Howell-UCSD 2016 Scholar, Jonathan Pham, to research the role of placental development and pre-eclampsia

Howell-UCSD 2016 Scholar, Jonathan Pham, to research the role of placental development and pre-eclampsia

Jonathan Pham is researching the topic of the “Role of Sirt1 during Mouse Trophoblast Injury.” Jonathan, the second Mirandon Foundation for Hope scholar,  will focus on the roll of the protein deacetylase and the stem cells that give rise to the placenta. He notes that defects in placental development contribute to pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia which affects 3-10% of the pregnancies worldwide.

Jonathan Pham’s interest in curing pregnancy-related diseases led him to the Parast lab min the Department of Pathology at UCSD. Dr.Parast’s laboratory is part of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. In the future, Jonathon plans to continue his research on pre-eclampsia and trophoblast stem cells in an effort to fight maternal diseases that result in fetal growth restriction and stillbirth.

Mana M Parast, MD, Ph.D., in her letter of recommendation, notes that Jonathan has grown immensely as a researcher.  Jonathan now assists both graduate students and post-doctorate researchers with experiments as well as managing lab supplies.  She continues that …”His hard work has been a big help to our research and an integral part of our lab function.”

Jonathan Pham’s motivation to pursue research dates back to the time of the significantly underweight birth of his younger sister, Julia.  At the time, Julia was given little chance of survival.  Although very young at the time, he remembers how deeply it affected his parents and entire family.  Luckily, Julia, today, is a happy, healthy teenager.  But the combined experience of Julia’s and her parents’ suffering established Jonathan’s mission to “eliminate the grief caused by illness and pursue cures to disease through basic research and medicine.”

Congratulations Jonathan Pham!  We look forward to learning about your research in the near future.  Thank you Sandra Harris, Donor Liaison for The Howell Foundation, for describing his research passion.


About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to students researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, and researchers to convey timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that improve the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community.

To learn more about the Foundation, visit


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