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 innovation and research to improve the health of 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. 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.
- Developing novel detection methods for fetal and maternal disease with innovative treatment plans.
- Researching inflammation as a cause of premature births and developing ways to prevent it.
- Identifying novel therapeutic targets for cancer and complex diseases. Expertise in tumor biology to study tuberous sclerosis complex.
- 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 cervical cancers.
Our research and educational 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
Mike Wilson, PhD, a Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology postdoc in Dr. Ronald Chandler's lab, has been awarded a three-year, $162,000 postdoctoral fellowship from the American Cancer Society. The grant is to start January 1, 2018. Congratulations Mike on this very prestigious award!
Tae Hoon Kim, Ph.D. - Recipient of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Gynecologic SPORE for Uterine Cancer Career Enhancement Program
Endometrial cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy of the female genital tract in the United States. Hysterectomy is typically the first line therapeutic strategy for endometrial cancer. However, there is an increasing demand for non-surgical treatments for endometrial cancer, especially for women who may encounter surgical complications as well as patients with advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer. The current alternative to surgical management of early stage endometrial neoplasia (complex hyperplasia with atypia and grade 1 cancer) is progesterone (P4) treatment, commonly via the Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System (Mirena IUD). However, a number of women have P4 refractory disease. Resistance to P4 treatment is the major hurdle of endometrial cancer. Therefore, identifying the molecular mechanisms of P4-resistance, with the goal of identifying alternative targets for non-surgical therapies is important. Although identification of molecular mechanisms involved in the resistance to P4 is critical to enable effective and personalized therapy discovery and development, the lack of sufficient pre-clinical animal models in translational research of endometrial cancer makes further study more difficult. In this proposal, our central hypothesis is that Mig-6 loss causes endometrial cancer with P4 resistance through activation of AKT/mTOR signaling in epithelial cells and dysregulatiuon of P4 signaling in stromal cells. We will use our P4-resistant and P4-responsive mouse models. The overall objective of this project is to help improve non-surgical approaches for early stage endometrial cancer by identifying alternative targets. 1) We will identify the molecular targets altered in P4 resistance comparing the P4-responsive and resistant mouse model and 2) evaluate the combination treatment of P4 and everolimus (mTOR inhibitor) on endometrial cancer development and progression. We will identify alternative targets for non-surgical therapies for early stage endometrial cancer.
The title of her project is "Assisted Reproduction and Child Health: Risk of Birth Defects, Mortality, and Effect on Grade School Performance." Her project began late September of 2016 and will continue on until May 30th of 2021.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the risk of mortality, birth defects, and effect on grade school performance among children conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF, the process by which an oocyte is fertilized by semen outside the body) and assisted reproductive technology (ART, all infertility treatments to achieve conception), their siblings, and non-IVF controls. This is the first time children conceived with IVF have been tracked through school age in the United States.
Dr. Jeff MacKeigan, currently an adjunct associate professor at Michigan State University, will join the College of Human Medicine's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology as a professor with tenure on August 15th. He will be a part of the Global Impact Initiative and will be moving to the Grand Rapids Research Center this fall.
Some of his higlighted research efforts include:
- Lab investigates the metabolic triad encompassing autophagy, the PI3K-mTOR pathway, and cell metabolism
- Systems biology approach integrating multiple technologies and multidisciplinary collaborations to study cancer and complex diseases
- Current NCI funding to develop a computational model of autophagy in KRAS-driven lung cancer
- Active collaboration with Caryl Sortwell on repositioning kinase inhibitors for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
Please join us in welcoming Dr. MacKeigan to the department.
Dr. Asgi Fazleabas has been recommended by the MSU Provost and the Board of Trustees to be designated as a University Distinguished Professor. The University Distinguished Professorship is an honor to be held throughout the remaining years of being active at Michigan State University. Select individuals that receive this award have been recognized nationally and internationally for their scholarly achievements. They will have also exemplified superior teaching skills and a distinguished record of public service. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Fazleabas for his success and this impressive accomplishment.
See the department highlighted in the latest video update of the Grand Rapids Research Center.
Frontiers in Epigenetics in Reproduction Symposium
Our first annual Frontiers in Epigenetics in Reproduction Symposium on May 12, 2017 in Grand Rapids was a success. This inaugural symposium focused on the Epigenetics on Maternal and Paternal Effects and was cosponsored by the Van Andel Research Institute and Michigan State University. There was a tremendous turnout and the speakers did a phenomenal job presenting.
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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.