Members of the EPG council 2023-2026

Anne Couturier-Tarrade

Anne Couturier-Tarradeis a senior scientist at BREED Unit (Biology of Reproduction, Epigenetic, Environment and Development) from INRAE, a research unit focusing on reproduction and DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease). She is at the head of PEPPS team (Placenta, Environment and Programming of PhenotypeS).

She has been working in the field of DOHaD for over ten years now, focusing on the effects of maternal environment (nutrition, metabolism, pollution and nanoparticles) on the placenta, a programming agent of offspring phenotype.

She has acquired a strong expertise on several animal models including rabbit and mouse, but also on human placenta during her PhD.

She is a member of the board of DOHaD ( and a MC member substitute of the COST “Cellfit” ( Currently, she is the coordinator of two research programs related to placental function (ANR and INRAE).

Mark Dilworth

Mark Dilworth is a lecturer in Maternal and Fetal Health at the University of Manchester, UK, having previously been an MRC Career Development Award Research Fellow from 2013-2018. His PhD, focused upon renal physiology, was completed in 2007 before he then saw the light and moved to the pregnancy (and placental) field! Mark is a reproductive physiologist whose research focuses on investigating the placental causes of fetal growth restriction and stillbirth in higher-risk populations, including women of advanced maternal age. Mark also has expertise in the use of pre-clinical models, including animal models, to assess candidate therapies for placental dysfunction. Mark is passionate about bringing through the next generation of placental researchers in his roles as PhD supervisor and programme director for MRes Reproduction and Pregnancy. He also chairs the Elsevier Trophoblast Research (New Investigator) Award committee.

Sandra Haider

After receiving my BSc from the University of Applied Sciences I started my professional career at the Reproductive Biology Unit under the lead of ao Prof. Martin Knöfler. In 2010, I obtained my MSc degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna, and in 2015, I received my PhD from the Medical University of Vienna. My doctoral thesis was on critical signalling pathways controlling trophoblast progenitor determination. Recently, I was given a permanent postdoc position and a 3-year professorship qualification agreement to establish independence and start my own program of research in Reproductive Biology.

My main research focus is to elucidate mechanism controlling cell fate decisions in human first trimester placentae. Of note, proliferation, differentiation and specific maturation of human epithelial and non- epithelial cells is a critical requirement for proper placentation during pregnancy and failures are associated with pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and early abortion. So far, milestones in my career have been the discovery of Notch1 controlling extravillous trophoblast lineage formation (PNAS, 2016), the establishment of long-term expanding, 3D trophoblast organoids (Stem Cell Reports, 2018), as well as elucidating the mechanism of cilia formation in endometrial gland organoids (Endocrinology, 2019). profiles/index.php?id=688&res=sandra_haider

Diana Morales-Prieto

Dr. Diana Morales Prieto is deputy head and a group leader of the Placenta-Lab in the Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Jena (Jena, GER).  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá, COL) and her doctoral degree Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat) at the Biology and Pharmacy Faculty of the Friedrich-Schiller University (Jena, GER). Diana was a postdoctoral fellow at the Placenta-Lab and the Department of Neurology both of the University Hospital Jena, and the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science (RNA Bioinformatics and High Throughput Analysis) of the Friedrich-Schiller-University. Recently, Diana qualified for a professorship (Habilitation) with a Venia Legendi in Experimental Obstetrics at the Faculty of Medicine, Friedrich-Schiller University.  She has been awarded the Elsevier Trophoblast Research New Investigator Award (International Federation of Placenta Associations) and the Dr. John Gusdon Memorial New Investigator Award (American Society for Reproductive Immunology). 

Within the Placenta-Lab, Diana has established the “Extracellular vesicles and miRNA” group, which she has been leading for the last eight years. Her research focuses on three interrelated areas of investigation: The feto-maternal communication mediated by extracellular vesicles and microRNAs. The maternal immunological adaptation and brain remodeling and how these persist after birth. And the effect of pollutants on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.

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Pascale Chavatte-Palmer

Pascale Chavatte-Palmer graduated as DVM in France in 1989 and specialized in animal reproduction in UK, USA and France, with a research focus in placental and perinatal development in horses. In 1999, she joined the Biology of Development and Reproduction (BDR) research unit at INRA in France and studied feto-placental and postnatal consequences of cloning and embryo technologies in cattle. In 2006, she started to develop biomedical and veterinary models for studying the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), with an emphasis on placental function. Her group, now led by Anne Couturier-Tarrade, studies the programming effects of nutritional challenges, metabolic imbalance, embryo technologies and exposure to airborne and/or food pollutants, taking advantage of access to a large number of species, including horses, rabbits, cattle and small ruminants, and developing multidisciplinary approaches. In 2020, she became director of the new Biology of Reproduction, Environment, Epigenetics and Development (BREED) INRAE research unit (succeeding to BDR unit), that gathers expertise in animal and human reproduction and development with about 90 staff members.

Pascale is a member of EPG since 2014. She was on the scientific committee for the Paris meeting in 2014 and was iterim president of EPG. She is also a founding member of the French speaking society for DOHAD (SF-DOHAD), she was president of the International Society for Embryo Technologies from 2018 to 2020 and she presides the French society for the Study of Fertility (SFEF). She has co-authored > 100 original articles and >50 reviews in peer-reviewed journals. 

Her CV and articles can be found here

Christian Wadsack

The Wadsack lab is carrying out research on the molecular mechanisms of the human placenta responsible for pregnancy diseases associated with inflammation. In particular, research interest focuses on understanding the contributing role of bioactive lipids and endocannabinoids on placental function and metabolism to common and debilitating conditions of pregnancy e.g.  obesity and preeclampsia/FGR.
In addition, the lab is working on different projects related to the communication between feto/placental exosomes and fetal organs by running ex vivo placental perfusion experiments. Further, with this ex vivo approach the lab is constantly researching on new concepts of IgG and monoclonal antibody transfer across the placenta.
Christian Wadsack has been appointed as dean of doctoral studies at the Medical University of Graz. He is speaker of the international PhD-program “Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy” in which 15 highly curious students working on different aspects of the placenta. Together with Udo Markert he acts as guest editor of Placenta – Special Issue on “Placenta Perfusion”.