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Baby's Hand


Overview of Our Research

In spite of significant medical advances in the past forty years, there has been no reduction in the incidence of preterm birth, even though it is associated with high newborn death and disease rates and with significant cognitive and behavioural problems in children and youth. Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that sub-optimal conditions for early development and preterm birth are linked with risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and depression in adulthood. A better understanding of the complex genetic and environmental factors involved in pregnancy and birth will have a significant impact on Canadian health care by minimizing neonatal death and disability and improving lifelong health.

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Unlocking the Mysteries of Pregnancy

At a Glance

  • The Lye Lab works to uncover the unknown elements of pre-term birth.

  • Dr. Lye is a recognized leader in the field of women's and infants' health and holds the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Chair in Women's and Infants' Health Research, as well as the Canada Research Chair in Improvement in Health and Function.

  • Dr. Lye created a blood test to differentiate women who will deliver babies prematurely from those who won't.

  • He is currently co-leading the Ontario Birth Study, that examines the impact of genetics and a baby's environment inside the womb to understand how these factors lead to major diseases later in life.

Want to learn more about our research projects?


To understand the mechanisms responsible for the onset of labour. We are investigating whether the change in the myometrium from a dormant state to the contractile state that occurs during labour is caused by the activation of genes. The lab has shown that both mechanical signals (due to stretching of the myometrium) and endocrine signals are required to activate a cassette of genes called "contractile-associated proteins" (e.g. Cx­43 and oxytocin receptor) and initiate labour.

Image by Drew Hays
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