Place of Graduation: St. Louis University, 1981Olson Lab Post-doctoral Fellowship
: University of Western OntarioResearch Interests
: Parturiton, preterm birth, fetal development
I manage the course, Fetal Physiology, PHYSIOLOGY 513, a senior undergraduate and graduate level course. It is a seminar style course exploring contemporary concepts in maternal pregnancy physiology, fetal development, parturition (birth) and new adaptation to independent life. Students in the course are expected to be self-learners and have considerable independence in selecting sub-topics for study. They each make several oral presentations to the class and write short papers. Improvement of oral and written communication skills, independent study and critical thinking abilities is emphasized.
I also accept senior undergraduate students in my laboratory who are enrolled in one-year research courses through their home departments or faculties.
I am a perinatal physiologist dedicated to improving women’s pregnancy health, fetal and newborn health. I study preterm birth/delivery (PTB, PTD), the leading global perinatal health problem.
1. Diagnostics & Therapeutics for Preterm Birth. We are developing new diagnostics and therapeutics for predicting and treating PTB. We developed a simple blood test that predicts delivery within 7 days (USA PCT Patent). With S Chemtob, W Lubell, and S Robertson we are studying the roles of IL-1b and IL-6 in PTB and fetal inflammation using highly precise small peptide allosteric receptor antagonists (rytvela and HSJ633). 1. Takeda J et al. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2017 Jan;17:16. PMID:28068953. 2. Nadeau-Vallée M et al. J Immunol 2015 Oct 1;19:3402- 15. PMID:26304990. 3. Nadeau-Vallée M et al. J Immunol 2017 Mar 1;198:2047-2062. PMID:28148737.
2. Maternal Prenatal Stress Leads to Preterm Birth and Adverse Offspring Development.With G Metz (ULethbridge) we surmised that the additive effects of stress might be associated with PTB. We developed transgenerational, multigenerational and multi-hit stress models in rats, and each demonstrated shortened gestation (PTB) and behavioural problems in offspring (F1). These were transmitted to the F2, F3 & F4 generations, likely by epigenetic means, as our microRNA data supports. We developed a new hypothesis indicating that elevated allostatic load is causal for PTB. This led to human work, demonstrating that adverse childhood experience and abuse (chronic stressors) prior to age 18 are associated with PTB at age 28. 1. Yao Y et al. BMC Medicine 2014 Aug 7;12:121. PMID:25286408. 2. Christiaens I et al. BMC Medicine 2015 Jun 11;13:124. PMID:26063042. 3. Olson DM et al. Int J Mol Sci 2015 Dec 15;16:29856-74. PMID: 26694355. 4. Verstraeten BSE et al. Biol Reprod 2018 Jul 30. PMID:30084951.
3. Uterine Transition. Our work over thirty years informed our conceptualization of the process of uterine transitioningfrom pregnancy to delivery, involution and return to monthly cycling. The key mediators are IL-1b, IL-6 and PGF2. Positive feedback is evident; IL-1b stimulates COX-2 and therefore PGF2 synthesis, but also FP expression, and, interestingly, its own synthesis, that of its receptor, IL-1R1, and its accessory proteins. This concept forms the theoretical basis for the effectiveness of IL1R and IL6R antagonists. 1. Robertson SA et al. Endocrinol 2010 Aug;151: 3996-4006. PMID: 20610570. 2. Xu C, et al. Mol Hum Reprod 2015 Jul;21:603-14. PMID:2588254. 3. Ishiguro T, et al. Physiol Rep 2016 Jul;4(14). PMID:27440742. 4. Leimert KB et al. Biol Reprod 2018 Oct.PMID:30379983. 5. Leimert KB et al. Biol Reprod 2019 Feb. PMID:30794283.
4. Basic Science of Parturition & Preterm Birth.We predicted then demonstrated that COX increases its enzyme activity and its mRNA expression of inducible COX-2 at term or preterm in human uterine tissues, and that this was stimulated by glucocorticoids and protein kinase C (PKC) activators. Then we showed that uterine FP mRNA is upregulated at delivery in mice, cloned and characterized the promoter region of the human FP gene, and showed a highly specific antagonist (THG113.3 by S Chemtob) delays PTB and uterine contractility in sheep. These studies identified the first two PTB drug targets in humans.1. Cook JL, et al. Biol Reprod 2003 Feb;68:579-87. PMID:12533422. 2.Zaragoza DB, et al. BBA 2004 Jan 20;1676:193-202. PMID: 14746914. 3. Hirst JJ, et al. AJOG 2005 Jul;193:256-66. PMID:16021088.
parturition, immunology, leukocytes, perinatal programming, rat model, Pregnancy, immune system, IL-1, IL-6, monocytes, Preterm birth, inflammatory mechanisms, cytokines, Preterm birth, inflammatory mechanisms, cytokines,, preterm delivery, Stress questionnaire, China, abuse, stress, resiliency, brain, perinatal, programming,, Studentship, timing of birth
Lab Manager: Dr. Sheena Fang, MD, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow: Dr. Kelycia Leimert, PhD
Graduate Students: Ms. Nayara Lopes, Dr. Jane Ng, MD
Primary Collaborators: Dr. Sylvain Chemotob, Universite de Montreal, Dr. Gerlinde AS Metz, University of Lethbridge, Dr. Sarah Robertson, University of Adelaide, Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, University of Washington, Dr. Jeffrey Keelan, University of Western Australia, Dr. William Lubell, Universite de Montreal, Dr. Hongbo Qi, Chongqing Medical University
- Beaudry-Richard A, Nadeau-Vallee M, Prairie E, Maurice N, Heckel E, Nezhady M, Pundir S, Madaan A, Boudreault A, Hou X, Quiniou Ch, Marin Sierra E, Beaulac A, Lodygenski G, Robertson S, Keelan J, Adams Waldorf K, Olson DM, Rivera, JC, Lubell W, Joyal JS, Bouchard JF, Chemtob S. Antenatal IL-1-dependent inflammation persists postnatally and causes retinal and sub-retinal vasculopathy in progeny. Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 8;8(1):11875. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30087-4, 2018.
- Verstraeten BSE, McCreary JK, Weyers S, Metz GAS, Olson DM. Prenatal two-hit stress affects maternal and offspring pregnancy outcomes and uterine gene expression in rats: match or mismatch? Biology of Reproduction 2019 Jan 1;100(1):195-207, doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioy166, 2018.
- Nesari M, Olson JK, Vandermeer B, Olson DM. Does a maternal history of abuse before pregnancy affect pregnancy outcomes? A systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 Oct 16;18(1):404. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2030-8.
- Leimert KB, Messer A, Gray T, Fang X, Chemtob S, Olson DM. Maternal and fetal intrauterine tissue crosstalk promotes pro-inflammatory amplification and uterine transition. Biology of Reproduction 2019 Mar 1;100(3):783-797, doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioy232.
- Long AJ, Golfar A, Olson DM. Screening in the prenatal period for intimate partner violence and history of abuse: a survey of Edmonton obstetrician/gynecologists. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 2018 doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2018.05.003, 2018.
- Olson DM, Breamault-Phillips S, King S, Metz GAS, Montesanti S, Olson JK, Hyde A, Pike A, Hoover T, Linder R, Joggerst B, Watts R. Recent Canadian efforts to develop population-level pregnancy intervention studies to mitigate effects of natural disasters and other tragedies. J Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 2019; Jan 10:1-7. PMID: 30626455.
- Leimert KB, Verstraeten BSE, Messer A, Nemati R, Blackadar K, Fang X, Robertson SA, Chemtob S, Olson DM. Cooperative effects of sequential PGF2α and IL-1β on IL-6 and COX-2 expression in human myometrial cells. Biol Reprod, 2019 May 1;100(5):1370-1385, PMID: 30794283
- Dakshinamurti S, Dolinsky V, Keijzer R, Olson DM. Introduction. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2019 Mar;97(3):v.
- Verstraeten, BSE, McCreary JK, Falkenberg EA, Fang X, Weyers S, Metz GAS, Olson DM. Multiple prenatal stresses increase sexual dimorphism in adult offspring behavior. Pyschoneuroendocrinology. 2019; 107:251-260. PIMD: 31174163.
- McCreary JK, Erickson ZT, Paxman EJ, Kiss D, Montina T, Metz GAS, Olson DM. (2019) The rat cumulative allostatic load measure (Rcalm): A new translational assessment of the burden of stress. Environmental Epigenetics. 2019 May 4;5(1):dvz005. PMID: 31065381.
- Bremault-Phillips S, Pike A, Olson J, Severson E, Olson DM. Resilience among wildfire-affected pregnant women highlights of an expressive writing intervention. Submitted to Qualitative Health Research 2019. Under revision.
- Lee H, Patel V, Onushko M, Fang X, Gubbels JA, Chemtob S, Olson DM. Enhanced leukocyte chemotaxis is a conserved mechanism of leukocyte invasion during term and preterm birth in mice. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In preparation.
- Brémault-Phillips, S., Pike, A., Olson, J. K., Olson, DM. Expressive Writing as a Spiritual Practice to Promote Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth among Disaster-Exposed Pregnant Women, in Plante, T. G. (ed.) 2018, Healing with Spiritual Practices: Proven Techniques for Disorders from Addictions and Anxiety to Cancer and Chronic Pain. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Inc., 113-129, 2018.
- Olson DM, Ettinger A, Metz GAS, King S, Bremault-Phillips S, Olson JK. Contemporary environmental stressors and adverse pregnancy outcomes. 2019. In, Handbook of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology: Integrating Research and Practice. (K. Evertz, L. Janus, R. Linder, eds.) Springer. In press.
2008 President’s Achievement Award “Dare to Discover” for Overall Achievement. University of Alberta Awarded to the Perinatal Research Centre
2009 Fellow (ad eundem) Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
2010 Guest Professor, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, PR China
2012 Guest Professor, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, PR China
2012 – present Director, Inflammatory Mediators to Preterm Birth Team
2015 Award of Excellence Western Region. The SOGC regional achievement award recognizes the
excellence of members who volunteer at the local, regional or provincial levels for women’s
health. June 2015
2016, 2017 Professor David Olson Student Debate at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting.
In recognition of leadership contributions to founding the CNPRM.
2016 Alumni Achievement Award, Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
2017 Adjunct Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Canada
2018 Adjunct Professor, University of Adelaide, Australia
2018 Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
2018 Innovation Award – Patents. The award recognizes receipt of a US Patent and
the sublicensing of the intellectual property to a company, TEC Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2019 Innovation Award – Biotech Start-up Company. The award recognizes formation of a new biotech startup company, TEC Edmonton, Alberta, Canada