Research is an integral component of the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The core of the discipline is the health of women including reproduction, pregnancy, the function and dysfunction of organs designed to facilitate and maintain pregnancy and the impact of those organs on the general health of the woman.
The female reproductive organs control normal female development from puberty through menopause, but their dysfunction may result in infertility, abnormal menses, and even malignancy. Reproductive hormones also seem to increase a woman’s risk for systemic diseases, including autoimmune diseases (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus). In many instances, our knowledge of the normal and abnormal function of these organs is rudimentary.
Pregnancy is one of the most complicated processes of nature. We do not yet understand the events controlling normal implantation of the embryo, the development of the placenta, or the onset of labor. Without this knowledge, we cannot determine the cause of major complications of pregnancy, including miscarriage, preeclampsia, premature labor and fetal growth restriction.
Successful basic research and the application of new observations to clinical practice results from the marriage of new and creative ideas; hard work; and synergistic teams of investigators with minds dedicated to rigorous precision in the application of investigative tools, yet open to the incorporation of new ideas and the modification of preexisting theories.
Members of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology are involved in a variety of active research projects, many of which are performed on an interdepartmental basis with other clinical and basic scientists within the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. These activities span the breadth of investigative Obstetrics and Gynecology, from direct clinical trials to basic laboratory research that can be translated to patient care. Members of the Research Division strive to advance the understanding of women's health and reproduction.
The department's laboratory facilities for research and training include large core laboratory facilities on the eighth floor of the MacDonald Women's Hospital. The laboratories are fully equipped for up-to-date research in molecular and cellular biology.
As members of the faculty of School of Medicine, researchers in the department have access to more than 20 core facilities. These include core laboratories services for:
- Confocal microscopy
- Flow cytometry
- Gene expression array
- Molecular cytogenetics
- Real-time PCR
- Tissue procurement
- Director: Sam Mesiano, PhD