The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis was launched in November 2014. With a generous $10 million in funding from March of Dimes over 5 years, this virtual research center brings together investigators across disciplines at Wash U, with the goal of finding the causes and predictors of preterm births.

This transdisciplinary approach to prematurity research is led by Center Director George Macones, MD, MSCE, Chair of OB/GYN, and by Associate Directors Alan Schwartz, MD, PhD, Chair of Pediatrics and Sarah England, PhD, Professor of OB/GYN.

·          Link to Macones bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/223/george_macones.aspx

·          Link to Schwartz bio: http://pediatrics.wustl.edu/faculty/schwartz_alan_l/

·          Link to England bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/395/sarah_england.aspx

The research is divided into three major themes:

·          Theme 1: High-Speed Functional Photoacoustic Endoscopy for Assessment of Cervical Remodelling; led by Lihong Wang, PhD, of Biomedical Engineering, and Methodius Tuuli, MD, MPH, of OB/GYN

o    Link to Tuuli bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/394/methodius_tuuli.aspx

o    Link to Wang bio: http://engineering.wustl.edu/facultybio.aspx?faculty=418

·          Theme 2 : 3-Dimensional Electrophysiology of the Uterus: Early Electrical Maturation in the Etiology of Preterm Birth (Electromyometrial Imaging: EMMI); led by Alison Cahill, MD, MSCI, of OB/GYN and Philip Cuculich, MD, of Cardiology

o    Link to Cahill bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/355/alison_cahill.aspx

o    Link to Cuculich bio: http://cardiology.wustl.edu/faculty/12-faculty/electrophysiology/105-phillip-s-cuculich-md.html

·          Theme 3 : The Influence of Chronotype on Risk of Preterm Birth; led by Sarah England, PhD, of OB/GYN, Erik Herzog, PhD, of Biology, Justin Fay, PhD, of Genetics, and Emily Jungheim, MD, MSCI, of OB/GYN

o    Link to England bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/395/sarah_england.aspx

o    Link to Herzog bio: https://wubio.wustl.edu/herzog

o    Link to Fay bio: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/faculty/Pages/faculty_bio.aspx?SID=5834

o    Link to Jungheim bio: http://www.obgyn.wustl.edu/content/320/emily_jungheim_md.aspx

For more information on the Prematurity Research Center, please visit:


Pilot Grant Call for Proposals

The PRC announces a Transdisciplinary Developmental Funding Program for investigators with a faculty appointment of Instructor and above to support early-stage, innovative reseach in preterm birth at Washington University.  Fro more information, please see the Call for Proposals.

Preterm Birth Scholar opportunity

In addition to the research currently conducted, the Prematurity Research Center will fund scholars for a 2-year research program that includes intense multi-disciplinary training in preterm birth research.  Candidates from all scientific fields holding an advanced degree (MD,PhD, or equivalent) does not require a publication in preterm birth, but should have an intense interest in the topic.  More information can be found at Call for Applications.

Clinical study currently enrolling participants

The Prematurity Research Center is currently recruiting for a study for Theme 3.  Women who are trying to conceive may be eligible for participation.  More information can be found here. Information Poster

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Jessica Chubiz, Prematurity Research Center Project Manager, at 314-362-6746 or chubizj@wudosis.wustl.edu