About the presenter

Winter Week on Campus 2019
Dr Jo James

Dr Jo James

Senior Research Fellow

Dr James is a placental biologist based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. She leads a research group focussed on using placental stem cells to understand normal and abnormal placental development, with a focus on what causes fetal growth restriction (babies that are born dangerously small). She also co-leads the Pregnancy Modelling Group (together with Dr Alys Clark) based at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, which strives to combine in vitro experiments, imaging data and computational modelling techniques to develop a ‘virtual pregnancy’ that can be used to better understand how the anatomical differences we see in fetal growth restriction impact the ability of the placenta to deliver nutrients to the baby. Her work has been funded by grants from the Marsden Fund, Health Research Council, Auckland Medical Research Foundation and Nurture Foundation for Reproductive Research. She sits on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Placenta Associations, and is an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction. She is a mother to two young boys, and is not ashamed to admit that she has kept pictures of their placentas so they will never forget one of their most important organs.