A photo of Louis Muglia.

Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

Director, Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

Best Doctors logo

Biography & Affiliation


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.

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Neonatology, Prevention of Preterm Birth, Human Genetics, Genomics

Science Blog

Six Gene Loci Associated with Gestational Duration

Genomics and Development

Six Gene Loci Associated with Gestational Duration

Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD, Ge Zhang, MD, PhD7/1/2019

Muglia to Direct Human Genetics

Genomics and Development

Muglia to Direct Human Genetics

Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD6/30/2019

Muglia Named to Institute of Medicine


Muglia Named to Institute of Medicine

Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD6/26/2019


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

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

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


Selected Publication

Anthropoid primate-specific retroviral element THE1B controls expression of CRH in placenta and alters gestation length. Dunn-Fletcher, CE; Muglia, LM; Pavlicev, M; Wolf, G; Sun, M; Hu, Y; Huffman, E; Tumukuntala, S; Thiele, K; Mukherjee, A; et al. PLoS Biology. 2018; 16:e2006337-e2006337.

Whole exome sequencing reveals HSPA1L as a genetic risk factor for spontaneous preterm birth. Huusko, JM; Karjalainen, MK; Graham, BE; Zhang, G; Farrow, EG; Miller, NA; Jacobsson, B; Eidem, HR; Murray, JC; Bedell, B; et al. PLoS Genetics. 2018; 14:e1007394-e1007394.

Inverted formin 2 regulates intracellular trafficking, placentation, and pregnancy outcome. Lamm, KY B; Johnson, ML; Phillips, JB; Muntifering, MB; James, JM; Jones, HN; Redline, RW; Rokas, A; Muglia, LJ. eLife. 2018; 7.

Genetic Associations with Gestational Duration and Spontaneous Preterm Birth. Zhang, G; Feenstra, B; Bacelis, J; Liu, X; Muglia, LM; Juodakis, J; Miller, DE; Litterman, N; Jiang, P; Russell, L; et al. The New England journal of medicine. 2017; 377:1156-1167.

Effect of Modifiable Risk Factors on Preterm Birth: A Population Based-Cohort. Lengyel, CS; Ehrlich, S; Iams, JD; Muglia, LJ; DeFranco, EA. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2017; 21:777-9.

Single-cell transcriptomics of the human placenta: inferring the cell communication network of the maternal-fetal interface. Pavlicev, M; Wagner, GP; Chavan, AR; Owens, K; Maziarz, J; Dunn-Fletcher, C; Kallapur, SG; Muglia, L; Jones, H. Genome Research. 2017; 27:349-361.

Assessing the Causal Relationship of Maternal Height on Birth Size and Gestational Age at Birth: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis. Zhang, G; Bacelis, J; Lengyel, C; Teramo, K; Hallman, M; Helgeland, O; Johansson, S; Myhre, R; Sengpiel, V; Njolstad, PR; et al. PLoS Medicine. 2015; 12:e1001865-e1001865.

An Evolutionary Genomic Approach to Identify Genes Involved in Human Birth Timing. Plunkett, J; Doniger, S; Orabona, G; Morgan, T; Haataja, R; Hallman, M; Puttonen, H; Menon, R; Kuczynski, E; Norwitz, E; et al. PLoS Genetics. 2011; 7:e1001365-e1001365.

The Enigma of Spontaneous Preterm Birth REPLY. Muglia, LJ; Katz, M. The New England journal of medicine. 2010; 362:2033-2034.