William Tony Parks

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology - Anatomic Pathology


Mount Sinai Hospital: Sinai Health
600 University Ave., Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Room 6-500-17, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X5
Research Interests
Human Development & Aging
Clinical Interests
Pathology: Anatomical
Appointment Status

Dr W. Tony Parks received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

After completing a residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Colorado, he undertook a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, studying the biochemistry of the TGF-beta signaling pathway.

His clinical subspecialty is perinatal pathology, with a particular interest in the placenta.

He has been the Director of Perinatal Pathology at Magee-Women’s Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Northwestern University Medical Center.

Research Synopsis

While my research interests include trophoblast biology and the pathology of stillbirth and preterm birth, my recent work has centered around the topic of placental maternal vascular malperfusion.

The lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion develop in the context of decreased or altered blood flow from the mother to the placenta.

Some (such as decidual arteriopathy) are likely etiologic, while others (such as increased syncytial knots and accelerated villous maturation) are likely secondary responses to placental hypoxia or hypoxia/reperfusion injury.

Current studies suggest that, like preeclampsia and other clinical adverse pregnancy outcomes, evidence of maternal vascular malperfusion in a placenta may independently increase a woman’s risk for later life cardiovascular disease.

As part of these studies, I also have a keen interest in systematizing and developing a more rigorously scientific grounding for both the diagnosis of these lesions and the assessment of their impact on the mother and her child.

Selected Publications

Hauspurg A, Redman EK, Assibey-Mensah V, Parks WT, Jeyabalan A, Roberts JM, Catov JM. Placental findings in non-hypertensive term pregnancies and association with future adverse pregnancy outcomes: a cohort study. Placenta, 2019 in press

Assibey-Mensah V, Parks WT, Gernand AD, Catov JM. Race and risk of maternal vascular malperfusion lesions in the placenta. Placenta. 2018 Sep;69:102-108.

Catov JM, Muldoon MF, Reis SE, Ness RB, Nguyen LN, Yamal JM, Hwang H, Parks WT. Preterm birth with placental evidence of malperfusion is associated with cardiovascular risk factors after pregnancy: a prospective cohort study. BJOG. 2018 Jul;125(8):1009-1017.

Surti U, Yatsenko S, Hu J, Bellissimo D, Parks WT, Hoffner L. Maternal GRB10 microdeletion is a novel cause of cystic placenta: Spectrum of genomic changes in the etiology of enlarged cystic placenta. Placenta. 2017 Sep;57:33-41.

Catov JM, Scifres CM, Caritis SN, Bertolet M, Larkin J, Parks WT. Neonatal outcomes following preterm birth classified according to placental features. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Apr;216(4):411.e1-411.e14.

Serra AE, Lemon LS, Mokhtari NB, Parks WT, Catov JM, Venkataramanan R, Caritis SN. Delayed villous maturation in term placentas exposed to opioid maintenance therapy: a retrospective cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Apr;216(4):418.e1-418.e5.

Scifres CM, Parks WT, Feghali M, Caritis SN, Catov JM. Placental maternal vascular malperfusion and adverse pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes mellitus. Placenta. 2017 Jan;49:10-15.

Khong TY, Mooney EE, Ariel I, Balmus NC, Boyd TK, Brundler MA, Derricott H, Evans MJ, Faye-Petersen OM, Gillan JE, Heazell AE, Heller DS, Jacques SM, Keating S, Kelehan P, Maes A, McKay EM, Morgan TK, Nikkels PG, Parks WT, Redline RW, Scheimberg I, Schoots MH, Sebire NJ, Timmer A, Turowski G, van der Voorn JP, van Lijnschoten I, Gordijn SJ. Sampling and Definitions of Placental Lesions: Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group Consensus Statement. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016 Jul;140(7):698-713.

Catov JM, Peng Y, Scifres CM, Parks WT. Placental pathology measures: Can they be rapidly and reliably integrated into large-scale perinatal studies? Placenta. 2015 Jun;36(6):687-92.