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Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grant Program Announces 2021 Award Recipients


Melbourne, FL – December 30, 2020 The Preeclampsia Foundation announces the recipients of its 2021 Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants, a funding program designed to accelerate preeclampsia research. Based on the recommendations of its Scientific Advisory Council, the Preeclampsia Foundation awarded these two-year grants totaling $199,987 USD to Kathryn J. Gray, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp) Center for Genomic Medicine and Chandrasekhar Yallampalli, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine

Some will utilize data available through The Preeclampsia Registry™, the Preeclampsia Foundation’s dynamic database of research participants that includes preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome survivors, family members, and controls (unaffected individuals).

Principal Investigator Kathryn J. Gray, MD, PhD, with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp) Center for Genomic Medicine proposes Multi-omics for precision medicine in preeclampsia, a large genetic study of maternal and fetal determinants of preeclampsia, along with global profiling of associated gene transcripts, proteins, and metabolites, to identify the causal biologic pathways altered in pregnancy prior to clinically apparent preeclampsia.

Principal Investigator Chandrasekhar Yallampalli’s, PhD, and his project Predisposition to preeclampsia by “complotype”- understanding contribution from genetic variations in maternal and fetal complement genes will be carried out at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine. The study will look at the connection between preeclampsia and genetic abnormalities and if the genetic signature is different between preeclampsia and unaffected women. Genetic signature is a large amount of data. Therefore, the study will focus on genetic difference in the immune system.

Named for the infant son of preeclampsia survivor Lauren Pappas and her husband Clement, the Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants program award grants totaling up to $200,000 each year. The ultimate goal of the program is to drive research that will eliminate the delivery of pre-term babies as an intervention for severe preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

“We lost our son Peter due to preeclampsia following a 29-week delivery in 2015,” explained Lauren Pappas. “Since then we have dedicated our lives to helping others avoid the same outcome by establishing the Peter Joseph Pappas Fund.”

“Thanks to generous contributions from family and friends, and our partnership with the Preeclampsia Foundation, we are making strides to reach our ultimate goal of eliminating pre-term births due to preeclampsia by 2050,” added Clement Pappas.

The Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants program adds to the Preeclampsia Foundation’s portfolio of research programs including the Vision Grant program for young investigators, PRIME for health services research, and EMPOWER, which helps build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries.

If you have any questions about the Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grants program, please email


About the Preeclampsia Foundation

The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient education and support, improving healthcare practices, and advancing research. The Preeclampsia Foundation envisions a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit


About the Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grant Program

Clement and Lauren Pappas of Philadelphia, PA, lost their firstborn child, Peter Joseph, after HELLP syndrome necessitated his early delivery. Their son, born at 29 weeks’ gestation, spent a week in the neonatal intensive care unit before dying from a central line infection. The Pappas family, along with friends and family, have established this special fund with the Preeclampsia Foundation to advance research, with the overarching goal of eliminating pre-term births due to preeclampsia by 2050.


About The Preeclampsia Registry

The first of its kind to focus solely on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, The Preeclampsia Registry captures self-reported and clinical information (medical records) as well as family and pregnancy history, and DNA. Overseen by an Institutional Review Board, the Registry ensures participants’ privacy and rights in medical research. The Registry only shares de-identified information with approved scientists, researchers, and clinicians; de-identified information has had all personal identifiers such as name, address, and other information that identifies the participant and/or the participant’s family removed. Launched in 2013, it currently includes over 6,500 participants from every state in the nation as well as 67 countries around the world. For more information, visit


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