Michael Fant

Michael Fant, MD PHD

Professor, College of Medicine Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

Professor, College of Medicine Pathology & Cell Biology

Professor, College of Medicine Pediatrics

Professor, College of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology

Academic Email: mfant@health.usf.edu


  • PHD, Vanderbilt University, 1980
  • MD, Vanderbilt University, 1980

Research Interests

  • Dr. Fant's research focuses on placental development as a model to understand the mechanisms underlying fetal growth and development using both human and mouse models. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate that insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are produced by the placenta and act locally to regulate placental development. It also demonstrated that placental mesenchymal cells are important components of the placenta‚Äôs intrinsic developmental program, exhibiting developmentally regulated proliferation rates and growth factor responsiveness. Currently the laboratory is examining the role of Plac1 (Placenta-specific1), a novel X-linked gene, in supporting normal fetal development. Using a mutant mouse model, an essential role for Plac1 in normal placental and embryonic development was demonstrated. Knockout mice exhibit placentomegaly, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and reduced viability. More recently, Plac1 expression was also demonstrated in the fetal brain and linked to the development of postnatal hydrocephalus, identifying Plac1 as a novel gene important in brain development.

Recent Publications

  • Jackman SM, Kong X, Fant ME. Plac1 (placenta-specific 1) is essential for normal placental and embryonic development. Molecular reproduction and development. 79(8) : 564-72, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22729990
  • Kotto-Kome A, Silva C, Whiteman V, Kong X, Fant ME. Circulating Anti-PLAC1 Antibodies during Pregnancy and in Women with Reproductive Failure: A Preliminary Analysis ISRN Immunology. doi:10.5402/2011/530491, 2011.
  • Fant M, Farina A, Nagaraja R, Schlessinger D. PLAC1 (Placenta-specific 1): a novel, X-linked gene with roles in reproductive and cancer biology. Prenatal diagnosis. 30(6) : 497-502, 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20509147
  • Fant M, Barerra-Saldana H, Dubinsky W, Poindexter B, Bick R. The PLAC1 protein localizes to membranous compartments in the apical region of the syncytiotrophoblast. Molecular reproduction and development. 74(7) : 922-9, 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17186554
  • Bhuiyan MB, Murad F, Fant ME. The placental cholinergic system: localization to the cytotrophoblast and modulation of nitric oxide. Cell communication and signaling : CCS. 4: 4, 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16686954
  • Fant M, Weisoly DL, Cocchia M, Huber R, Khan S, Lunt T, Schlessinger D. PLAC1, a trophoblast-specific gene, is expressed throughout pregnancy in the human placenta and modulated by keratinocyte growth factor. Molecular reproduction and development. 63(4) : 430-6, 2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12412044
  • Fang J, Furesz TC, Smith CH, Fant ME. IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) is preferentially associated with the fetal-facing basal surface of the syncytiotrophoblast in the human placenta. Growth hormone & IGF research : official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society. 9(6) : 438-44, 1999. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10629164
  • Fang J, Furesz TC, Lurent RS, Smith CH, Fant ME. Spatial polarization of insulin-like growth factor receptors on the human syncytiotrophoblast. Pediatric research. 41(2) : 258-65, 1997. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9029648
  • Fant M, Salafia C, Baxter RC, Schwander J, Vogel C, Pezzullo J, Moya F. Circulating levels of IGFs and IGF binding proteins in human cord serum: relationships to intrauterine growth. Regulatory peptides. 48(1-2) : 29-39, 1993. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7505470
  • Fant ME. In vitro growth rate of placental fibroblasts is developmentally regulated. The Journal of clinical investigation. 88(5) : 1697-702, 1991. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1939655