The Ellie Block and Family Career Services Center at the Friedman School is committed to helping our students and graduates leverage their outstanding experiential education to find impactful and fulfilling careers. Our career coaches leverage their many years of experience, career development training and practice, and industry and employer insights, to assist students and alumni.
The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research and education from cell to society, including in molecular nutrition, human metabolism, population studies, clinical trials, nutrition interventions and behavior change, communication, food systems and sustainability, global food insecurity, humanitarian crises, and food economics and policy.
Dr. Perrie O’Tierney-Ginn, PhD is the Interim Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI) at Tufts Medical Center and a Research Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Her overall interest is to understand the effect of the maternal nutritional environment on placental function, and fetal nutrient delivery and growth. She seeks to elucidate mechanisms by which babies’ growth in the womb (organ development, fat accrual, lean tissue growth) can modify their metabolism, cardiovascular function, neurological development, and their risk of future disease. This concept is referred to as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis. Her laboratory specializes in a translational perinatal research approach - conducting prospective cohort studies of pregnant people and babies, and using a variety of molecular (i.e. QT-PCR, western blotting, explant and primary cell culture, RNA sequencing) and biochemical (i.e. lipid profiling, fatty acid uptake/esterification/oxidation assays, thin layer chromatography) methodologies. Her research program has two major areas of focus: 1) a prospective longitudinal cohort study, MaMMA (Maternal Metabolic Markers of infant Adiposity), conducted to determine how maternal lipid metabolism in early pregnancy affects placental function and fetal growth; 2) identification of placental-derived microRNA affecting maternal glucose metabolism and fetal fat accrual during pregnancy.
A self-described “Perinatal Ecologist,” Dr. O’Tierney-Ginn is fascinated by the interaction between the mother, baby and placenta and their environment. Dr. O’Tierney-Ginn’s work is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She received her PhD in cardiovascular molecular biology in 2006 at Queen’s University in Canada. She then moved to Portland for her postdoctoral training in fetal physiology at Oregon Health & Science University. She was awarded a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Grant from the NICHD to determine the degree to which maternal obesity alters gender-specific fatty acid transport and metabolism in the placentas of women at term. You can find out more about her work at www.placentascience.com