Research Facilities

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences maintains its research facilities on the 11th floor of the Bressler Building. This facility consists of approximately 15,000 square feet of wet laboratory space and is connected to UMMC.

Our research facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, which is utilized by our basic science and clinical research groups—see Current Research. This allows for a full range of studies, ranging from sophisticated molecular biology to embryology to whole animal instrumentation.

A state-of-the-art teleconference center is also located within the department.

Research Time

The fellowship program was created on the principle of block time. The first year of our program begins with has a four-month didactic introduction. This block provides a foundation that ensures a timely start for the fellow's research. This leads to a four-month research block in the middle of the first year.

The second and third years proceed with two-month research blocks. The final research block is devoted to thesis completion and defense. In addition to the 12 core months dedicated to research, two additional elective months—in the middle of the third year—may also be used for research.

During research rotations, the only non-research obligations the fellow may have are didactic sessions and attending the high risk clinic (one-half day each per week). These clinical activities total four hours per week, averaged over four weeks.

During weeks in which a clinic is cancelled due to holidays or other events, fellows may be called to help cover a clinic on a different day. Occasional cross coverage for critical clinical activities may be required of one fellow for another's vacation or attendance at scientific or didactic meetings. This is reciprocated in kind to protect total research time.

Organized Approach to Research Development and Teaching

The research time of the fellow is carefully protected. During the research rotation, the fellow goes through the carefully laid out steps of research education. These steps include:

  1. introduction to the research
  2. coursework
  3. development of research ideas
  4. development of the IRB submission
  5. performance of study procedures
  6. analysis and interpretation of their own chosen research project
  7. completion of the research thesis prior to leaving the fellowship program

The initial three of the four months at the beginning of the first year provides the fellow with a didactic foundation and introduction to major areas of ongoing research in ultrasound and genetics. The final month is devoted to an introduction to basic science research under the direction of Loren P. Thompson, PhD.

All fellows participate in a series of courses and lectures under the direction of the UM SOM Human Research Protections Office (HRPO) including:

  • a weeklong introduction to clinical investigation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • the University of Miami's Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) for biomedical research
  • HIPAA training
  • clinical research billing training

HRPO also presents a series of research grand rounds on such topics as initial and continuing review requirements, unanticipated problems involving risk to research participants or others, informed consent processes and risks.

Current Research

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences research focuses on structural birth defects, fetal programming, placental development and inflammation, ovarian cancer and substance abuse.

Fellows are offered multiple opportunities to research and train in our faculty research laboratories. By collaboratively training in the basic, translational and clinical sciences, these opportunities allow our department to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare in our community.

Databases and Resources

Members of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences have access to internal and commercial databases through department-issued computers, and through the University of Maryland Health Sciences Library. Fellows and professors are also linked through hospital Intranet and university Intranet when in office.