Princess Imoukhuede, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, is teaming with Sarah England, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Medicine and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine, to improve efficacy and safety for oxytocin use in labor on a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. About half of the 4 million women who give birth in the U.S. each year receive oxytocin, a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that causes the uterus to contract during childbirth. England is an expert in studying oxytocin receptor function in uterine smooth muscle cells and will use her expertise to express variants in cells. Imoukhuede will develop and test a computational model to predict these observed effects of these receptor gene variants on oxytocin signaling.
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