Robert Powers, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Magee-Womens Research Institute, Department of Cell Biology, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
I chose to work in this area of research because I believe that every woman should have the best opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy. While we haven’t exactly figured out what causes preeclampsia or how to prevent it, real progress has been made over the past several years, and this motivates us to keep moving forward.
Robert Powers, PhD
Research in Brief
Our lab studies the pregnancy-specific syndrome preeclampsia. Preeclampsia occurs in 1 out of every 20 pregnancies, and is the second leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The cause of preeclampsia is unknown, but pre-existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension and obesity increase the risk of preeclampsia, as well as cardiovascular disease in later life. We are particularly interested in understanding how obesity increases the risk of preeclampsia. We think that a novel cardiovascular disease risk factor, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), may be an important link by which obesity increases the risk of preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease in later life.
- Powers, R.W., Roberts, J.M., Cooper, K.M., Gallaher, M.J., Frank, M.P., Harger, G.F., and
Ness, R.B. (2005) Maternal serum sFlt-1 concentrations are not increased in early pregnancy and decrease more slowly postpartum in women who develop preeclampsia. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 193: 185-91.
- Roberts, J.M., Bodnar, L.M., Lain, K.Y., Hubel, C.A., Markovic, N., Ness, R.B., and Powers, R.W. (2005) Uric acid is as important as proteinuria in identifying fetal risk in women with gestational hypertension. Hypertension. 46: 1263-1269.
- Powers, R.W., Bodnar, L.M., Ness, R.B., Cooper, K.M., M.J. Gallaher, M.J., Frank, M.P., Daftary, A.R., Roberts, J.M. (2006) Uric acid concentrations are increased throughout pregnancy among women with gestational hyperuricemia at delivery. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 194:161-168.
- Speer PD*, Powers RW*, Frank MP, Harger G, Markovic N, & Roberts JM. Elevated
asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations precede clinical preeclampsia but not pregnancies with small for gestational age infants. Amer J Obstet Gynecol, 198(1):112.e1-7, Jan. 2008. (*: these individuals contributed equally to this work).
- Powers RW, Catov JM, Bodnar LM, Gallaher MJ, Lain KY, & Roberts JM. Evidence of
endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia and risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Reprod Sci, 15 (4):374-81, 2008.
- Hubel, C.A.*, Powers, R.W.*, Snaedal, S.*, Gammill, H.S., Ness, R.B., Roberts, J.M., and
Arngrimsson, R. (2008) C-Reactive Protein is Elevated 30 Years After Eclamptic Pregnancy. Hypertension. 51: 1-7. (*: these individuals contributed equally to this work).
- Powers, R.W., Jeyabalan, A., Clifton, R.G., Van Dorsten, P., Hauth, J.C., Klebanoff, M.A.,
Lindheimer, M.D., Sibai, B., Landon, M., and Miodovnik, M. for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network. (2010) Soluble fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 1 (sFlt1), Endoglin and Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) in Preeclampsa Among High Risk Pregnancies. PLoS ONE. Vol 5, issue 10, e13263.
- Jeyabalan, A., Powers, R.W., Clifton, R.G., Van Dorsten, P., Hauth, J.C., Klebanoff, M.A.,
Lindheimer, M.D., Sibai, B., Landon, M., and Miodovnik, M. for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network. (2010) Effect of Smoking on Circulating Angiogenic Factors in High Risk Pregnancies. PLoS ONE. Vol 5, issue 10, e13270.
- Roberts JM, Bodnar LM, Patrick TE, Powers RW. The Role of Obesity in Preeclampsia.
Pregnancy Hypertension 2011;1(1):6-16.
- Powers, R.W., Roberts, J.M., Plymire, D.A., Pucci, D., Datwyler, S.A., Laird, D.M., Sogin,
D.C., Jeyabalan, A., Hubel, C.A., and Gandley, R.E. (2012) Low Maternal PlGF Across Pregnancy Identifies a Subset of Women with Preterm Preeclampsia; Type 1 vs. Type 2 Preeclampsia? Hypertension. Online May 29, 2012.
- Staff, A.C., Benton, S.J., von Dadelszen, P., Roberts, J.M., Taylor, R.N., Powers, R.W.,
Charnock-Jones, D.S., Redman, C.W. (2013) Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: redefining preeclampsia using placental-derived biomarkers. Hypertension. 61(5):932-42, 2013 May. UI: 23460278
For additional publications, visit Pubmed.