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Margeaux W Marbrey

Assistant Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Sciences

Research Interests

The Marbrey laboratory seeks to understand how innovative tobacco products and other common exposures can impact:

  1. Future reproductive fitness of pre-pubertal individuals
  2. Pregnancy health and fertility outcomes
  3. Health of the in utero exposed fetus
  4. Reproductive-associated disease states

Through rigorous investigation of how these exposures impact pregnancy success, the Marbrey laboratory aims to understand the mechanisms by which exposures can regulate pregnancy and uncover new, dynamic signaling paradigms that can inform and direct therapeutic development in reproductive biology.

E-Cigarette Exposure in Pregnancy

According to the CDC statistics on youth tobacco use, currently more than 1 in 4 high school students, including women of reproductive age, use a form of e-cigarettes. Despite many publicized warnings about the unknown safety of e-cigarette usage, pregnant women have started using e-cigarettes as it is often mistaken as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, which is associated with implantation failure, placental malformation, and stillbirth. However, the safety of e-cigarette use during pregnancy is undetermined. Dr. Marbrey was the first to examine in vivo e-cigarette exposure on pregnancy in animal models, concluding that e-cigarettes delayed the delivery of the first litter and impaired implantation timing due to dramatic transcriptomic changes (Wetendorf et al., JES). Furthermore, Dr. Marbrey reported that in utero e-cigarette exposure is sufficient to cause chronic metabolic effects in animal models. Thus, e-cigarettes can impair pregnancy and have long-term effects on in utero exposed offspring.This work was especially timely and was reported by various news sites including Vice, Bustle, Med India, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and many more. Further, this work was noted by the Endocrine Society as one of the top breakthrough discoveries in endocrine science of 2019.

Exposure Research and Pregnancy Outcomes

The Marbrey laboratory is currently interested in the investigation of environmental and manufactured toxins on pregnancy success and future fertility. In addition to cigarette smoke and e-cigarette studies, Dr. Marbrey has examined how pthalates, phytoestrogens, and other plasticizers impact pregnancy health. Recently, Dr. Marbrey published an article describing how the phytoestrogen found in spinach and soy, coumestrol, can be dangerous to placental and fetal health in large quantities (Marbrey et al., Reproduction). 

Selected Grants

Investigating Implications of E-Cigarettes on Pregnancy Success and Reproductive Fitness

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2023 - 2026

Fellowships, Gifts, and Supported Research

Identifying Consequences of E-Cigarette Use in Penis Morphology and Potential Erectile Dysfunction · 2024 Awardee · Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund