Victor Han

Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Dr. Victor Han


Director, Children’s Health Research Institute
Canada Research Chair in Maternal and Fetal Health
Douglas and Vivian Bocking Chair in Fetal and Newborn Growth
Chair, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, London Health Sciences Centre - Victoria Campus

How my research helps children

Low birth weight newborns, due to lack of nutrition in the mother or diseases of the placenta, can lead to long-term problems in children such as learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and in adults as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Dr. Han’s research will improve our understanding of how the adaptation of the fetus to maternal diseases during pregnancy can lead to such long-term problems in children and adults, so as to develop new ways of treating pregnant mothers and newborns to prevent such problems.


Current Research Activities

Dr. Han’s laboratory is focused on studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of normal fetal and placental growth with the aim of understanding the pathobiological mechanisms of fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia. His laboratory utilizes (1) transgenic and gene targeting technologies to delineate the paracrine/endocrine role of IGF system in mice, (2) models of manipulating nutritional and substrate supplies to the fetus in pregnant animals to study gene-environmental interactions in fetal and placental development and developmental programming, and (3) genomic and proteomic technologies to determine the molecular mechanisms of fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia in biological materials (plasma, amniotic fluid and placentae) from human subjects. The ultimate aim of Dr. Han’s research is to develop new diagnostic tools and interventions to improve the short- and long-term outcomes of women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancies, and growth restricted (low birth weight) newborns.

Research Team

Current research team includes, two graduate students (two PhD) and two technicians.

Future Research Plans

The focus of Dr. Han’s research in the future will be on placental mesenchymal stem cells and the epigenetic mechanisms of cell/tissue adaptation to undernutrition and hypoxia in the fetus and placenta.

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Funding in support of Placental Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapy – Awarded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Funding in support of Canada Research Chair Tier 1 – Awarded by Canada Research Chairs (CRC)

Funding in support of Regulation of Fetal Growth – Awarded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Funding in support of Molecular Mechanisms of Fetal Growth Restriction – Awarded by Canadian Institute of Health Research

Funding in support of Fetal Growth Restriction: Mechanisms and Outcomes – Awarded by CIHR

Recent Publications


Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-6 (IGFBP-6) interacts with DNA-end binding protein Ku80 to regulate cell fate
Iosef C, Vilk G, Gkourasas T, Lee KJ, Chen BP, Fu P, Bach LA, Lajoie G, Gupta MB, Li SS, Han VK
Cell Signal. 2010 Jul; 22(7):1033-43

IL-6 and TNFalpha across the umbilical circulation in term pregnancies: relationship with labour events
Duncombe G, Veldhuizen RA, Gratton RJ, Han VK, Richardson BS
Early Hum Dev. 2010 Feb; 86(2):113-7

Site-specific IGFBP-1 hyper-phosphorylation in fetal growth restriction: clinical and functional relevance
Abu Shehab M, Khosravi J, Han VK, Shilton BH, Gupta MB
J Proteome Res. 2010 Apr 5; 9(4):1873-81

Site specific phosphorylation of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) for evaluating clinical relevancy in fetal growth restriction
Abu Shehab M, Inoue S, Han VK, Gupta MB
J Proteome Res. 2009 Nov; 8(11):5325-35

Cytokine array comparisons of plasma from cycling fertile women on cycle day 5 and ovulation
Hatta K, Bilinski MJ, Haladyn JK, Roy JJ, Horrocks J, van den Heuvel MJ, Han VK, Croy BA
Am J Reprod Immunol. 2009 Sep; 62(3):158-64

Females follow a more "compact" early human brain development model than males. A case-control study of preterm neonates
Vasileiadis GT, Thompson RT, Han VK, Gelman N
Pediatr Res. 2009 Nov; 66(5):551-5

Functional and complementary phosphorylation state attributes of human insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) isoforms resolved by free flow electrophoresis
Nissum M, Abu Shehab M, Sukop U, Khosravi JM, Wildgruber R, Eckerskorn C, Han VK, Gupta MB
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2009 Jun; 8(6):1424-35

BDNF and TrkB in the preterm and near-term ovine fetal brain and the effect of intermittent umbilical cord occlusion
Nishigori H, Mazzuca DM, Nygard KL, Han VK, Richardson BS
Reprod Sci. 2008 Nov; 15(9):895-905

Additional publications



Phone: (519) 685-8500, x55455
Fax: (519) 685-8186
Email: victor [dot] han [at] lhsc [dot] on [dot] ca

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