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Research Activities

Research within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center is informed by our commitment to excellence and innovation for all women’s healthcare issues and the highly collaborative culture within the Department.

Because of our of extensive regional partnerships and clinical prominence in providing general and subspecialty care to a growing and diverse patient population, we are well positioned to expand innovative research focusing on health and wellness promotion for women from diverse social and economic backgrounds. The Department has recently launched a Research Seed Grant program and has been working with regional partners to launch initiatives to improve perinatal outcomes.

Research Division Director:
Katherine Mathews, MD, MPH, MBA, comes to the Department with extensive experience in both academic and community settings catalyzing new initiatives to improve health and wellness for women and their families, particularly those from minority and medically under-served backgrounds. Her major initiatives have been informed and inspired by community members themselves leading to research activities and programs that are highly innovative, responsive to community needs, and developed for long term sustainability. Her vision for the Department is to build on the broad range of faculty research interests and activities – in collaboration with our university, community, and hospital partners – to promote translational research at the interface between community contexts, clinical care, and quality improvement with a focus on improving health outcomes.

Research interests and current activities are listed by faculty member below. Collaborative projects appear under the name of the Principle Investigator.

The Research Division
Faculty Members:

Faculty/Ranking Research Interests/Activity
Raul Artal, M. D.
Professor and Chairman
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Lifestyle Intervention ForEver: Healthy Weight for Pregnancy and Birth (Pilot Study)
  • Cerclage
  • An intervention to promote healthy weight in pregnant women
  • Validity of body composition assessment by bioelectrical impedance measurement in women of classification
  • Presentations and outcomes of patients and their babies who labor and deliver at home and need to be transferred to a tertiary care institution
Erol Amon, M.D.
Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Prematurity; Hypertensive disorder; Ultrasound; Labor & Delivery; Risk Management.
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Clinical Evaluation of the Actim Partus Test SQNM-T21-305 Noninvasive In Vitro Diagnostic
  • Test for Fetal Aneuploidy: Assay Development & Optimization in Affected Pregnancies
  • SQNM-T21-107: Collection Blood Specimens Pregnant Women at Increased Risk for Fetal Chromosomal Aneuploidy for Use in Development of the SEQureDx(TM) Trisomy 21 Test
  • Obstetric, Maternal, and Fetal Variables Influencing the Survival of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants (as defined by a birth weight of 1000 grams or less)
  • Using the weight of sponges and laparotomy pads as well as analysis of the collection canister to better quantify estimated blood loss in Obstetrics
  • Factors influencing compliance with a stepwise sequential screening process
E. Cristian Campian, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Section of Urogynecology
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic reconstruction surgery
  • Pelvic pain
Amy A. Flick, M. D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Comparison of Cervical Cerclage and Pessary in Treatment of Cervical Insufficiency
  • Cervical Length Measurement in Pregnant Patients with a Vaginal Pessary
Jeff Gavard, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Biostatistician
Division of Research
CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Impact of gestational weight gain on maternal and neonatal outcomes in obese women; developing predictive models, risk scores, and screening tools for maternal and neonatal outcomes; concurrent studies of the risk patterns of diabetes and depression; intrafamilial risk of Type I diabetes mellitus; etiologies of Type I diabetes mellitus.
Jennifer Goldkamp, M.D.
Instructor
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Maternal glucose response to steroids administered for fetal lung maturity. Barometric pressure and rupture of membranes in St. Louis, MO. Gestational diabetes
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Effects of steroid administration of maternal glucose levels. Ongoing research
Gilad A. Gross, M. D.
Professor Director
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Medical complications of pregnancy: Means to reduce risk of deep venous thrombosis, peripartum infection, back pain; Evidence based medicine comprehension; and Mechanism of pre-term labor, IUGR.
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Correlation between fetal lung maturity and the presence of the proximal humeral epiphysis
  • Maternal and fetal copper levels in cholestasis of pregnancy
  • Treatment utility of postpartum antibiotics in chorioamnionitis study
  • The effect of a barrier self-retaining retractor in obese patients undergoing Cesarean Section
Susan Hoffstetter, Ph.D., WHNP-BC
Associate Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Section of Urogynecology
CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
Recurrent candidiasis and vulvodynia, vulvar disease.
  • Vulvodynia
  • Effect of vestibulectomy in the treatment of intractable vulvodynia
Mary Brigid Holloran-Schwartz, M.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Section Director
Center of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, (MIGS)
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, including laparoscopic hysterectomy, myomectomy, robotic surgery and operative hysteroscopy; Abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine fibroids, postmenopausal bleeding, dysmenorrhea and alternatives to hysterectomy, menopause, Resident and medical student education.
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Does the use of a disposable, ultrasonic energy source save time and therefore costs when performing laparoscopic hysterectomies?
  • Factors that predict difficulty of laparoscopic hysterectomy
Fah Che Leong, M.D.
Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Section of Urogynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Pelvic floor dysfunction, conservative treatment of incontinence and prolapse and constipation. Peripheral sacral neuromodulation for urge incontinence, voiding dysfunction and pelvic pain. Lumbosacral dysfunction associated with pelvic pain. Treatment of interstitial eystitis, myofascial pain. Treatment of overactive bladder.
Kimberly Martin, M. D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Genetic screening; informed consent; ultrasound.
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Factors involved in obtaining Informed consent and facilitating decision making regarding testing for aneuploidy Prenatal diagnosis of birth defects
Katherine Mathews, M.D., MPH, MBA
Associate Professor
Director
Division of Research
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Current PI on two Missouri Foundation for Health funded research projects: Salud de Nuestra PoblaciĆ³n, a mixed methods needs and strengths assessment of the region’s Latino population and understanding the financial components of obtaining care from a system and health literacy perspective. Also extensive interest/experience in community/university research partnerships. health services and policy research; medically underserved populations; community-based participatory research
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Qualitative Interviews of LIFE Pilot Participants
  • Impact of clinical pharmacy services on asthma in pregnancy in a maternal-fetal care outpatient clinic Through Casa De Salud
  • Salud de Nuestra Poblacion mixed methods needs assessment Understanding the Financial Components of Obtaining Care from a System and Health Literacy Perspective
Leslie McCloskey, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Director, Colpo Clinic
Liaison County Clinics
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Management of abnormal pap smears, colposcopy and cervical dysplasi. Database to collect information form colposcopy clinic
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Outcomes of maternal hypertension and diabetes
Mary T. McLennan, M.D.
Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Director Section of Urogynecology
Director, Residency Program
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Voiding dysfunction after midurethral sling, cystoscopic findings in patients with prolapse, and incontinence compared to those with pain, resident education, different techniques for tension free slings, role of hydro distension and interstitial cystitis, role of estrogen in interstitial cystitis
Dorothea J. Mostello, M.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Innovations and improvements in the management of diabetes in pregnancy: glucose response after steroids for lung maturation, insulin dosing in pregnancy, and Text4diabetes study; Inter-pregnancy weight change and risks of complications; Randomized trial of metoclopramide and diphenhydramine for the treatment of headache in pregnancy; Outcomes research using population databases.

    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Adherence to a Diabetes Care Regimen Following Text Message Intervention in Pregnant Women with Diabetes
  • MAD Headache Review: a Retrospective Analysis of the use of Metoclopramide and Diphenhydramine for the Treatment of Headaches in the Obstetric Patient.
  • The effect of steroids for fetal lung maturity on maternal glucose levels Metoclopramide and Diphenhydramine: A cost effective treatment for headache in pregnancy when acetaminophen alone is ineffective (MAD headache study)
Thomas D. Myles, M.D.
Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Obstetrical ultrasound throughout gestation (AFF, Doppler, etc.); Diabetes in pregnancy, treatments and evaluations; Weight gain in pregnancy, ideal weight gain reduction in perinatal morbidity
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Rates of Postpartum Screening for Diabetes in Patients with Gestational Diabetes
  • Umbilical Artery Doppler Discordance in High Risk Pregnancies
  • Comparing the utility of povidone-iodine vs. chlorhexidine skin preparations in reducing endometritis rates following cesarean section
Thinh P. Nguyen, M. D.
Instructor, Clinical Educator
Division Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Simulation and education; maternal medical disease in pregnancy, genetics, applications of technology in medicine, patient quality.
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • The effect of light on the fetal biophysical profile
  • Pneumatic compression cuff use in pregnancy
  • Early detection of central blood pressure and arterial stiffness (pulse wave analysis) can be a predictor of gestational hypertension/preeclampsia
Diane Petersen, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-Director, Residency Program
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Gynecologic ultrasound and family planning. Endometrial strip in women with and without abnormal uterine bleeding. Postmenopausal women. Abnormal pap smears.
Jill K. Powell, M.D.
Associate Professor
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Gynecological issues in females affected by an ectodermal dysplasia syndrome. Consultant member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasis. Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Gynecologic Care for Special Needs population. Musculoskeletal causes of abdominal and pelvic pain.
Amy Ravin, M.D. Assistant Professor
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Developing Tdap guidelines for pregnancy and then evaluating uptake among clinicians. Venofer use in antepartum and postpartum period. Vaccines in pregnancy; intravenous iron; antepartum; postpartum
Mitul Shah, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-Director Residency Program
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Vulvovaginitis: Candida species distribution and prevalence at Saint Louis University Obstetrics and Gynecology
Jaye Shyken, M.D.
Associate Profressor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
A prospective evaluation of the relationship of cervical length with latency to labor and risk of infection in women with PROM is underway. This study is ongoing with almost half of the recruitment complete. In development is a project evaluating neonatal and maternal outcomes for women with narcotic addiction based on narcotic agent used for maintenance, buprenorphine versus methadone. Narcotic addiction
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Curves in Early Pregnancy and Reproductive Outcome
  • Cervical length and the prediction of latency in preterm premature rupture of membranes
Andrew Steele, M.D.
Professor
Division of Gynecoligic Sub-Specialties
Section of Urogynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Simulation and education; maternal medical disease in pregnancy, genetics, applications of technology in medicine, patient quality
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • A retrospective review of patients presenting with vaginal mesh complications requiring surgical excision, evaluating for surgical outcomes and complications
Michael F. Thomure, M.D.
Professor and Director
Division of Reproductive Endorcrinology/Fertility
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Infertility treatments, polycystic ovarian syndrome, abnormal uterine bleeding and hirsutism. Medical student education. Am on both IRB committees and serve on the SSM cooperate IRB.
Emanuel J. Vlastos, M.D.
Assittant Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Fetal surgery; fetal intervention; fetal ultrasound
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Improving quality of care with and for parents of fetuses with known anomalies
  • Alpha fetal protein (AFP) and Acetyl cholinesterase (ACE) in Amniotic Fluid of Open Neural Tube Defects (ONTD) at 3 points during Pregnancy on Mothers having open fetal repair.
  • Vancomycin causing Redman Syndrome in surgical pregnant women
  • Retrospective Exempt Study of Gastroschisis Fetuses and Patient Outcomes
  • Evaluation of Hysterotomy Site after Open Fetal Surgery
  • Myelomeningocele Outcomes after Open Fetal Surgery
  • International Fetal Cardiac Intervention Registry
  • Retrospective Study of the Mesenteric Artery and it's relation to outcomes of Gastroschisis patients
  • Intraoperative and Perioperative Supplemental Oxygen and the Risk of Post cesarean Endometritis/Wound Infection
  • Umbilical Cord Blood Volume
Donald Gregory Ward, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Director
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-Director Residency Program
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Correlation of resident vs. formal ultrasounds; self-retaining retractor and impact on infection rates. Infectious disease; medical student education
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Concordance rates of Resident performed Ultrasound Measurements and Formal Ultrasound Reports in an Obstetric Triage Area
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Curves in early pregnancy and Reproductive Outcome
Patrick Yeung Jr. M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Gynecologic Sub-Specialties
Director, Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Outcomes after laser excision surgery for endometriosis including pain, quality of life and fertility; Creating a prospective database and tissue bank, used to further our understanding of the prediction and progression of endometriosis; Development of a non-invasive screening tool and diagnostic test for early-stage endometriosis; Vice Chair of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) Research Consortium - a multi-center network for performing high-quality research, and member of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF)
    CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITY:
  • Using a novel, systematic approach and proteomics to develop a non-invasive diagnostic test for early-stage endometriosis
  • Does “aggressivity” of endometriosis correlate to clinical history or outcomes?
  • Characteristics of patient population with endometriosis – a prospective database
Franciso P. Xynos, M.D.
Professor and Director
Division of Gynecoligic Sub-Specialties
Section of Gynecology Oncology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Gynecologic breast cancers and complex gynecologic surgery. Breast cancers; complex gynecologic surgery
Pericles Xynos, M.D.
Instructor
Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Establish a laparoscopic training module for residents and students to improve their surgical skills. Complex gynecological surgery.

Last Modified :Wednesday 26-Mar-14 08:18:36 CDT


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