Grants to prevent preterm birth
Each year, more newborns die as a result of preterm birth than from any other cause. Preventing Preterm Birth, a new initiative within the Grand Challenges in Global Health, is providing grants to discover new solutions to ensure healthy births around the world.
Discover biological mechanisms that lead to preterm birth and develop novel interventions to prevent them. Studies should explore gestational origins, biological mechanisms and the immunological response to infection and nutritional deficiency which lead to preterm birth, especially in the developing world.
David M. Aronoff, MD
Dr. Aronoff is a member of the Executive Committee of the Reproductive Sciences Program at the University of Michigan, where his laboratory studies mucosal immunology of the female reproductive tract. The Aronoff lab has research programs exploring host-microbial interactions important to the pathogenesis of sexually transmitted infections and severe bacterial infections that complicate pregnancy.
Nationally, Dr. Aronoff is an active member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Anaerobe Society of the Americas, the American Society of Reproductive Immunology, and the American Society for Microbiology. His research has been supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Central Society for Clinical Research, and the National Institutes of Health.
David M. Aronoff, MD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Aronoff received a baccalaureate in Microbiology from Indiana University, and a medical degree from Tufts University. He then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University, remaining there to conduct a clinical Infectious Diseases fellowship and a postdoctoral research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology. In 2002, Dr. Aronoff moved to the University of Michigan for a postdoctoral fellowship studying innate immunity.
Margaret K. Hostetter, MD
Dr. Margaret Hostetter from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and her co-investigators will examine how disruption of the normal bacteria and other micro-organisms (the microbiome) of the lower female genital tract may increase risk of preterm birth. These investigations will focus on vaginal Candida infections in pregnancy, inflammation, and regulation of the immune response. Research will be conducted using animal models and laboratory investigations connected to studies of women in low-resource countries. Their goal is to investigate protective and pathogenic mechanisms of preterm birth and identify novel treatment strategies for vaginal fungal infections to prevent preterm birth.
Kevin C. Kain, FRCPC, MD
Dr. Kevin Kain of the University Health Network and the University of Toronto will be investigating malaria infections of the placenta to reveal specific roles of the immune response that lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. This project will focus on discovering biomarkers to identify at-risk pregnancies as well as new interventions to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Sam Mesiano, PhD
David Olson, PhD, FRCOG
Dr. David Olson from the University of Alberta will be working to better understand how infections can cause preterm birth. Using animal models and in later studies of women in low-income countries, he and his team will investigate multiple mediators of inflammation in the uterus early in pregnancy, as well as test new diagnostics and therapeutics that can identify women at risk, modulate the inflammatory response, and prolong pregnancy.