UoB Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor William Parks, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, USA

W Parks profile photoPlacental pathology: linking the health of two generations

Dates of visit: 19 March - 14 April 2018

Dr William Parks received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. He then moved to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for his medical degree. After completing a residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Colorado, he undertook a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, studying the biochemistry of the TGF-beta signaling pathway. He then developed an interest in perinatal pathology, with a particular interest in the placenta. He has been a practicing perinatal pathologist for almost 20 years. He has been the Director of Perinatal Pathology at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. On January 1, 2018, he will become the Director of Perinatal Pathology at Northwestern University Medical Center.

While Dr Parks’ research interests include trophoblast biology and the pathology of stillbirth and preterm birth, his recent work has centered around the topic of placental maternal vascular malperfusion. The lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion develop in the context of decreased or altered blood flow from the mother to the placenta. Some (such as decidual arteriopathy) are likely etiologic, while others (such as increased syncytial knots and accelerated villous maturation) are likely secondary responses to placental hypoxia or hypoxia/reperfusion injury. Current studies suggest that, like preeclampsia and other clinical adverse pregnancy outcome, evidence of maternal vascular malperfusion in a placenta may independently increase a woman’s risk for later life cardiovascular disease. 

As part of these studies, Dr. Parks additionally has a keen interest in systematizing and developing a more rigorously scientific grounding for both the diagnosis of these lesions and the assessment of their impact on the mother and her child.

During his stay Dr Parks will be hosted by Dr Abigail Fraser (Bristol Medical School)

Dr Parks will be giving the following seminars (date, time and venue to be confirmed shortly)