned her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at University at Albany, NY. In the laboratory of Dr. Damian G. Zuloaga, her Ph.D. dissertation investigated alterations in corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 levels within the hypothalamus and preoptic area during the postpartum period. Outside of lab, she is actively involved in organizations that mentor and empower high school students, first-generation college students, women in neuroscience and underrepresented minorities.

Sara Brigida

Sara Brigida - Research Technician

Sara completed her undergraduate studies in neuroscience at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. During her time at Skidmore she studied circadian rhythms in the Possidente Lab and social bias and inequities in the Social Cognition and Intergroup Dynamics Lab. Sara is now a Research Technician I in the Edlow Lab, where she works with Dr. Edlow and staff to study the effects of maternal obesity on offspring behavior and brain development. She hopes to continue to graduate school and study neuroscience in the future. Fun fact: Sara co-hosted Italian Radio Hour in college and enjoys taking ballet classes in her spare time.

Lab Alumni

  • Ruthy Glass, PhD, postdoctoral fellow. Current position: Associate Consultant, IQVIA
  • William Jin, BS, lab technician. Current position: Master’s student, Boston University


Selected Publications