New faculty spotlight: Lynda Harris, PhD

Lynda Harris, PhD

Lynda Harris, PhD

Lynda Harris, PhD, is a new faculty member at UNMC.

  • Name: Lynda Harris, PhD
  • Hometown: Sheffield, UK
  • Title and department at UNMC/Title at Nebraska Medicine: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Olson Center for Women’s Health

Research/professional interests:

  • Pregnancy and placental biology
  • New therapies to treat placental dysfunction
  • Targeted drug delivery and nanomedicines

How I fell in love with the placenta: After completing a PhD in vascular biology, I was looking for interesting postdoctoral positions to apply for. I saw a project that involved studying how invasive cells from the placenta colonize and remodel blood vessels in the womb to ensure the growing baby receives a continuous supply of blood. I was immediately intrigued by this process and accepted the position. The more I learned about the placenta, the more it fascinated me – this single organ functions as a liver, lung, intestine and protective barrier, as well as behaving like a well-controlled tumor. It secretes hormones that can alter the mother’s physiology and metabolism. Given that pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction are caused by a placenta that doesn’t grow or function correctly, by learning more about the placenta we can develop new treatments for these conditions.

Education:

  • BSc Pathobiology, University of Reading, UK
  • PhD, University of Reading, UK
  • Postdoctoral training, University of Manchester, UK
  • BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship, University of Manchester, UK

Memberships:

  • International Federation of Placenta Associations
  • European Placental Group

Three things people may not know about me:

  • When left unsupervised, I can drink gallons of (hot) tea a day.
  • I like listening to rock, punk and heavy metal music.
  • My father named me after the Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter.

1 comment

  1. John S Davis says:

    Welcome Dr. Harris to UNMC!! Your expertise in blood flow and placental function will stimulate growth of the research enterprise in the Center for Women’s Health Research and across UNMC.

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