Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth

  • Meet the Team

    The Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth brings together faculty from Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to perform innovative, transdisciplinary research to reduce the rate of prematurity and infant mortality.

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    Director

    A photo of Louis Muglia.

    Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    is a pediatric endocrinologist whose research efforts seek to define the mechanisms controlling the timing for birth in humans to prevent or better treat human preterm labor. Recent efforts analyze the contribution of genetic determinants to preterm birth. A second area of investigation is elucidation of the molecular pathways involved in the behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to stress.
    Visit the Muglia Lab

    513-803-7902
    louis.muglia@cchmc.org

    Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD

    Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    Director, Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth

    Academic Information

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-7902

    Email: louis.muglia@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Pediatric endocrinology

    Visit the Muglia Lab

    Biography

    Dr. Muglia has pioneered the in vivo analyses of regulation of the endocrine stress response and the molecular pathways leading to birth using novel genetically altered mutant mice. These studies have elucidated the importance of corticotropin-releasing hormone, glucocorticoids, and prostaglandins in neuroendocrine modulation, behavior, and perinatal adaptation.  These studies have evolved over the last decade to specifically focus on the mechanisms controlling the timing for birth in humans using genetics and comparative genomics. The composition of the biological clock metering the duration of human gestation remains a central question in reproductive biology. The goal of the Muglia laboratory is to understand the molecular timing machinery comprising this biological clock to prevent or better treat human preterm labor and delivery.

    Among Dr. Muglia’s achievements are more than 180 publications and many awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the Society of Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award, and election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians. In 2010, Dr. Muglia was elected to Fellow in the American Association for the advancement of Science. He is an active member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Society for Neuroscience, and the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. Dr. Muglia currently serves as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.  In 2013, Dr. Muglia was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

    Education and Training

    BS: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1981.

    PhD: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1986.

    MD: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1988.

    Publications

    Grants

    Amygdala Glucocorticoid Receptor Function in Stress.  Principle Investigator. NIH/NIMH. Feb 2009-Dec 2014.

    Maternal Temperament, Stress, Inflammation and Preterm Birth. Multi-PI. NIH/NICHD. Sep 2013-Aug 2017.

    Genetic Analysis of Human Preterm Birth. Principle Investigator. March of Dimes. Mar 2005-Feb 2014.

    March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative. Coordinating PI. March of Dimes. Jul 2013-Jun 2018.

    Burroughs Wellcome Fund Research Consortium on Preterm Birth. Director.  Burroughs Wellcome. Oct 2007-Sep 2014.

    Faculty Members

    A photo of Sandip Bhattacharyya.

    Sandip Bhattacharyya, MSc, PhD

    is an immunologist, who has basic science research programs in inflammation biology and signal transduction. The major research interest of Dr. Bhattacharyya’s laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in innate immunity and define context-specific immunomodulatory functions. 

    513-803-8039
    sandip.bhattacharyya@cchmc.org

    Sandip Bhattacharyya, MSc, PhD

    Academic Information

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Assistant Professor, Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth

    Phone: 513-803-8039

    Email: sandip.bhattacharyya@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Inflammation Immunology; Signal Transduction

    Biography

    Dr. Bhattacharyya received his doctoral degree in immunology and cell biology from Jadavpur University, India. His doctoral research shed light on multi-level regulation of host immune responses in experimental visceral leishmaniasis. During his post-doctoral training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Bhattacharyya explored critical roles of Interleukin-10 for regulation of Nuclear Factor Kappa B signaling pathway in dendritic cells. Later, at Washington University, St Louis and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Dr. Bhattacharyya uncovered new mechanisms for glucocorticoid actions on Toll-like receptor-induced inflammatory pathways. His findings provided evidence for signal-dependent glucocorticoid sensitivity.  Dr. Bhattacharyya’s study indicated that the spectrum of TLRs activated determines their responsiveness to steroid therapy.

    Dr. Bhattacharyya was selected for the Ramanujan Fellowship, 2011, awarded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

    Education and Training

    BSc: Chemistry, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India.

    MSc: Biochemistry, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India.

    PhD: Cell Biology and Immunology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India.

    Post Doctoral Fellowship: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

    Senior Scientist: Washington University, Saint Louis, MO / Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

    Publications

    A photo of James M. Greenberg.

    James M. Greenberg, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the developmental biology of pulmonary vascular development, including how vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mediates pulmonary vascular, lymphatic and airway development. He studies how VEGF mediates organization of pulmonary vasculature during late fetal life as well as how certain proteins implicated in axonal guidance during central nervous system development also direct developmental processes in the lung.

    513-636-3149
    james.greenberg@cchmc.org

    James M. Greenberg, MD

    Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    Director, Division of Neonatology

    Academic Information

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-3149

    Fax: 513-803-0968

    Email: james.greenberg@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Neonatal chronic lung disease; late preterm infant

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Ill., 1977-1981.

    Pediatric Internship and Residency: University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Minneapolis, Minn., 1981-1984. Chief Resident, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Minneapolis, Minn., 1984.

    Fellowship: Immunology / Neonatology, University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Minneapolis, Minn., 1985-1987; 1988-1989; visiting scientist, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cambridge, England.

    Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, 1988; subspecialty board, Neonatal / Perinatal Medicine, 1989.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Mihaela Pavlicev.

    Mihaela Pavlicev, PhD

    is an evolutionary geneticist working on the structure of genetic variation of complex traits, with a special focus on epistasis and pleiotropy. Understanding how past evolution shaped this structure can help identify the genetic basis of complex traits, including complex disease. The lab uses computational, theoretical and experimental methods in two systems: vertebrate limbs and birth timing.


    mihaela.pavlicev@cchmc.org

    Mihaela Pavlicev, PhD

    Academic Information

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

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    Education and Training

    PhD: University of Vienna, Austria, 2003.

    Postdoc: Washington University St. Louis (with Jim Cheverud), University of Oslo (with Thomas Hansen).

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Sing Sing Way.

    Sing Sing Way, MD, PhD Pauline and Lawson Reed Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases

    is an infectious disease physician-scientist. He cares for infants and children with infection related illness, and provides consultation in the diagnosis and prevention diseases caused by communicable agents. Dr. Way supervises an active basic research laboratory that uses basic immunological approaches to investigate ways to boost host defense and protection against infection. If you have interest in this work, please contact Dr. Way.

    513-636-7603
    singsing.way@cchmc.org

    Sing Sing Way, MD, PhD

    Pauline and Lawson Reed Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases

    Academic Information

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-7603

    Email: singsing.way@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Infectious diseases; prenatal infection; immunology

    Biography

    Dr. Way is an infectious disease physician-scientist. He cares for infants and children with infection related illness, and provides consultation in the diagnosis and prevention diseases caused by communicable agents. Dr. Way supervises an active basic research laboratory that uses basic immunological approaches to investigate ways to boost host defense and protection against infection. Ongoing projects investigate the immune basis responsible for enhanced susceptibility to infection during pregnancy, the immune pathogenesis of pregnancy complications that occur with maternal infection, and the basic signals required for stimulating immune cell activation.

    Dr. Way trained in the combined MD/PhD program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, pediatric residency at the University of California San Francisco, and infectious disease fellowship at the University of Washington. During fellowship training, Dr. Way began investigating the basic immunology and immune pathogenesis of infectious diseases relevant to human, and in particular, infant and child health.

    Dr. Way’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health since 2006. Dr. Way’s research has been described in many publications in numerous prestigious scientific journals including Nature, Cell Host & Microbe, PLoS Pathogens, and The Journal of Immunology. The past and ongoing work has also been recognized by numerous prestigious awards including the Infectious Diseases Society of America Wyeth Young Investigator Award, a Basil O’ Conner Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, and the Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

    Education and Training

    MD PhD: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, 1999.

    Residency: University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 2001.

    Fellowship: University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2004.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Maternal regulatory T cells control the immune pathogenesis of prenatal infection. Principal Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 2012-2017.

    The immune pathogenesis of prenatal Listeria monocytogenes infection. Principle Investigator. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). 2012-2017. R01-AI100934.

    Regulatory T cells dictate the immunity during persistent Salmonella infection. Principle Investigator. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). 2010-2015. R01-AI087830.

    A photo of Ge Zhang.

    Ge Zhang, MD, PhD

    is a statistical geneticist who has research interest inunderstanding the genetic and evolutionary architecture of human complex traits with significant health impacts. His current studies include genome-wide association analysis of metabolic syndrome andrelated quantitative traits; mathematical modeling of genetic variation and its contribution to human complex phenotypes.

    513-636-7219
    ge.zhang@cchmc.org

    Ge Zhang, MD, PhD

    Academic Information

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-7219

    Email: ge.zhang@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Statistical genetics; population genetics

    Education and Training

    MD: West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China, 1997.

    PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2007.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
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    Affiliated UC Faculty

    Emily DeFranco, DO

    Assistant Professor, Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

    Research / Clinical Interests

    • Prevention and prediction of preterm birth
    • Genetics of preterm birth
    • Stillbirth and infant mortality
    • Perinatal epidemiology

    Elizabeth Kelly, MD

    Associate Professor, Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

    Research / Clinical Interests

    • Infant mortality
    • Community-based healthcare
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Social determinants of healthcare inequity