Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
College of Human Medicine

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 Richard E. Leach, M.D., FACOG, FACS
 Professor and Chair

Our vision for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is to be the leader in the clinical translation of cutting edge research to the patients and communities that we serve. We are focused on ensuring that our research is translated to the health care needs of women across their life spans and in diverse communities. Our faculty members have achieved national recognition for this research. Since 2009, our department has ranked in the top 23 of 135 departments of obstetrics and gynecology across the country in National Institutes of Health funding for research. We have recruited accomplished researchers in women’s health, including physicians, nurses, sociologists, clinical translational scientists and epidemiologists focused not only on the medical aspects, but on the social disparities that threaten women’s health. Collaborating with each other and with our health care partners, we are:

  • Unraveling the causes and pursuing better treatments for infertility.
  • Seeking better therapies for endometriosis, a painful condition that afflicts as many as 1 in 10 women of reproductive age.
  • Studying the connection between endometriosis and endometrial and ovarian cancers and looking for possible genetic targets for treatment.
  • Identifying the mechanisms that cause uterine and ovarian cancer.
  • Researching inflammation as a cause of premature births and developing ways to prevent it.
  • Examining the health implications of assisted reproductive technology, including whether it is associated with birth defects and later health problems in children and their mothers.
  • Leveraging the resources of other health care agencies and community groups to give Medicaid beneficiaries the best prenatal care in the most cost-effective way, thus helping assure that they and their babies will be healthy.
  • Working within families to erase health disparities and raise awareness among African-American, Latino and Arab women about the importance of screening and prevention of breast and cervical cancers.

Our research programs rest on three departmental pillars, which include supporting unparalleled health services to women at home and nationally, educating exemplary physicians and scholars, and discovering and disseminating innovative medical knowledge. We look forward to sharing with you the various departmental programs and the impact they have on the everyday lives of women.


Richard E. Leach, M.D., FACOG, FACS
Professor and Chair
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology


Passionate researcher leads vision for women's health

Asgi2When Asgi Fazleabas came to MSU College of Human Medicine in 2009, the Center for Women’s Health was only a dream. No building. A small staff of researchers. But what began with a vision has grown exponentially.

“We have far exceeded what I ever dreamed of,” Fazleabas said. “With the expansion of the medical school in Grand Rapids, the vision we had, the ability to recruit the brightest from Harvard, Yale and Baylor…we realized the excitement of building an outstanding research program.”

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Study addresses disparity in cervical cancer deaths

Cervical Cancer Leach Ford Williams thumbWhile studying cervical cancer statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Sabrina Ford noticed a discrepancy she thought must be a mistake. While African American women undergo screenings for cervical cancer at a higher rate than white women, they die from the disease at almost twice the rate.

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ShojiThe American Cancer Society indicates that ovarian cancer is the fifth most lethal of all cancers that specifically affect women. They estimate that in 2014 approximately 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 14,000 will die of this disease. This high death rate has not changed much since the 1960s. We are therefore very interested in uncovering new ways to reverse this poor patient outcome.

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OB/GYN Welcomes Jennifer E. Johnson, Ph.D.

jjohnso1 thumbnailWe welcome Dr. Jennifer E. Johnson, Ph.D. to the department as of July 1, 2015. Dr. Johnson joins us from Brown University, and is the first member of the MSU’s new Public Health Research Group in Flint. She is happy to live and work in, Flint, and she also makes her new home there. Dr. Johnson is a clinical psychologist who conducts NIH-funded randomized trials of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and implementation of mental health and substance use interventions for high-risk women (including perinatal women) and justice-involved populations (such as prisoners and jail detainees). She has been Principal Investigator of 7 NIH awards, with overall total costs of more than $7.5 million.

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OB/GYN Welcomes Ronald L. Chandler, Ph.D.

Image of Ronald L. Chandler, Ph.D.Ronald L. Chandler, Ph.D. Assistant Professor – Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ronald Chandler to the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Ron will be located in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine research space within Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He will join our team effective August 16, 2015.

Dr. Chandler received his B.S. in Biology at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

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To contribute to For The Love of a Woman Discovery Fund, which supports new discoveries in Gynecological cancer, reproductive health and maternal infant health GO TO OUR FORM. For more information please contact the Advancement Office at 1-855-678-7444.

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Hear Our Stories

Department Research Summary:

Academic Progress Report: July 2012 - June 2014

OB/GYN Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 3

Volume 1, Issue 2

Volume 1, Issue 1