Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetric Research

The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics at Stanford has an outstanding record of excellence in clinical investigation and translational medicine. Researchers in the Division are focused on discovering ways to refine treatment of preterm labor, optimize management of  chronic hypertension in pregnancy, evaluate possible effects of probiotics use on maternal and neonatal infectious outcomes, comprehensively manage placentation abnormalities, track placental gene expression throughout pregnancy, and investigate human placental development. Collaboration with other disciplines has led to highly productive genomic investigations that may help identify at-risk conditions or problems in fetal development. Numerous innovative obstetric clinical trials are currently being conducted at our center.

The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is also engaged in several multi-site trials, including studies sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The CHAP clinical trial sponsored by the NHLBI is investigating the optimal way to care for women with chronic hypertension in pregnancy.  Our Division continues to participate in select NICHD Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network trials, including a placebo-controlled study investigating whether administration of intravenous immunoglobulin to pregnant women with primary CMV infection can prevent fetal transmission. And a randomized trial comparing induction of labor at 39 weeks gestation versus expectant management in nulliparous women to assess the optimal maternal and neonatal timing for delivery.

In addition, our Division is part of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine. This center, funded by the March of Dimes and launched in March 2011 is a collaborative effort between the two organizations that is dedicated to increasing the understanding improving prevention of preterm birth. The March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine brings together experts from a variety of disciplines, including maternal-fetal medicine, to develop new approaches of investigating preterm birth. This center has four goals: understanding the pathways that lead to preterm birth; predicting which women are at risk of delivering early; translating this research into clinical interventions and policy changes to prevent preterm delivery; and reducing the social disparities that contribute to preterm birth.

The Division’s outstanding research contributions and excellence in scientific investigation exemplify  Stanford’s commitment to caring for pregnant women and their newborns.

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