We’re happy to share exciting news from recipients of our two-time research grant winner!

In 2018 and 2019, the Fetal Health Foundation teamed up with the Brianna Marie Foundation to support Dr. Teresa Sparks and her team at the University of California, San Francisco.  The grant went to further support the completion of the research project titled “Non-Immune Hydrops Fetalis: Toward a Precision-Based Approach.”

Dr. Sparks and her research team

In October of 2020 their research findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This year, team’s work, which is also supported by the NIH, has been recognized by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in their 2020 Year in Review as one of the year’s  top research advancements



“NICHD-supported researchers also discovered that a rapid DNA sequencing technique called exome sequencing substantially improved the ability to detect genes involved in the development of nonimmune hydrops fetalis, a serious condition in which a fetus experiences abnormal fluid buildup inside the abdominal cavity, lungs, or other parts of the body. Using this technique, the study team identified the cause of this disorder in one third of previously unexplained cases. The findings suggest that exome sequencing can provide useful information that is unavailable with current genetic testing methods.”

We congratulate the team, and are grateful for the hope they bring to families who experience a hydrops diagnosis.

Read more about the team and about Hydrops:

UC San Francisco Team Named Winner of Brianna Marie Memorial Research Grant for a Second Time

The Brianna Marie story, told by her Mother, Founder Aran Hissam

Fetal Hydrops