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Welcome to the Soncin Lab!

​We study the trophoblast stem cell niche in the placenta.

The placenta has evolved in eutherian mammals to accommodate the development of the embryo inside a host body, leading to live birth (viviparity). We study the mechanisms that establish a trophoblast stem cell population during early development, which then differentiate to form the mature placenta in both normal and diseased pregnancies. Defects in the establishment and function of the trophoblast compartment of the placenta have been associated with multiple pregnancy disorders, including pregnancy loss and preeclampsia, and observed in genetic disorders, such as Trisomy 21. In our research, we use pluripotent stem cells, placental primary cells, and both small and large (non-traditional) animal models to study trophoblast stem and progenitor cells. 
(Picture by Heather Gaburo)


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Francesca Soncin, Ph.D.

Dr. Francesca Soncin is a stem cell biologist interested in early placenta development and trophoblast stem cells. She joined the faculty of the Pathology Department at UC San Diego in November 2020. She is also a faculty member of the UC San Diego Center for Perinatal Discovery and a FIRbee (class 2013). 

The Team

The lab is located in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and it is comprised of a diverse group of post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and research associates. The lab is funded with grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as well as institutional grants. The Soncin Lab is committed to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion, as steppingstones to scientific excellence.
Meet the team...