Developmental pathology

The placenta is the first organ to form in human development and supports the fetus throughout gestation. It exchanges fetal gas and nutrients, carries away wastes, forms a barrier against the outside world, and induces the hormonal and immune changes of pregnancy.

The placenta is also the locus for most diseases in pregnancy, alternately driving and showing changes from preeclampsia, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, and others. Like the black box on an airplane, examination of the placenta is a key step after fetal loss. Beyond pregnancy, placental abnormalities have been linked to childhood asthma, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Yet, robust, quantitative descriptions of the placenta in health and disease are lacking, and many diseases lack well-described anomalies.

This project is developing computational tools and data resources to advance computational perinatal pathology. These tools will be used to describe, predict, and link placental morphology across gestation, health, and disease.


Jeff Goldstein, MD, PhD
Affiliated Faculty


Mosaliganti K, Cooper LAD, Sharp R, Machiraju R, Leone G, Huang K, Saltz J. Reconstruction of cellular biological structures from optical microscopy data. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 2008 Feb 2;14(4):863-76.

Mobadersany P, Cooper LA, Goldstein JA. GestAltNet: aggregation and attention to improve deep learning of gestational age from placental whole-slide images. Laboratory Investigation. 2021 Mar 5:1-0.


Developing a virtual placenta biobank