Marie-France Hivert, MD, MMSc

Institution: Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
Research: Heterogeneity of Gestational Diabetes and Pathophysiologic Pathways of Fetal Metabolic Programming leading to Transgenerational Risk of Diabetes
Grants & Publications: Harvard Catalyst
Categories: HMS, MGH

Marie-France Hivert, MD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is a clinical investigator with primary focus on the etiology and primordial prevention of obesity and related co-morbidities, particularly type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Her interests also include fetal metabolic programming mechanisms and the integration of genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors contributing to obesity and related disorders. She is currently involved in many international consortia investigating the genetics determinants of glycemic regulation during and outside of pregnancy.

Dr. Hivert is the PI of a prospective cohort called Genetics of Glucose regulation in Gestation and Growth (Gen3G). Gen3G research team recruited women in 1st trimester of pregnancy, collected biologic samples and detailed phenotypes during pregnancy (including oral glucose tolerance test) and at delivery. Gen3G research team completed follow-up mother-child pairs at 5 years post-birth, and is in the process of the 12 years old follow-up visit. Gen3G has a rich dataset of glycemic markers, adipokines, and anthropometric measures during and after pregnancy for the mothers and in offspring, in addition to genotypes and DNA methylation arrays in placenta and offspring blood (birth and 5y). Gen3G has also completed microRNA and RNA sequencing of placenta samples. This extensive multi-omics dataset allows investigations of determinants of glycemic regulation and pregnancy, as well as investigations of mechanisms linking maternal hyperglycemia and metabolic consequences in the offspring.

Dr. Hivert is also co-PI of Project Viva (PI = Oken) which is a prospective pre-birth cohort that was established between 1999-2002 and has been following up mothers and children throughout childhood and adolescence, collecting data and samples to investigate child health and common conditions (asthma, obesity, neurodevelopment, etc.). Project Viva research team is now following mother-child pairs >20 years post-birth. Project Viva also has an extensive amount of genotyping (mothers and children), epigenetics (cord blood, blood cells at 3yo and 8yo, blood and nasal cells at 12 yo), untargeted metabolomics (cord blood, blood at 8yo, 12yo, and 18yo), and longitudinal measures for many of their phenotypes. This allows many investigations from prenatal up to adolescence with a deep lifecourse approach.

Dr Hivert has been an active member of the genetic working group within the Diabetes Prevention Program. She has led many project and manuscripts help to understand the interaction between genetics and lifestyle in determinants of diabetes. Dr Hivert also continues to be an active member of multiple international consortia in the field of genetics and epigenetics of diabetes related traits (e.g. MAGIC, CHARGE), and early life determinants of adiposity and metabolic traits (e.g. EGG, PACE).