Roberts Research Group

Principal Investigator: James Roberts, MD

The Roberts lab has been working in the area of pregnancy adaptation for many years. Dr. Roberts'  specific area of interest is preeclampsia. He is nationally recognized as one of the leading senior investigators in the field. His research is interdisciplinary and involves fundamental, clinical, behavioral and epidemiological studies. He has been involved in several seminal studies of preeclampsia including the recognition of preeclampsia as involving endothelial dysfunction and being more than hypertension in pregnancy. Recently, he and his colleagues have been exploring a mechanistic role for uric acid in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. He was protocol chair of a recent NIH trial (10,000 women) of vitamins C and E given to prevent preeclampsia.

Contact Information

James M. Roberts, MD

Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Avenue, A311B
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-641-1427
Fax: 412-641-1503

Lab Members

Janet Catov, PhD
Sandra Founds, CNM, FNP, PhD
Robin E. Gandley PhD
Carl A. Hubel, PhD
Arun Jeyabalan, MD, MSCR
Michelle Okun, PhD
Kristiina Parviainen, MD
Robert W. Powers, PhD

Amy Bregar AB, MSc Medical Student (Scholarly Project)
Pei Lee, PhD Graduate Student Epidemiology
Simone Reynolds Graduate Student Epidemiology
Lai Xu MSc Medical Student (Scholarly Prooject)
Tracey Weissgerber, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Staff
David Lykins, MA
Marcia Gallaher, BS
Daniel Plymire, BS
Sarah Parana, BA
Lia Edmunds, BA
Kelly Sopko, BS
Stacy McGonigal, BS

Lab Alumni

Stephanie Thomas
Shannon Bainbridge
Carol Lin
Hilary S. Gammill
Eiji Shibata
Rolando J.J. Ramirez
Frauke von Versen-Hoynck
Sandra Davidge
Ariel Many
Hannele Laivuori

Selected Publications

  • Roberts JM & Hubel CA. The two stage model of preeclampsia: Variations on the theme. Placenta 30:S32-7, 2009.
  • Roberts JM, Bodnar LM, Lain KY, et al. Uric acid is as important as proteinuria in identifying fetal risk in women with gestational hypertension. Hypertension, 46:1263-9, 2005.
  • Roberts JM, Pearson GD, Cutler JA, & Lindheimer MD. Summary of the NHLBI working group on research on hypertension during pregnancy. Hypertens Pregnancy, 22:109-27, 2003.
  • Shibata E, Powers RW, Rajakumar A, von Versen-Höynck F, Gallaher MJ, Lykins DL, Roberts JM, & Hubel CA. Angiotensin II decreases system A amino acid transporter activity in human placental villous fragments through AT1 receptor activation. Am J Physiol (Endocrinol Metab), 291(5):E1009-16, 2006.
  • Shibata E, Hubel CA, Powers RW, von Versen-Hoeynck F, and Roberts JM. Placental system A amino acid transport is reduced in pregnancies with small for gestational age (SGA) infants but not in preeclampsia with SGA infants. Placenta, 29:879-82, 2008.
  • Powers RW, Bodnar LM, Ness RB, Cooper KM, Gallaher MJ, Frank MP Daftary AR, & Roberts JM. Uric acid concentrations are increased throughout pregnancy among women with gestational hyperuricemia at delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 194:161-8, 2006.
  • Speer PD, Powers RW, Frank MP, Harger G, Markovic N, & Roberts JM. Elevated asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations precede clinical preeclampsia but not pregnancies with small for gestational age infants. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 198(1):112.e1-7, Jan. 2008.
  • Jeyabalan A*, Powers RW*, Durica AR, Harger MS, Roberts JM, & Ness RB. Cigarette smoke exposure and angiogenic factors in pregnancy and preeclampsia. Am J Hypertens, 21(8):943-7, 2008. (*: these individuals contributed equally to this work).
  • Jeyabalan A, Powers RW, Durica AR, Harger G, Roberts JM, & Ness RB. Cigarette smoke exposure and angiogenic factor in pregnancy and preeclampsia. Am J Hypertens, 21(8):943-7, 2008.
  • Founds SA, Powers RW, Patrick TE, Ren D, Harger GF, Markovic N, & Roberts JM. A comparison of circulating TNF-alpha in obese and lean women with and without preeclampsia. Hypertens Pregnancy, 27(1), 39-48, 2008.
  • Okun ML, Roberts JM, Marsland AL, & Hall M. How disturbed sleep may be a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes. A Hypothesis Ob-Gyn Survey, 64(4):273-80, 2009. PMID: 19296861
  • Catov JM, Bodnar LM, Ness RB, Barron SJ, & Roberts JM. Inflammation and dyslipidemia related to risk of spontaneous preterm birth. Am J Epidemiol, 166(11):1312-9, 2007.
  • Catov JM, Newman AB, Roberts JM, Kelsey SF, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Harris TB, Colbert LH, Rubin SM, Satterfield S, & Ness RB. Preterm delivery and remote maternal cardiovascular disease risk: The health, aging and body composition study. Epidemiol, 18(6):733-9, 2007.

Publications on PubMed

View Publications on PubMed