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Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI)

We are integrating fetal information from pre-conception onwards to diagnose and treat illnesses. Our research is raising healthier babies before moms get pregnant.
Tomoko Kaneko-Tarui, MD, PhD working in the MIRI (Mother Infant Research Institute) lab.

MIRI's research focus

Our research focuses on the lifelong consequences of the intimate and unique biological relationship between mother and baby during pregnancy.

Medical research has already established that events that occur at critical stages of human development in the womb influence the later occurrence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and inflammatory disorders, such as asthma, in both childhood and adulthood.

The in-utero environment profoundly influences the developing fetus, altering its gene expression and, therefore, affecting lifelong health. Pregnancy is also a “stress test” for later health problems in the mother, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Learn more about the research focus areas at MIRI.

MIRI’s guiding principle

Clinical and translational multi-disciplinary research to ensure healthy pregnancies, full-term deliveries and normal birth weights will positively affect health and healthcare costs for millions of people over multiple generations.

MIRI’s major objectives
  • To create new knowledge that translates to improved clinical care
  • To train young physicians and scientists in the conduct of research
MIRI is unique
  • No other multidisciplinary research institute in the U.S. combines pediatrics and obstetrics.
  • MIRI’s research draws on the seamless integration of care for pregnant women, children and adults at Tufts Medical Center.
MIRI's clinical trials

At MIRI, our physicians, scientists and researchers are devoting their careers to improving the health of pregnant women and their babies. Working with our colleagues at Tufts University, we use “bench to bedside” research to advance knowledge and make new treatments available in less time.

The MIRI offers both large and targeted trials to patients. Clinical trials in the MIRI usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Investigator-initiated clinical trials – researchers at the MIRI design research studies and apply to major federal institutions like the National Institutes of Health for funding to conduct the study.
  • Multi-center clinical trials – nationwide or international projects that hospitals and other groups around the world can join and enroll patients into.

If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, our staff will assist you and your family every step of the way. We rigorously follow all federal regulations and requirements for conducting clinical trials. We also recruit patients and work directly with them and their families throughout the process.

Often, you or a family member may be unsure about deciding if you should enroll in a trial. We help you understand the options and give you all the information needed to make a well-informed decision about participation.

Once you’ve enrolled in a trial, our research teams are here with you and your family throughout the process. We’re always here to answer any questions about the trial and help with coordinating appointments.

View all clinical trials.

Contact Info
Mother Infant Research Institute 
Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington, Box 394
Boston, MA 02111

Contact information

Mailing address

Tufts Medical Center 
Mother Infant Research Institute
800 Washington St. 
Box 394 
Boston, MA 02111 
Tel: 617.636.1468

Office Location

The Mother Infant Research Institute is located in the Tupper Research building, 9th floor, 15 Kneeland St., Boston, MA. The building is locked and accessible from the street only with a Tufts Medical Center identification badge.

For visitors with scheduled appointments, please call 617.636.1468 prior to arriving and a member of our staff will meet you at the entrance.

Investigator contact information

Perrie O’Tierney-Ginn, PhD 
Interim Executive Director, Mother Infant Research Institute 
Research Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology 
Tufts University School of Medicine 
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 

Patrick M. Catalano, MD 
Vice Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology Research 
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tufts University School of Medicine 
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy 

Michael House, MD 
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tufts University School of Medicine 
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, Tufts Medical Center 

Elizabeth Yen, MD 
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine 
Neonatologist, Tufts Medical Center 

Pregnant woman with fruits and vegetables

Recruiting study participants now

Produce prescriptions on maternal and birth outcomes: A food is medicine intervention among pregnant women, aims to evaluate the feasibility of implementing produce prescriptions in our prenatal care clinics at Tufts Medical Center

MIRI Associate PI Dr. Ramos Podium Speaker at 2023 BIRCWH Meeting
February 1, 2024
Dr. Sebastian Ramos presented at the annual BIRCWH 2023 Annual Meeting on December 5, 2023.
MIRI PIs Honored at 2023 Perinatal Research Society Annual Meeting
December 14, 2023
The MIRI was very well represented at the annual Perinatal Research Society Annual Meeting Utah from September 29-October 1, in the beautiful setting of Park City.
A New Grant Expands Dr. Elizabeth Yen’s Research
November 6, 2023
A new, three-year NIH grant will expand Dr. Elizabeth Yen's research and initial pilot study findings about the effects of prenatal opioid exposure in an infant's first year of life.
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