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Francesca Soncin, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pathology

Dr. Francesca Soncin is a stem cell biologist interested in early placenta development and trophoblast stem cells. She joined the faculty of the Pathology Department at UC San Diego in November 2020. She is also a faculty member of the UC San Diego Center for Perinatal Discovery and a FIRbee (class 2013). 

​We study the trophoblast stem cell niche in the placenta.

The placenta has evolved in eutherian mammals to accommodate the development of the embryo inside a host body, leading to live birth (viviparity). We study the mechanisms that establish a trophoblast stem cell population during early development, which then differentiate to form the mature placenta in both normal and diseased pregnancies. Defects in the establishment and function of the trophoblast compartment of the placenta have been associated with multiple pregnancy disorders, including pregnancy loss and preeclampsia, and observed in genetic disorders, such as Trisomy 21. In our research, we use pluripotent stem cells, placental primary cells, and both small and large (non-traditional) animal models to study trophoblast stem and progenitor cells. 

Francesca Soncin, PhD
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