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Program in Epidemiologic Research

Michele Hacker, ScD, MSPH, Program Director
Laura Dodge, MPH, Research Assistant
Anna Modest, MPH, Research Assistant

The Program in Epidemiologic Research supports research throughout the department; from basic science to focus groups to placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials. The program provides assistance with study design, study implementation, data collection and management, data analysis, manuscripts preparation, and grant writing. This assistance is available to all members of the department and. Specifically, the program aims to foster and advance the research endeavors of residents and fellows.

Our clinical, basic science, public health, and educational research projects reflects the diversity that is so valued by our department. Residents and Fellows have conducted research projects that have led to presentations at national meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Topics include the evaluation of a rapid intrapartum test for Group B streptococcus, risk of ectopic pregnancy after day-3 compared with day-5 embryo transfer, timing of antibiotics for cesarean delivery, post-operative pain after surgical treatment for prolapse, and stimulation training for minimally invasive surgery and obstetric complications.

Our interdepartmental collaborative efforts have advanced research and increased our understanding of disease and the delivery of health care. Our collaborations on the pathogenesis of preeclampsia have led to exciting research findings and new potential clinical therapies. An ongoing study of gene expression in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction holds similar promise.

The department places special emphasis on epidemiology and public health policy as it relates to women's health internationally. One of our former chief residents recently completed research on sexual violence and unintended pregnancies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and continues to work in this area with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Another resident is currently investigating knowledge of and attitudes towards cervical cancer and HPV vaccination among women in Zambia. Ongoing faculty research includes studies on maternal morbidity and contraceptive use by couples in Afghanistan.

Our faculty, fellows, residents, and students are guided by the expertise of our department epidemiologist, Dr. Michele Hacker.