About Andrea Edlow, MD, MSc

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Physician Investigator,
Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics,
Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School

Assistant in Gynecology & Obstetrics
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital


The Edlow laboratory focuses on the effects of maternal obesity on fetal brain development and offspring behavior, and how these effects are modified by fetal sex.

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, 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 brain changes.

Dr. Edlow’s research is funded by:

Departments, Centers & Programs: