Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research
Maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Indiana University School of Medicine are national leaders in researching new ways to care for women with high-risk pregnancies. Many of these studies have led to the development of new clinical recommendations and researchers receive grants and funding from a variety of agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.
The maternal-fetal medicine division has a strong record of basic science, clinical/translational and epidemiologic research. This includes membership in the Consortium on Safe Labor, Obstetric-Fetal Pharmacology Research Units Network and Nulliparous Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (nuMoM2b). The team also has long-standing partnerships with Regenstrief Institute for informatics and health care research in Indianapolis.
This division supports a perinatal epigenetics research laboratory, which conducts translational research in gene-environment interactions that affect fetal development, maternal health and postnatal health trajectories, as well as an obstetric clinical pharmacology lab, which provides laboratory space and resources for basic and translational study techniques related to therapeutics in pregnant women.
An important component of the division’s obstetrical research is the PREGMED program. As one of the initial IUPUI Signature Centers and later supported by NIH funding, the focus of PREGMED is to develop personalized therapeutic approaches for pregnant women and children using analytic, genomic and computational techniques. The program also includes a one-year research fellowship.
Researchers are working to determine if giving blood pressure medication to women with chronic mildly elevated blood pressures during pregnancy compared to not treating these mild elevations reduces the frequency of maternal and newborn complications often associated with chronic hypertension. These complications could include fetal or neonatal death, preeclampsia, placental abruption, preterm birth of less than 35 weeks (not due to spontaneous preterm labor or membrane rupture) or a birth weight below the 10th percentile. This is a multi-center, NIH- funded clinical trial.
Partnering with researchers in the Pediatric Pulmonology Division, OB-GYN researchers are trying to determine if the intrauterine anti-angiogenic environment present in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia results in changes in the pulmonary and vascular development and later function in infants. Preeclampsia is a condition where a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, which can lead to complications for the mother and fetus. Study participants provide blood samples during pregnancy and in the first six months after birth, among other tests. The infants are followed for up to one year of life to test how their lungs are functioning. The study is recruiting both women who develop preeclampsia and women who do not as a control group. This study is NIH funded.
Betamethasone (BMZ) is a medication given to women with threatened preterm birth in order to help speed up the development of the baby’s lungs. It has been shown to reduce lung complications and other problems associated with prematurity, including death. Researchers are working to evaluate why some babies Betamethasone (BMZ) is a medication given to women with threatened preterm birth in order to help speed up the development of the baby’s lungs. It has been shown to reduce lung complications and other problems associated with prematurity, including death. Researchers are working to evaluate why some babies benefit more than others. We are studying the drug’s absorption rate in pregnant women, effects on the body, and the role genetic differences can have on a person’s response. The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes by changing to an optimal, individualized dosing strategy for BMZ. This study is NIH funded.
This study is a longer-term follow up study to the BMZ study above. Researchers are trying to determine if an infant’s genomic profile for metabolizing betamethasone (BMZ) and increasing fetal exposure to antenatal BMZ is associated with improved lung function as a neonate. They’re also studying if these factors lead to improved lung function and reduced respiratory morbidity in the first year of life.
This is a clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to decrease surgical site infections in obese women. NPWT is a closed, sealed system that applies negative pressures to the wound surface via a single-use, battery-powered portable device.
Researchers are determining the effectiveness of using furosemide after a woman gives birth for prevention of severe postpartum hypertension. Furosemide is a diuretic that can treat fluid retention and swelling.
Researchers in the MOMPOD study are comparing the safety and effectiveness of insulin monotherapy versus insulin plus metformin for treatment of type 2 diabetes in pregnancy. Participants are recruited between 10 weeks and 23 weeks gestation and followed until 30 days after delivery. This multi-center study is NIH funded.