Cincinnati Children’s Creates Center to Step Up Battle Against Preterm Birth

New Perinatal Institute Co-Director to Lead Research Team Focused on Reducing Preterm Births

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announces the formation of the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth and the arrival of Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, as its director.

Dr. Muglia officially started in his role as director of the new center, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s and professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine on January 1st. He comes to Cincinnati Children’s from Vanderbilt where he served as professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and vice chair for Research Affairs in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Via the new center, Dr. Muglia will work together with a group of more than 30 researchers who are already investigating the underlying scientific causes of preterm birth. With laser focus on understanding fundamental causes that lead to prematurity, Dr. Muglia and his team are on a mission to prevent early births from happening.

“Prematurity is the single most important problem right now in maternal and child health,” Muglia says. “We still don’t know what biological signals start a woman’s labor and we don’t know what the most common causes of preterm birth are.”

Premature birth ranks as the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States. Preterm birth rates in America exceed most other developed nations. Despite our improving technology, the actual cause goes unexplained in as many as 50% of all such births.

The March of Dimes has called for establishment of transdisciplinary centers to lead the battle to prevent preterm births. And Dr. Muglia hopes the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children’s will soon be one such center. He’s confident that the team can take understanding and preventing prematurity to a new level.

“We’ve already made some progress,” Muglia says. “I think we will make much more progress in the next five years.”

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's 2011 Best Children's Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for gastroenterology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties - a distinction shared by only two other pediatric hospitals in the United States. Cincinnati Children's is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at

Contact Information

Kate Setter, 513-636-1297,