COVID-19 impact on pregnant women focus of NIH grant

Carter named Director of OBGYN Clinical Research Division

Monitoring labor in pregnancy aim of grant to develop imaging technology

Dr. Dineo Khabele; new Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dear Colleagues:

I am so happy to announce that Dr. Dineo Khabele has accepted our offer to become the next Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Mitchell and Elaine Yanow Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, effective June 1, 2020.  Dr. Khabele is currently Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Cancer Biology, Director of the Division of Gynecological Oncology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  As we have come to know her during a national search, Dr. Khabele is the ideal person to take on this important position because of her outstanding career as a physician scientist, her leadership instincts and passion for women’s health.

Dr. Khabele did her undergraduate and medical school studies at Columbia University.  After residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.  After four years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Meharry Medical College, she joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University where she spent the next nine years holding appointments in both the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Cancer Biology and served as the Director of Gynecologic Oncology Translational Research.

Dr. Khabele took her current position at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2017.  Her research has focused on the pathobiology of ovarian cancer and identification of molecular targets for novel therapeutic strategies.  Her laboratory uses patient-derived xenografts as well as genetically engineered and syngeneic mouse models of ovarian cancer to study genetic and epigenetic alterations in DNA damage response, inflammatory and cell death pathways.  Her most recent studies have provided the basis for a clinical trial of a histone deacetylase inhibitor in combination with a PARP inhibitor for chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer.  Her work has been funded by the NIH, including two current awards and a new award just being issued.

Her research has been recognized by awards and elections, including most recently election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2019.  She is a member of the NIH SPORE grant review committee and currently is serving as Program Director for the Society of Reproductive Investigation and Co-Chair of the Health Disparities Committee of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, among many other national and local committees.  With an active surgical practice she was recognized with the Five Star Customer Service Award by the Vanderbilt Medical Group in 2014 and 2015.  She is leading the Gynecological Oncology Service Line, Co-Leader of the Women’s Cancer Center and Co-Founder of the Hereditary Breast and Gynecological Multidisciplinary Program of the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Dr. Khabele is a dedicated teacher and mentor and most recently started a new GYN Oncology fellowship program in Kansas.  Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to her community as a volunteer, including work with the local chapters of the Links, Inc. in Nashville and Kansas City.

On behalf of our search committee, I want to emphasize how thrilled we are to recruit this incredibly talented physician scientist to our leadership team and to provide new vision and energy for Obstetrics and Gynecology here at Washington University and BJC Healthcare.  Please join me in welcoming Dineo and her husband James Hunter.  And please allow me to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Mike Nelson for his extraordinary service and wonderful positive enthusiasm as our Interim Department Head.


David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
George and Carol Bauer Dean, School of Medicine

EMMI imaging to give insights into preterm labor

Dr. Michael Nelson receives the “Neville Grant Award for Clinical Excellence”

November 8, 2018

The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology would like to congratulate D. Michael Nelson, MD, PhD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, on being awarded the 2018 Neville Grant Award for Clinical Excellence. Dr. Nelson received this honor at the BJH Semi-Annual General Staff meeting. This is a highly recognized honor for which peers select an internal medicine and a surgical/subspecialty physician.  Marcos Rothstein, MD, Medicine/Renal Diseases, was also a recipient of the Neville Grant Award for 2018.


The BJH “Dr. Neville Grant Award for Clinical Excellence” is granted annually to a member of the attending medical staff who, through her/his daily actions, serves as a role model for other caregivers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Criteria for the award include widespread recognition by others for:

  • The delivery of superb clinical care
  • Exceptional compassion for patients and their families
  • Extraordinary respect toward colleagues and other caregivers
  • Mentorship of house officers and medical students in those professional and personal qualities embodied in an exemplary physician

Below are some quotes from Dr. Nelson’s nominators. 

From Dr. Diane Merritt, Chief, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology
“He represents Washington University nationally and internationally through his expertise in human placental physiology. He has served on NIH study sections and research committees, and has been the recipient of an initial R29 and numerous ROI awards as principal or co-investigator from 1987-2020. His basic science contributions to the literature, enumerated in his CV, are of great clinical relevance. His role in our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is as a sage, a leader and friend. Based on the regional, national and international recognition he has attained for his clinical, scientific and pedagogical contributions to the field, his advocacy for Washington University, he has demonstrated unsurpassed qualifications for this award.”

The following is the nomination from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellows

Delivery of Superb Clinical Care
“Dr. Nelson takes care of our high risk patients on Labor and Delivery and in the outpatient office. He is a master clinician borne of his years of experience. His ability to skillfully manage severe maternal disease including the most severe forms of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders is unparalleled. He has a keen clinical acumen and a vast range of knowledge. He is able to quote from memory the entire relevant obstetrics literature. He also has a deep knowledge of physiology that informs his clinical management.”

Exceptional Compassion for Patients and their Families
“Dr. Nelson is attuned to the patients’ needs and is very compassionate. He is able to empathize with patients in difficult situations including fetal or neonatal demise. When patients are resistant or hesitant to the plan of care, Dr. Nelson calmly sits by their bedside and explains with great compassion how much he personally cares about their well-being and why the plan is being advocated. Patients adore him and many of our long-term antepartum patients brighten notably when he comes into their room.”

Extraordinary Respect toward Colleagues and Other Caregivers
“Dr. Nelson has respect for all. He is friendly and respectful to all staff including nurses and scrub personnel. He is collegial with physicians and is often heard expressing gratitude for the care that consulting physicians provide for our patients. He had a deep respect for the Pediatric staff and is laudatory towards them. He is beloved by the staff on Labor & Delivery and the Antepartum Unit.”

Mentorship of House Officers and Medical Students in those Professional and Personal Qualities Embodied in an Exemplary Physician
“Dr. Nelson is a superb mentor to house staff and students. Despite the fact that every 2 weeks there is a new group of students on Labor and Delivery, he welcomes each new group with his signature smile and gives them tips for getting the most out of the rotation. He includes them in rounds and teaches them relevant information for whatever careers they may pursue. He also demonstrates his phenomenal bedside manner and compassion to the students. For house staff (residents and fellows) he exemplifies the ideal clinician-scientist, highlighting relevant research and data to inform the care of our patients.”

Nominators: Joshua Rosenbloom, Adam Lewkowitz, Kristina Sondgeroth, Bethany Sabol, Antonia Frolova, Jonathan Hirshberg, Leilah Zahedi-Spung (Fellows in Maternal-Fetal Medicine)

Brief Biosketch

Michael Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., is the Virginia S. Lang Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his M.D. and Ph.D., in Cell Biology at Washington University SOM, while enrolled in the National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the sub-specialty of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  He has 40 years of clinical experience caring for an ethnically diverse, high-risk obstetrical population at the Washington University Medical Center and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. His research focused on human placental development and placental dysfunction, yielding 150 publications and grant support from the NIH, NATO, and the March of Dimes. He has been awarded the outstanding clinician award by the State of Missouri Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition, the Distinguished Senior Research Scientist Award from the Society for Reproductive Investigation, the Samuel Goldstein Excellence in Teaching Award from the Washington University SOM, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association of Washington University.

from left: Matt, son in law; Jennie, daughter; Peggy, wife; Dr. Nelson; Julie, daughter in law and son, Shane.

Dr. Nelson has been married to his middle/high school sweetheart, Peggy, for 47 years. They have 3 children – Shane (wife Julie), Nathan (wife Gina) and Jennie (husband Matt); and 6 grand children. In addition to his job in OB/GYN, he enjoys spending time with his family – especially grandchildren, reading books and exercising.



Twinkle, Twinkle Little NICU Stars

In honor of prematurity awareness month, Dr. Molly Stout was interviewed for a video that was used on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital social media channels. Dr. Stout is one of our doctors who works the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Washington University.

Inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces likelihood of C-sections

Critical connections

Understanding the importance of the fourth trimester care for new mothers

New inpatient towers cater to women, infants, cancer patients