banner-news

Dr. Sascha Drewlo talks to ‘Science’ podcast about new method for profiling fetal DNA

November 10, 2016

Prenatal technology conceived by scientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine was featured on the Nov. 3 episode of Science magazine’s weekly podcast.

The podcast is available for download via iTunes and at www.sciencemag.org/podcasts

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Sascha Drewlo, Ph.D., is interviewed by podcast host and Science Senior Multimedia Producer Sarah Crespi about the details behind a study published Nov. 2 in Science Translational Medicine related to a new method for profiling the DNA of fetuses very early in pregnancy.

Dr. Drewlo is co-principal investigator of the study led by Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology D. Randall Armant, Ph.D. Both Science magazine and Science Translational Medicine are journals of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In the journal article, the WSU researchers write that their non-invasive testing method –
Trophoblast Retrieval and Isolation from the Cervix – offers the accuracy of more invasive tests like the needle-directed amniocentesis, and can also be utilized five to 10 weeks earlier than current testing modalities.

TRIC was first publicized in 2014 in studies led by Dr. Armant, the principal investigator. The method isolates several hundred fetal cells that migrate from the placenta into the uterus using a retrieval technique akin to the common Pap smear, and can be done as early as five weeks into pregnancy.

“This will be fantastic in the future because now we have the means and the quality of DNA to basically look at any spot in the fetal genome, which is very important. Invasive technologies can only analyze the fetal genome at the end of the first trimester, and we can do it much earlier and with similar quality,” Dr. Drewlo told Crespi. “This is very important because it helps us early to manage pregnancies, give families peace of mind and provides for the clinicians to inform patients accordingly.”

The Science Translational Medicine paper was co-first authored by Chandni Jain, Ph.D. and Leena Kadam working in the laboratories of Drs. Armant and Drewlo.

The research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the NICHD, NIH grants HD071408 and HL128628, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation and PerkinElmer Health Sciences Inc.

For more information on TRIC testing and the Center of Advanced Trophoblast Research, visit www.drewlolab.com.

To learn about supporting their ongoing research efforts, call the School of Medicine’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at 313-577-5929.

BACK TO TOP