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Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson

2018 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Fellow

Yale School of Medicine
Modulation of Antiphospholipid Antibody-Induced Trophoblast Inflammatory Response by Infectious Components
Mentor: Vikki M. Abrahams, PhD

About the Researcher

I am continuing my work on investigating the effects of infectious components on placental trophoblast response to antiphospholipid antibodies. I am also pursuing a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a hope to provided comprehensive care for women affected by lupus and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome during their reproductive years and beyond. 

Summary from Nelson’s Research Proposal

Approximately 40% of women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) also have another autoimmune condition known as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Women with APS, both with or without lupus, have high levels of antiphospholipid antibodies and are at high risk for pregnancy complications. Since antiphospholipid antibodies attack the placenta, we believe that these autoantibodies disrupt its normal function. In this current study, we are testing the idea that if a woman with APS also has a bacterial or viral infection, the impact of these antiphospholipid antibodies on her pregnancy may be more severe. The findings from this study will provide us with further understanding about additional risk factors and underlying mechanisms that are necessary to advance our ability to identify pregnancies at higher risk, improve therapeutic options, and ultimately improve outcomes for both mother and child.

For more information on Lupus Foundation on America’s granted research, please contact Ashley Marion at