The research interests of Elizabeth Enninga, Ph.D., focus on the regulation of the mother's immune system to a fetus that has a combination of traits from each parent (semi-allogeneic fetus) during pregnancy, and whether there are differences in the maternal immune response based on the sex of the fetus in utero. This includes studying the local (placenta) and systemic (blood) immune response during gestation.
- Local regulation. Dr. Enninga characterizes cell subtypes and their signals in the placenta, which protect the fetus from the maternal immune system. She also investigates conditions where regulation is not maintained, leading to maternal immune cell infiltration into the placenta and harm to the developing fetus.
- Systemic regulation. Dr. Enninga is working to understand how a mother's immune system adapts to carry a semi-allogeneic fetus by studying mechanisms of tolerance and reactivation throughout gestation. She is especially interested in blood biomarkers related to the immune system that can predict the status of a pregnancy prior to symptoms such as miscarriage or preterm birth.
- Disparities based on the sex of the fetus. As many gestational complications are correlated with either a male or female fetus, Dr. Enninga seeks to understand the role the immune system plays in reacting to a male versus a female fetus during pregnancy.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Enninga's research is to develop a deeper understanding of the immune system during uncomplicated pregnancies in order to more efficiently and effectively predict, respond to, and manage adverse pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Enninga works with a collaborative team of scientists and clinicians with the shared objective of improving fetal and maternal health.
- Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Research Scholar, National Institutes of Health, Office of Research on Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, 2017
- Recipient, New Investigator Travel Award, International Federation of Placenta Associations, National Institutes of Health, 2016
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- Associate Consultant I-Research, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Associate Consultant I-Research, Department of Immunology
- Assistant Professor of Immunology
- Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Predoctoral Student Clinical and Translational Science, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine