Laura C. Schulz, PhD


Dr. Laura Schulz’s laboratory focuses on understanding how the maternal hormonal and nutritional environment during pregnancy affects the function of the placenta, and, in turn, the development and future health of the fetus. Major projects include using mouse models to determine how maternal nutrition, particularly maternal diabetes and the hormone leptin, influences placental development and offspring metabolic health. Her lab also collaborates with the Roberts, Ezashi, and Schust labs to better understand human placental development using pluripotent stem cell models. In addition, Dr. Schulz's lab continues to work with the Phillips lab in biochemistry to elucidate the impact of the maternal environment on offspring bone health.

Academic Information

Associate Professor
P. 573-884-1408

Research Interests

  • Placental Development
  • Trophoblast Invasion
  • Preeclampsia
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Leptin

Areas of Expertise

  • Placental histology
  • Trophoblast differentiation
  • Trophoblast invasion
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • Physiology of pregnancy

Related Links

Education & Training


2005, Boston University
2009, University of Missouri

Post-Graduate School

2002, Ph.D. Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Awards & Honors

  • Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Society for the Study of Reproduction 2013-2016
  • Member, Society for the Study of Reproduction, Society for Reproductive Investigation, American Diabetes Association
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine New Investigator Award 2009


  • Effects of acute exposure to a high-fat, high-sucrose diet on gestational glucose tolerance and subsequent maternal health in mice†. Pennington KA, van der Walt N, Pollock KE, Talton OO, Schulz LC. Biol Reprod.2017 Feb 1;96(2):435-435.
  • Roberts RM, Green JA, Schulz LC. 2016. "Evolution of the placenta." Reproduction. 2016. 152(5):R179-89.
  • Oestreich AK, Kamp WM, McCray MG, Carleton SM, Karasseva N, Lenz KL, Jeong Y, Daghlas SA, Yao X, Wang Y, Pfeiffer FM, Ellersieck MR, Schulz LC*, Phillips CL*. 2016. “Decreasing maternal myostatin programs adult offspring bone strength in a mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(47):13522-13527.
  • Pennington KA, Ramirez-Perez FI, Pollock KE, Talton OO, Foote CA, Reyes-Aldasoro CC, Wu Ho-Hsiang, Ji T, Martinez-Lemus LA*, and Schulz LC*. 2016 “Maternal hyperleptinemia is associated with male offspring’s altered vascular function and structure in mice.” PLOS One. 11(5):e0155377
  • Talton OO, Pennington KA, Pollock KE, Bates K, Ma L, Ellersieck MR and Schulz LC*. 2016 "Maternal hyperleptinemia improves offspring insulin sensitivity in mice" Endocrinology. 157(7):2636-48.
  • Caesar GA, Dale JM, Osman EY, Garcia ML, Lorson CL and Schulz LC*. 2016. “Placental development in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 470(1):82-7.
  • Pollock KE, Stevens D, Pennington KA, Thaisrivongs R, Kaiser J, Ellersieck M, Miller D, and Schulz LC*. 2015 “Hyperleptinemia during pregnancy decreases adult weight of offspring and is associated with increased offspring locomotor activity.” Endocrinology 156(10):3777-90.
  • Harper J, Caesar GA, Pennington KA, Davis W, and Schulz LC*. 2015 “Placental changes caused by food restriction during early pregnancy in mice are reversible.” Reproduction. 150(3):165-72
  • Yang Y, Adachi K, Sheridan M, Alexenko A, Schust DJ, Schulz LC, Ezashi T, and Roberts RM*. 2015 “Heightened potency of human pluripotent stem cell lines created by transient BMP4 exposure.” Proc Natl Acad Sci. PNAS 2015; 112(18):E2337-46.
  • PrabhuDas M, Erlebacher A, Bonner EA, Caron KM, Dey SK, Fazleabas AT, Fisher S, Golos T, Matzuk MM, McCune M, Mor G, Schulz LC, Soares M, Spencer T, Strominger JL, Way SS, Yoshinaga K. 2015 “Immune mechanisms at the maternal-fetal interface: perspectives and challenges.” Nat Immunol. 2015 Mar 19;16(4):328-34.
  • Yang P, Dai A, Alexenko AP, Liu Y, Stephens AJ, Schulz LC, Schust DJ, Roberts RM, and Ezashi T*. 2014 “Abnormal oxidative stress responses in fibroblasts from preeclampsia infants.” PLoS One Jul 24;9(7):e103110.
  • Stephens AJ, Karvas RM, Adachi K, Schulz LC, and Schust DJ. 2014 “Modeling preeclampsia: an emerging role for stem cells.” NeoReviews. 1 Dec;15(12):e526-e536.
  • Roberts RM, Loh K, Amita M, Bernardo AS, Adachi K, Alexenko AP, Schust DJ, Schulz LC, Telugu B, Ezashi T, and Pedersen RA. 2014 “Differentiation of trophoblast cells from human embryonic stem cells: to be or not to be?” Reproduction. 147(5):D1-12