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Current Projects

Explore actives studies from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and associated departments at KU Medical Center.

Our researchers lead a variety of investigator-initiated, grant-funded, and industry-sponsored studies spanning a variety of topics in Obstetrics and Gynecology, including Maternal Fetal Medicine, Urogynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Active Studies

Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • Verification of Risk Assignment for Whole Chromosome Aneuploidy using SNP-based NIPT in VaniSHing Twin Pregnancies (VANISH)
    Principal Investigator - Kelly Gorman, M.D.
    The study's goal is to collect blood samples from people with a vanishing twin pregnancy, when the pregnancy started as twins but only one fetus survives. Researchers are working on a new method using a noninvasive prenatal test called Panorama® to accurately identify the genetic health of the surviving twin and determine if they have any chromosomal abnormalities.
  • A Phase 3, Randomized, Double- of Observer-blinded placebo-controlled Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prefusion F Subunit Vaccine in Infants Born to Women Vaccinated During Pregnancy
    Principal Investigator - Rachel DiTeresi, M.D.
    Pfizer is testing a vaccine called RSVpreF to protect infants from severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections by vaccinating pregnant women. This Phase 3 study aims to determine if giving this vaccine to pregnant women can effectively reduce RSV-related respiratory illnesses in infants, addressing a significant medical need.
  • Comparative analysis of spinal versus general anesthesia for vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic tubal sterilization: A prospective, randomized controlled trial
    Principal Investigator - Shadae Beale, M.D.
    This study investigates whether using a small dose of spinal anesthesia is a safe and effective alternative to standard general anesthesia for a specific type of surgery (VNOTES tubal sterilization). It will assess complications during and after surgery and compare pain, nausea, recovery time, and patient satisfaction between the two anesthesia methods.
  • Kangaroo Care in the Operating Room
    Principal Investigator - Meredith Gray, M.D.
    This study compares the outcomes of placing newborns on their mother's chest immediately after a scheduled cesarean delivery (kangaroo care) with the standard practice of taking the baby to an assessment warmer first. The hypothesis is that immediate skin-to-skin contact during cesarean section will reduce the need for pain and anxiety medications for the mother, enhance her satisfaction with the procedure, and won't lead to differences in the baby's health measures like the Apgar score, neonatal ICU admission, maternal infection rates, or blood loss.

Maternal Fetal Medicine

  • Pregnancy as a Window to the Future: Outcomes of Antihypertensive Therapy and Superimposed Preeclampsia in Pregnant Women with Mild Chronic Hypertension
    Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy (CHAP) Trial
    Maternal Follow-up Study
    Principal Investigator - Marc Parrish, D.O.
    This study, called the CHAP Project, initially gave pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension either regular care or hypertension treatment. Now, they're following up with these women for 5 to 10 years to see if treating mild chronic hypertension during pregnancy affects the mother’s risk of heart problems and if experiencing superimposed preeclampsia during pregnancy might impact their long-term heart health.
  • Promoting Shared Decision Making in Periviable Care: A randomized controlled trial of the Periviable GOALS Decision Support Tool
    Principal Investigator - Megan Thomas, M.D.
    This study compares a decision support tool called Periviable GOALS with standard care for pregnant people and their support persons hospitalized for a potential periviable delivery. The goal is to see if using the tool improves the quality of decision-making, mental health outcomes for the mothers, and preferences for neonatal treatment.
  • Labor and Delivery Doula Program to Reduce Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality in Kansas
    Principal Investigator - Angela Martin, M.D.
    Black-birthing people are at increased risk of adverse outcomes during pregnancy and childbirth compared to their White counterparts. This study aims to determine if doula-enhanced care can improve the communication and quality of maternal care among Black-birthing people compared to routine pregnancy care, to minimize adverse perinatal outcomes in Black-birthing people in the long term.
  • Investigating the relationship between triglycerides and fetal overgrowth in gestational diabetes
    Principal Investigator - Gene Lee, M.D.
    This study investigates how triglyceride levels in pregnant individuals with gestational diabetes relate to the size of the baby and the distribution of body fat. Researchers will measure triglyceride levels through blood tests, collecting cord blood from infants, and assessing the baby's body fat at different time points after birth to understand if high fetal insulin levels are the reason triglycerides contribute to fetal overgrowth.


  • REDUCE Trial – Reducing prolapse recurrence by reducing genital hiatus
    Principal Investigator - Melanie Meister, M.D.
    The decision to include a posterior repair during a surgical procedure called sacrocolpopexy, which treats vaginal prolapse, is debated among surgeons. This study aims to determine if adding this procedure reduces the risk of prolapse recurrence. We hypothesize that the addition of a posterior repair at the time of sacrocolpopexy will not reduce the risk of prolapse recurrence but may increase the likelihood of discomfort during defecation and painful intercourse.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

  • Reproductive tissue changes seen with exogenous testosterone use in Transgender Men
    Principal Investigator - Courtney Marsh, M.D.
    This study aims to find a better way to preserve fertility in transgender men, as the current method of freezing eggs has drawbacks. Researchers will experiment with growing eggs in a lab dish from ovarian tissue removed during surgery, and they also want to understand how long-term testosterone exposure affects reproductive organs. This work could not only help transgender individuals but also expand our knowledge of ovarian function and related conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Biobank
    Principal Investigator - Courtney Marsh, M.D.
    The Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Biobank was created so researchers can utilize it to investigate the causes of infertility. The REI Biobank consists of blood and tissue from patients evaluated and treated for infertility or underwent surgery at the University of Kansas. These samples provide material for the discovery, confirmation, and validation of information related to disease pathology, biomarkers of said disease and therapeutic targets.

Cell Biology and Physiology

  • REST/NRSF, miRNAs and tissue remodeling in adenomyosis pathophysiology
    Principal Investigator - Warren Nothnick, Ph.D.
    This study aims to understand a uterine condition called adenomyosis, which can cause heavy and painful periods, pelvic pain, discomfort during intercourse, and reproductive issues. The researchers are investigating if a specific molecular pathway involving genes and small molecules called miRNAs plays a role in the development of adenomyosis, using both human and mouse models to explore potential treatments.
  • Effect of Reproductive Pathologic Conditions on Ovarian Function
    Principal Investigator - Lane Christenson, Ph.D.
    This study investigates how factors like age, obesity, and polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) affect how the ovaries respond to viral infections like COVID-19. Researchers aim to understand if these factors change the way ovarian cells are infected by the virus and how they produce hormones, which could have implications for women's reproductive health.
  • Molecular Pathogenesis of Uterine Leiomyomas
    Principal Investigator - Vargheese Chennathukuzhi, Ph.D.
    This research focuses on understanding uterine fibroids. The study explores how a protein, GPR10, when activated, may promote the growth of these tumors and how the loss of another protein, REST, might be a critical step in the development of uterine fibroids. The goal is to gain insights into the mechanisms behind uterine fibroid formation, potentially leading to new therapies for this condition.

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

  • Assessment of normal and abnormal placental structure/function during pregnancy and disease
    Principal Investigator - Soumen Paul, Ph.D.
    The placenta is a vital organ during pregnancy that transfers essential nutrients, removes waste, and produces hormones crucial for fetal and maternal health. Problems with placental function can impact fetal development and increase the risk of health issues for both the mother and child. This research aims to use human placental models to study differences in normal and disease conditions and monitor transport and metabolism by the placenta to ultimately understand and enhance pregnancy outcomes and lifelong health for both mothers and babies.

Completed Studies

Please see our recent publications.

Email OBGYN Research at if you are interested in learning more.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Obstetrics and Gynecology
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 2028
Kansas City, KS 66160