Guillermina Girardi

Guillermina Girardi

Professor

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Personal profile

Biographical details

Since her graduation, in Rosario, Argentina, Prof Girardi has been working in animal models of human diseases, in particular inflammatory disorders. In 2000, she moved to the Unites States to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship that will advance her career. During this time at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, she developed several mouse models to understand pregnancy pathologies and to identify novel therapeutic interventions. In 2004, she received a career development award from the Lupus Foundation USA  to study the cross-talk between inflammation and thrombosis in pregnancy loss in the antiphospholipid syndrome. She identified a previously unrecognized role for complement activation as an early effector in pregnancy loss associated with placental inflammation. Moreover, she found that tissue factor (TF), the initiator of the coagulation cascade, is a proinflammatory molecule not only in recurrent miscarriages induced by aPL but also in other models of immune-mediated miscarriages and preeclampsia. Following this line of studies she discovered that statins prevent pregnancy loss, intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia in different mouse models. Prof Girardi is a strong advocate for the health of women and their unborn children. Knowing that preterm birth is the most frequent cause of infant death she decided to expand her research to the field of premature delivery. She developed a mouse model of spontaneous preterm labour which resembles most clinical scenarios in that localized inflammation occurs without systemic maternal illness. In 2011 she was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and moved to the United Kingdom.  At the University of Edinburgh, her group has identified important mechanisms behind prematurity and discovered potential strategies for the prevention and treatment of this serious pregnancy complication. While in Edinburgh, Prof Girardi got interested in the abnormal foetal brain development associated with premature birth, antiphospholipid antibodies and preeclampsia.  Using cutting edge non-invasive MRI and 1HMRS (spectroscopy), she characterized foetal brain metabolic abnormalities in their mouse model.  Prof Girardi recently joined the Lupus Unit at King’s College London. She was happy to be able to continue her research in aPL, a subject that she was always passionate about.  Her ultimate motivation is to improve the health and clinical choices available to women and their babies. Her new position as Chair in women’s health will help her pursue this goal. Working together with clinicians, Prof Girardi will be able to fill in important gaps in understanding the aetiology of pregnancy complications and to identify therapeutic interventions.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, Mercuric chloride nephrotoxicity, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquimicas y Farmaceuticas - Universidad Nacional de Rosario - Argentina

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994

Master of Biochemistry, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquimicas y Farmaceuticas - Universidad Nacional de Rosario - Argentina

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989

Keywords

  • RG Gynecology and obstetrics
  • animal models
  • immunology

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