Building a Transdisciplinary Investigative Team

The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative

The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative includes more than 100 faculty-level investigators, trainees and staff and is led by Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Irina Buhimschi, MD, Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and Sam Mesiano, PhD, Case Western Reserve University.  

Five key research themes are being pursued via transdisciplinary interactions that will generate new research hypotheses and techniques to prevent preterm birth.

Research Areas


Evolutionary Synthesis of Human Pregnancy  
Leaders Division or Department Institution
Antonis Rokas, PhD Biological Sciences Vanderbilt University
Patrick Abbot, PhD Biological Sciences Vanderbilt University
Kenneth Petren, PhD Biological Sciences University of Cincinnati
Co-Investigators and Collaborating Faculty
Danielle Bessett, PhD Sociology University of Cincinnati
Mark Chance, PhD Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
Tony Capra, PhD Biological Sciences Vanderbilt University
Emily DeFranco, DO, MSCR Obstetrics & Gynecology UC College of Medicine
James Greenberg, MD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Joshua Gross, PhD Biological Sciences University of Cincinnati
Mehmet Koyuturk, PhD Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
Brian Mercer, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Case Western / MetroHealth
Mihaela Pavlicev, PhD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Raymond Redline, MD Pathology Case Western
Genetics of Unique Human Populations  
Leaders Division or Department Institution
Ge Zhang, MD, PhD Human Genetics
Cincinnati Children’s
Scott Williams, PhD Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Genetics & Genome Sciences  Case Western
Co-Investigators and Collaborating Faculty
John Harley, MD, PhD
Center for Autoimmune Genomics & Etiology
Cincinnati Children’s
Jay Iams, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Farrah Jacquez, PhD Psychology University of Cincinnati
Douglas Kniss, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Jennifer Malat, PhD Sociology University of Cincinnati
Louis Muglia, MD, PhD
Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Raymond Redline, MD Pathology Case Western
Kelli Ryckman, PhD Epidemiology University of Iowa
The Molecular Developmental Biology of Pregnancy  
Leaders Division or Department Institution
Louis Muglia, MD, PhD Perinatal Institute
Cincinnati Children’s
SK Dey, PhD Perinatal Institute
Cincinnati Children’s
Jeffrey Whitsett, MD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Co-Investigators and Collaborating Faculty
Thomas Brown, PhD Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Physiology Wright State University
Mark Chance, PhD Center for Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
Sanjoy Das, PhD Reproductive Sciences Cincinnati Children’s
Ken Greis, PhD Cancer & Cell Biology UC College of Medicine
Suhas Kallapur, MD Perinatal Institute
Cincinnati Children’s
Beena Kamath-Rayne, MD, MPH Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Douglas Kniss, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Mehmet Koyuturk, PhD Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
Charles Lockwood, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of South Florida
Sam Mesiano, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology Case Western / University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Mihaela Pavlicev, PhD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children's
Xiaofei Sun, PhD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Sing Sing Way, MD, PhD Infectious Diseases Cincinnati Children’s
Progesterone Signaling in Pregnancy Maintenance and Preterm Birth  
Leaders Division or Department Institution
Catalin Buhimschi, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Sam Mesiano, PhD Reproductive Biology Case Western / University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Douglas Kniss, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Co-Investigators and Collaborating Faculty
William Ackerman, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Mark Chance, PhD Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
SK Dey, PhD Reproductive Sciences Cincinnati Children’s
Ozlem Guzeloglu-Kayisli, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of South Florida
Jay Iams, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Umit A Kayisli, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of South Florida
Mehmet Koyuturk, PhD Proteomics & Bioinformatics Case Western
Charles Lockwood, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of South Florida
Ramkumar Menon, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of Texas Medical Branch
Brian Mercer, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology MetroHealth / Case Western
John Moore, MD Neonatology MetroHealth / Case Western
Louis Muglia, MD, PhD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Raymond W. Redline, MD Pathology Case Western
Frederick Schatz, PhD Obstetrics & Gynecology University of South Florida
Honor Wolfe, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Case Western / University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Sociobiology of Racial Disparities in Preterm Birth  
Leaders Division or Department Institution
Irina Buhimschi, MD Center for Perinatal Research Nationwide Children’s
Co-Investigators and Collaborating Faculty
Michael Bailey, PhD Microbial Interface Biology Ohio State University
Danielle Bessett, PhD Sociology University of Cincinnati
Catalin Buhimschi, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Lisa Christian, PhD Psychiatry & Psychology Ohio State University
David Greenberg, PhD Neurogenetics Nationwide Children’s
James Greenberg, MD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Tamar Gur, MD, PhD Psychiatry, Neuroscience, OBGYN Ohio State University
Eric Hall, PhD Perinatal Institute, Biomedical Informatics Cincinnati Children’s
Jay Iams, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Ohio State University
Farrah Jacquez, PhD Psychology University of Cincinnati
Sarah Keim, PhD Biobehavioral Health Nationwide Children’s
Elizabeth Kelly, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology UC College of Medicine
Mark Klebanoff, MD, MPH Center for Perinatal Research Nationwide Children’s
Jennifer Malat, PhD  Sociology University of Cincinnati
Brian Mercer, MD  Obstetrics & Gynecology Metro Health / Case Western
Louis Muglia, MD, PhD Perinatal Institute Cincinnati Children’s
Patricia Reagan, PhD Human Resource Research Ohio State University
Kent Schwirian, PhD Sociology Ohio State University
Patricia Schwirian, PhD, RN College of Nursing Ohio State University
Honor Wolfe, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Case Western / University Hospitals Case Medical Center

Recent Publications

Deng W, Cha J, Yuan J, Haraguchi H, Bartos A, Leishmann E, Viollet B, Bradshaw HB, Hirota Y, Dey SK. Decidual p53-Sestrin interactions coordinate AMPK and mTORC1 signaling to govern parturition timing. JCI. 2016 Aug. 126(8).

Ackerman, WE IV, Buhimschi IA, Eidem HR,Rinker D, Rokas A, Millen KR, Summerfield T, Zhao G, Shellhaas C, Landon M, Buhimschi CS. Comprehensive transcriptional profiling of villous trophoblast and decidua basalis in pregnancies complicated by preterm birth following intra-amniotic infection. Placenta. 2016 Aug. 44:23-33.

Huang M, Graham B, Zhang G, Harder R, Kodaman N, Moore JH, Muglia L, Williams SM. Evolutionary triangulation: informing genetic association studies with evolutionary evidence. BioData Mining. 2016. 9:12.

Schatz F, Guzeloglu-Kayisli O, Arlier S, Kayisli UA, Lockwood CJ. The role of decidual cells in uterine hemostasis, menstruation, inflammation, adverse pregnancy outcomes and abnormal uterine bleeding. Hum Reprod Update. 2016 Jun;22(4):497-515.

Eidem HR, Rinker D, Ackerman WE IV, Buhimschi IA, Buhimschi CS, Dunn-Fletcher C, Kallapur SG, Pavlicev M, Muglia LJ, Abbot P, & Rokas A. Comparing human and macaque placental transcriptomes to disentangle preterm birth pathology from gestational age effects. Placenta. 2016 May. 41:74-82.

Bian F, Gao F, Kartashov AV, Jegga AG, Barski A, Das SK.Polycomb repressive complex 1 controls uterine decidualization. Sci Rep. 2016 May 16. 6:26061.

Robertshaw I, Bian F, Das SK. Mechanisms of uterine estrogen signaling during early pregnancy in mice: an update. J Mol Endocrinol. 2016 Apr. 56(3):R127-38.

Sun X, Deng W, Li Y, Tang S, Leishman E, Bradshaw H, Dey SK. Sustained Endocannabinoid Signaling Compromises Decidual Function and Promotes Inflammation-induced Preterm Birth. J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 8. 291(15):8231-40.

Sun X, Park CB, Deng W, Potter SS, and Dey SK. Uterine inactivation of muscle segment homeobox (Msx) genes alters epithelial cell junction proteins during embryo implantation. FASEB J. 2016 Apr.30(4):1425-35.

Klebanoff MA, Yossef-Salameh L, Latimer C, Oza-Frank R, Kachoria R, Regan PB, Oliver EA, Buhimschi CS, Buhimschi IA.Development and validation of an algorithm to determine spontaneous versus provider-initiated preterm birth in U.S. vital records. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2016 Mar 17.30(2):134-40.

Ibrahim SA, Ackerman WE 4th, Summerfield TL, Lockwood CJ, Schatz F, Kniss DA. Inflammatory gene networks in term human decidual cells define a potential signature for cytokine-mediated parturition. Am J Obstet Gynecol.2016 Feb;214(2):284.e1-284.e47.

Kim M, Cooper BA, Venkat R, Phillips JB, Eidem HR, Hirbo J,Nutakki S, Williams SM, Muglia LJ, Capra JA, Petren K, Abbot P, Rokas A, McGary KL. GEneSTATION 1.0: a synthetic resource of diverse evolutionary and functional genomic data for studying the evolution of pregnancy-associated tissues and phenotypes. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jan 4. 44 Database issue:D908-916.

Ackerman WE IV, Summerfield TL, Mesiano S, Schatz F, Lockwood CJ, Kniss DA. Agonist-dependent down-regulation of progesterone receptors in human cervical stromal fibroblasts. Reprod Sci. 2016. 23:112-123.

Zhang G, Bacelis J, Lengyel C, Teramo K, Hallman M, Helgeland O, Johansson S, Myhre R, Sengpiel V, Njolstad P, Jacobsson B, Muglia L. Assessing the causal relationship of maternal height on birth size and gestational age at birth: A Mendelian randomization analysis. PLoS Med. 2015 Aug 18. 12(8):e1001865.